For the last three weeks or so, every time I set foot on a particular trail at the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm, I’ve heard a yellow warbler. And I do mean heard, not seen.
This bird, and I suspect it is just the one, has continually frustrated me because I have not been able to see it. Most of the trees along the trail, which branches off the paved path that begins at the lot where I park, have fully leafed out, providing lots of green cover for the yellow warbler.
No matter that I’ve seen black-and-white warblers, a brown thrasher and countless catbirds in this same cluster of trees, the yellow warbler has taunted me with its song, which sometimes seemed to be coming from directly above my head.
Yesterday in the same area, I spotted a willow flycatcher accommodatingly perched on a nearly bare branch, in easy range for my camera.
Finally this morning, the yellow fellow emerged, temporarily positioning itself on on a branch high up on one of the trees. I got a few shots there and a better one as it dropped down to a another branch.
I’ve learned and grown to appreciate that birding is equal parts visual and audio observation. My listening skills have improved, but I still enjoy my avian encounters most when I see what I’m hearing.