A successful chase: Black-throated Gray Warbler

Drew WeberBirding, Chase, Rarities4 Comments

This afternoon as I was picking up Justine after classes at SUNY-ESF, I got a text message that a Black-throated Gray Warbler had been spotted and confirmed at Sunset Bay Park in Oswego County. Well, I had little hope of zipping right up there because Justine has a big stats exam to study for, but amazingly I managed to convince her that seeing a Black-throated Gray Warbler would be a suitable excuse for skipping studying.

We flew up I-81 to get to the park, only to arrive to news that the bird had just flown across the road 20 minutes ago and had not been refound. Undaunted we walked back and forth, picking up several year birds in the process. Barn and Northern Rough-winged Swallows flew overhead, Chipping and Field Sparrows flocked at the edge of the woods, and Yellow-rumped Warblers chipped from the tree tops.

We eventually gave up and headed down to the lake to see if we could locate the Long-tailed Ducks that we could hear calling in the distance. No luck there either. Turning around we headed up the road to leave the park and head back to Syracuse when we noticed that the remaining birders were all working purposefully towards the park entrance where Wayne Fidler was pointing. Flooring it, and in the process startling Justine who was finishing up the eBird checklist in BirdLog, we pulled up to the gate and almost immediately got onto the Black-throated Gray Warbler that was flitting in the trees across from the park entrance.

Eventually it worked its way over to the trees above us, giving us stunning looks and a chance for some photos.  As you can see below, I had limited success with photos, despite the excellent light as the Black-throated Gray Warbler was very active.