My 19 Favorite Warbler Photos From 2019
In 2018 I heard a word for the first time. One day at the Celery Bog the place seemed a bit more packed than usual. I asked a photographer what he was looking for. He replied with the word “Warblers.” I acted like I knew what that was and I waited until I was out of sight before looking the word up. I quickly realized that for a short time in the spring and fall we would be invaded by some very colorful birds. The photographer that I asked was Dan Miller who has literally written the book on the Celery Bog. By the time that the warblers came back this spring I was ready to make some photos of them. As I looked back through my photos I realized that as I was out making the warblers photos in the spring I was also really learning bird photography. By the time that they came back this fall my photos looked completely different. As I write this the bog is already looking pretty bleak. It will be amazing when these birds pop back up this spring.
19. The first bird that I could really identify and make photos of this spring was the Palm Warbler. I loved their look, and even though they were everywhere I still made photos of them every chance that I got. This fall though they were not as plentiful, and I am glad that I took advantage of my opportunities this spring.
18. The Prothonotary Warbler is a bird that I rarely saw. It seemed like every time that I did though it was in a great spot for a photo. This is one of those times.
17. The American Redstart male and female look completely different in the spring. This female though seemed to be perched in the perfect spot for a nice photo.
16. I made this photo of a Tennessee Warbler in late October when I didn’t think I would be making any more warbler photos. I was actually looking for blue herons when I stumbled upon this guy feeding. I had one last warbler photo for the year.
15. The next two photos are on here because of how rare they were. I made this photo of a Canada Warbler when I turned a corner and saw it. I only saw a couple of these this year so it was very cool that I had this good of a look at one.
14. This is the only time in my life that I saw a Golden-winged Warbler. I was a little too far away, but I had a decent image of a bird to prove that I saw it. These are beautiful birds so I hope that I can see more of them next year.
13. Another Pine Warbler photo. I saw so many of these in the spring that I started to get tired of them. When they are posed so nicely though you have to make the photo. This is my favorite Pine Warbler photo from this past year.
12. Another late season Tennessee Warbler. It is always great to make warbler photos with the changing leaves. Now the leaves are off the trees, and most of the color has left the bog. It is great to make photos of the last little bit of color that we will see there.
11. One thing that I quickly realized making bird photos is that I don’t always need to make the tight bird on a stick photo. Showing a bird like this Common Yellowthroat and its surroundings can tell a bit of a story. I actually prefer these wider photos most of the time.
10. Here is another Prothonotary Warbler giving me a good angle on it. Like I said I very rarely saw these this year, but when I did it was a good photo. I have one more photo of this bird coming up on the countdown.
9. The Pine Warbler is another bird that I rarely saw. When I did though I wanted to make a nice photo of them. This one had a lot going for it. Nice light with a colorful background.
8. I tried for a long time this past spring to make a nice photo of a Magnolia Warbler. They always seemed too high in the trees for me. This one though played along for a long time slowly coming down. It finally came to this point so that I could make my photo.
7. For some reason I always think that I should show the Black and White Warbler in black and white. These photos just seem to pop to me. Shortly after I made this photo I made the photo that will show up at #1 on this countdown.
6. This was a chance encounter. I was taking a shortcut back to my car. I had done my extra lap with no success. I decided to take the paved path back to the car. Another bird caught my attention, and then this Cape May Warbler flew right into my view. It was a chance encounter, but the best look that I had at one of these so far.
5. For the amount of times that I saw a Prothonotary Warbler this year it is amazing that three images made this post. It is a beautiful bird though, and maybe it is that rarity that made me like my photos a bit more. This photo of it in flight was my favorite of the photos that I made this year. It was a chance encounter that did not last long. I was glad to come away with this photo.
4. This is another minimalist photo of a warbler. This Yellow Warbler was just hanging out in this tree a ways down the path. By standing where i did I had another tree way out of focus in the foreground which added a dreamy effect to the photo. I had a few super tight photos of the yellow warbler from the spring, but this one was by far my favorite.
3. My favorite photo of the spring was this Blue-winged Warbler. If I remember right this was the only time that I saw one of these birds this year. The only time that I made a photo of one anyway. I worked the scene as the bird just kept sticking around. I made a couple of nice frames of it, and then it posed for me. Shortly after posing it flew off and I never saw it again. I had the photo that I wanted though.
2. This fall I saw a lot of Nashville Warblers. I made some okay photos of them, but this one of one just after grabbing breakfast was my favorite. I heard the bird behind me while in a spot where usually all of the birds are in front of me. I slowly turned around and watched this bird hunt for a bug. I made this image when it hit the jackpot. We both hit the jackpot actually.
1. This was by far my favorite warbler photo of the year. Another birder had gone stomping through the brush chasing all of the birds out of the area that I was staked out by. They wanted a close up photo. One of the birds that they flushed was this Northern Parula that was looking for another place to be. While it looked it gave me this beautiful photo. This was one of those photos that looked great in the viewfinder, and you just hoped that it would be as good when you saw it on the computer. I was over the moon when it was. I love the colors and the light here. I stayed a little later that day when the light was harsher, but this just proves that sometimes you can still get lucky on those days.
A Year Of Warblers
It has now been over a year since I saw my first warbler. This has been a fun year making photos, and I can’t wait until the spring. Seeing the jump in how my photography improved from the spring to the fall has me wondering if I can make a similar jump this spring. This is not an easy hobby. It is actually quite hard. That is what makes it so rewarding though. When you can make a good image it makes it worthwhile. I don’t even want to think about all of the hours I spent at the Celery Bog to make these photos. It was all worth it though as those morning walks helped me get into better shape in a few ways. I dropped a few pounds which is always good. I also improved my hand/eye coordination which helps me make better sports photos. If you can nail focus on a little four inch warbler than a two hundred pound linebacker seems pretty easy. What was your favorite image from this countdown? Leave me a comment with your answer.