Monday, October 20, 2014

Warblers: Celebrating Nature in Murrysville

I enjoy hearing and seeing Warblers migrating back south starting in August and into September.Yellow Warbler Murrysville is a great place to hear warblers during migration because of its rural nature. These tiny birds which flit around the tree tops are in constant motion. It's really hard to spot one even when you know their songs. I'm still learning the songs of the northern summering birds, those only seen in our area of Western Pennsylvania during spring and fall migrations. The resident birds like the Hooded Warbler, the Ovenbird and the Yellow Warbler I hear all summer long. But others, like the Cerrulean, Magnolia, Black-throated Green and Black-throated Blue Warblers I enjoy mostly hearing and sometimes seeing during migration. Then there are many others that migrate through our area, for which I haven't quite learned the songs for yet, like the Tennessee and Blackpoll Warblers.

I've recently read on the PABIRDS email list that there are rising spruce budworm populations in the eastern Canadian boreal forests, on which these warblers feed. So Cape May and Bay-breasted Warblers, known as "spruce budworm specialists," should be more abundant, and will be on my 'to-hear' list this August and September for 'Lifer' birds, first time for me to try to hear or see them. And since they are so hard to see, I'm planning on listening to online recordings of these birds throughout the summer to try to memorize their calls so that I will be prepared. An excellent resource about birds with many online recordings is

Douglas Bauman

Reflections at Turtle Creek

The Story Behind the Photo

Often we shield ourselves from the outdoors,impressionist fall reflection the insects, the extremes of weather. Yet it's the temperate places in nature we yearn for the most, to immerse our souls in greater beings of existence, to squirrel ourselves away from insignificant affairs, endeavoring to envision vaster plains of consciousness.

On such a day I found myself along Turtle Creek trail in Duff Park - a 'favorite' place. Something directed my attention to white birch trees lined on the opposite bank and reflections below. Perhaps it was the way the sun had illuminated 'just so'. I was glad, and snapped a few photos.

When selecting photos to submit, I might just have overlooked it, yet this shot was perfect for the unusual outlook I was seeking.

Favorite places are often shifting. Today I have others. I'll be back to Duff to savor its essence again. I'll be sure to bring my camera. Douglas Bauman