Birdwatchers and Golden-Winged Warblers

Birdwatching: Golden-winged Warbler Watchers (Photo: Pete DeMola, Valley News)
Birdwatching: Golden-winged Warbler Watchers (Photo: Pete DeMola, Valley News)

Found him! Birdwatchers from across the United States studied the elusive golden-winged warbler as part of the 12th Annual Adirondack Birding Celebration June 6 at an Essex thicket. The golden-winged warbler is a “species of special concern,” said trip leader Brian McAllister. Populations have declined precipitously during the past 45 years due to a loss of breeding habitat and the expansion of the blue-winged warbler into the former’s range. (Denpubs.com)

I was meandering joyfully if absentmindedly along Lake Shore Road recently when I came upon a half dozen vehicles tucked into the tall grass at the intersection of Lake Shore and Clark Roads. I slowed. As I idled forward I passed at least another half dozen cars and then a “flock” of birders…

Golden-winged Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler (Photo: Mark Peck Bird Photography)

Actually, at first I didn’t know they were birder. I asked. They laughed. Apparently everyone who passed was asking them the same question.

“We’re birdwatchers,” one man explained.

“We’re looking at a golden-winged warbler,” a woman added. Or maybe she said, “We’re looking for golden-winged warblers.”

“Neat,” I said and pulled out my smartphone to document the occasion. Needless to say, I snapped a photo of the golden-winged warbler watchers and not the birds themselves.

At the time I was pretty sure that the crowd of binocular wielding birdwatchers were spying on one or more golden-winged warblers in a thicket near Webb Royce Swamp. But then I mentioned it to John Davis, intrepid explorer of wild places and critters. John was surprised. Really surprised.

“You mean they actually saw a golden-winged warbler?” He was excited if slightly incredulous.

“I think so,” I offered, suddenly uncertain.

“They weren’t just looking for it?”

Hmmm… Not such a subtle distinction, but suddenly I wasn’t 100% certain what I’d been told.

Species7
Golden-winged warbler (Photo: USDAgov)

So I checked my phone to see if I could find any indication from the photo whether or not the birdwatchers were seeking or celebrating. No photo. I looked again. I know I took the photo, maybe even two photos. But I must have inadvertently deleted the evidence. Or, perhaps the elusive golden-winged warbler is behind this mystery!

Perhaps you’ve witnessed a golden-winged warbler in the Adirondacks? Or the Champlain Valley?

About virtualDavis

A writer, storyteller and unabashed flâneur, George Davis (aka virtualDavis or G.G. Davis, Jr.) is the author of Rosslyn Redux: Reawakening a home, a dream and ourselves, a transmedia chronicle about rehabilitating an historic property in the Adirondacks with his bride. He blogs about storytelling, poetry, doodling, marginalia, flânerie, publishing, and other creativity-inspired esoterica at virtualDavis.com; posts sometimes exhilarating, often unnerving, occasionally euphoric, and always pollyanna "midlife mashups" at 40x41.com; chronicles his sailing adventures (and misadventures) at Sailing Errant; and delves into matters of parenting, babylandia, and childfreedom at Why No Kids? George formerly taught and coached at Santa Fe Preparatory School and The American School of Paris, and he co-founded and launched Maison Margaux: "Paris à la parisienne" in Faubourg Saint-Germain. He currently owns and operates Adobe Oasis in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his bride. George meanders on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Flickr.
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