Chat heaven


Screengrab from the video I took

This morning I decided to run down to Rock Springs Nature Preserve, a wonderfully interesting area of scrubby habitat in southern Lancaster County. I had no more than opened my car door than I heard the harsh chatter of a distant Yellow-breasted Chat. When I walked out about 100 yards into the preserve I realized that there were at least 3 different chats singing around me and decided that this warranted some attempts at digiscoping them.

With my scope slung over my shoulder, I made my way down the grassy, tick-infested paths in search of some video opportunities. For the most part the chats were not cooperative, either remaining out of sight or only coming out in the open for brief glimpses.

I only explored half of the area that I could see, and conservatively counted 10 chats. Occasionally a chat would become brave and sing on an exposed branch, and even less often I also managed to get my phone lined up with the eyepiece in time to capture some video. Even if I did get everything lined up, the chats seemed to often have bright sky behind them and my iPhone had problems with the exposure. You can see some of my successes and failures in the video below.

For best results, view it full screen.

There were also some other good birds around– White-eyed Vireos, Prairie Warblers and Orchard Orioles all chattered and sang in the background as the chats stole the show.

The mornings eBird checklist from Rock Springs.