Hermit Warbler Hysteria

At 8 AM, a group of seven birders (including myself) gathered in the school parking lot in Barkhamsted, CT and set off on a bird hunt.  We split off into three groups and scoured the area, looking for the previously reported HERMIT WARBLER.  To everyone’s complete and utter surprise, we received a text message in the group chat with one word, “school” no more than an hour later.  Hysteria broke out amongst the groups as we frantically left our posts and raced to the school.  Right before the school parking lot, we saw Phil Rusch frantically waving his arms as he stood along the side of the road that paralleled the Farmington River.  We swerved into the parking lot and dashed over to where he was looking.  He told us that himself and Fran were walking along the side of the road when a small bird flew over and landed eye level in a sycamore tree.  The first thing Fran saw when he picked up on the bird was that classic golden face.  And so a series of frantic phone calls and searching ensued.  Within the hour, people started appearing on the scene.  In the four hours I was there, more than 40 people were looking for this special treat.  Only a second state record, this bird does not make it’s way often from it’s normal range of the Pacific NW.  This bird was at first very active and hard to get long views of.  However, in time the bird didn’t seem to care about the large group of birders as it made it’s way on the river bank not 8 ft away.  At times it landed only 3 ft above my head!  This western warbler appears to be pretty healthy and hopefully will stick around for many more to enjoy.

IMG_6840PS Hermit WarblerIMG_6846PS Hermit WarblerIMG_6843PS Hermit Warbler (1)

FullSizeRender (2)

Part of the group of birders looking for the Hermit Warbler

-Jory

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