Visits this week included: Barano Walk Trail, Laguna Niguel Regional Park, Wilderness Glen Park and Whiting Ranch. Continued appearances of the Yellow-breasted Chat are beginning to appear across the county. Also multiple sightings of the Black-throated Gray Warbler (Mike Sanders and I had 4 today alone at Whiting Ranch), as well as sightings of a Northern Saw-whet Owl (wish I was there for this one found by Jeff Bray and Mike Sanders on the Trabuco Canyon Trail off Ortega Highway), Western Tanagers and Black-headed Grosbeaks.
As of April 7th, I noted the first appearance this year of a Nashville Warbler on the Barano Walk Trail. The following day, April 8th, I had counted 3 and on April 9th I had noted two. Mike Sanders and I returned today and in the same location a male (had chestnut marking on crown) and female continued and another nearby for a total of 3.
Photos of the Nashville Warbler are shown below. With this species (as with many warblers), obtaining discernible images requires perseverance and timing. Both the male and female’s quick maneuvers through the oak tree branches and foliage make this type of photography quite a challenge let alone avoiding “Warbler Neck” (a term used by some birders after craning your neck in awkward positions). The images below offer good views of its sharp bill, bold eye ring, white vent and olive-green back with bluish-gray head. I managed to acquire one blurry image of the male displaying the chestnut crown patch but hoping to obtain better images shortly rather than post the out of focus image here.