Friday, January 3, 2014
Our new favorite bird
The Palm Warbler has been a nemesis of ours for several years now.This species nests nowhere near Oregon and, as its name suggests, most winter in tropical or subtropical locations. A tantalizing few, however winter on the West Coast. The occasional reports of Palm Warblers on the Oregon coast are usually in areas where shrubs and small trees co-occur with barbed wire fences and pieces of unused heavy machinery. Here they seem to have traded palm trees for rusty objects. We visited many of these sites in recent winters, often in the wind and rain, and found plenty of Yellow-rumped Warblers and sparrows, but no Palm Warblers. We had hoped to add this species to our Oregon list this year, but after a bleak trip to Astoria two weeks ago, we had made peace with throwing in the towel for 2013.
We saw many great birds in 2013, but Sunday's three Palm Warblers may be the most memorable of all.