A Travellerspoint blog

Another twitch: Townsend’s Warbler

Deer Grove East Forest Preserve, IL

all seasons in one day 37 °F

Yep! Another twitch — today the sighting of a Townsend’s Warbler brought me to Deer Grove north of Palatine IL to hopefully find this rarity from the Pacific Northwest. To further my desire to see the bird, it was an adult male which are just S T U N N I N G!!!

The search involved hours of traipsing around in wooded swamp along a beautiful, clear creek along which the bird had been reported along with a very large number of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLRS. So, seeing many of the Townsend’s relatives was a good sign:

SWAMP SPARROWS seem to still be moving through in large numbers.

There were a few RUSTY BLACKBIRDS around which wasn’t really a surprise given the woodland swampland in which I was walking. Still a great bird to see, though! It was also nice to hear them singing.

Then, I spotted IT. I motioned to the other birders searching the area including Jeff Skrentny and the Tolzmanns and most everyone, I believe, got on it! SUPER AWESOME — TOWNSEND’S WARBLER! The last time I saw this bird in Chicago was a few springs (?) ago in Grant Park, high up in a tree.

It quickly flittered away though, leaving all of us with somewhat unsatisfactory, short views. So I continued on, looping back to Dundee Road and scanning for the colorful little warbler.

This was the habitat the warbler was frequenting today:


Then, a magical moment happened when nobody else was around. The Townsend’s seemed to materialize right before my eyes, so I just froze in place and snapped away. INCREDIBLE — the best views I have ever gotten of this bird! Presumably due to the cold temperatures today, the warbler was foraging right around the bank of the stream, rarely getting any higher than a foot into shrubs. So it offered some amazing looks!

W O W !

And with that, I was more than happy to head home. I made a quick stop at the main entrance of the forest preserve where I had my first-of-the-year BROWN THRASHER:


A very successful twitch! THIS is how I like to bird, hah! Bird-of-the-day to the Townsend’s Warbler with runner-up to the Rusty Blackbirds. Stay tuned, migration is just getting better and better. (by the way, I will not be going to Iowa tomorrow; the Ruff presumably flew with the bad weather that has recently moved through)

Good birding,
World Life List: 1112 Species

Posted by skwclar 19:18 Archived in USA

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Great photos of the Townsend's warbler.

by Marlene Scott

Stunning Townsend's warbler photos! Liz

by liz cifani

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