[CT Birds] Probable young Virginia's Warbler at Durham Meadows

peeplo at aol.com peeplo at aol.com
Fri Sep 16 21:30:14 EDT 2016

Hi all,

I apologize up front for this late posting. It took me more than a day to work out what I'd seen and I was out sick yesterday. The night before last, I was walking along the river at Durham Meadows when I ran into a svelt fairly longish-tailed gray/olive brown warbler with a gray head, white eyering, white throat, thin dark bill, bright yellow undertail coverts, a greenish rump/back contrasting with a dark tail. When it turned it had dark grayish wings with no wingbars, and a sort of two-toned dark/light patern (dark gray/pale gray) to some of the wing coverts and tertials with pale edging to at least the tertials. It pumped it's tail down and up twice before dropping into the ragweed. I had to leave, and I walked away scratching my head trying to put the pieces together. Few warblers bob their tails, and what has a gray head with white eyering and white throat but yellow undertail coverts? It wasn't until I was thumbing through the warbler guide that I ran into young Virginia's Warbler. The ones I've seen have been on the breeding grounds and are gray, have red caps and a yellow chest patch...today I was able to find photos of several young birds that show  the paterns/colors I saw, and Virginia's regularly pump their tails.

Neither Greg Hanisek who checked this morning, nor I , who checked after work, were able to relocate the bird, but here are still a lot of warblers in the area. It may very well be worth a look. 

To check the area go to the White Farms area. Come down the hill, the road splits in three, left goes to the big barns, straight goes to a distant parking lot, and right goes to a close praking lot. Take a right into the close parking area. Walk through the fence north to the river, turn left and follow the trail at the edge of field and ragweed, west. The ragweed bulges out near a dead tree as you go around the bend to the right,  then hooks back to the left paralleling the river. This is the area to check. There are a couple of trails that go to the river. The birds were feeding from the deed tree near the bulge west to the second trail that leads to the river near a dead tree with a woodpecker hole in it. Good luck. I will try to come tomorrow  before or after work. Again, my apologies for the late post.

Frank Gallo
Connecticut Audubon Coastal Center 
Life is short. Bird often.

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