Sunday, April 27, 2014

Miss, miss, miss, miss, HIT

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; White-Eyed Vireo, Central Park
White-Eyed Vireo

Friday I went looking for the Nashville Warbler seen at the Oven and the Point, and didn't find it. Then I looked for the Northern Waterthrush reported at the Upper lobe, and didn't see that. Next I went uptown to the Pool, where I didn't see the Spotted Sandpiper reported there in the morning; and finally walked up and down the Loch and Ravine area, where I didn't see the Wilson's Snipe that had been seen there only an hour or so before. Oh, well. It was a nice day for a loooong walk through Central Park.

Saturday, I went to the Point, which remains pretty birdy--a Prairie Warbler continues there and has been singing, and lots of Yellow-Rumped and Palm Warblers, along with a House Wren (or two). There was briefly a nice view of a Great Egret in a tree along the Riviera across the way.

Nadir Souirgi, a very fine birder who mostly stays in the North End, showed up on the Point and said he'd seen a White-Eyed Vireo at Willow Rock. That's a nice bird for the park, and off I went. I found a small crowd of birders and photographers following a small bird high up in the trees just south of Willow Rock. I got my binoculars up and saw it was indeed teh Vireo, then tried to get a photo.

Small, active bird back in tree branches; not easy. I got a few shots off before it moved farther south, but I didn't think I had anything good. Where it had moved to, it was still back in branches and the glare was fierce, making it hard to see what was in the camera's viewfinder.

The Vireo had an encounter with another small bird, and one of them flew off. It turned out that a Blue-Headed Vireo had chased it off. I never re-found the White-Eyed, and I didn't hear that anyone else had either.

So I was happy to have seen the bird--my 107th species of the year in Manhattan--but reviewing the photos was disappointing. It was hard to judge on the little screen on the camera in the glare, but it looked like I had one photo where the Vireo was recognizable, but that's about all.

So I was delighted to see the photo above when I looked at the day's shooting on my monitor at home. Lessons:

  • Keep chasing bird reports, the ones you get make up for the ones you miss.
  • When you're photographing, keep on shooting. Shoot a lot, worry about the results later. 
  • If you're in the right place and the right time, luck can work for you.
  • Needless to say, never delete anything until you take a good look at it on a proper monitor.