The warblers are coming. Time to look up!

Spring migration has begun, and the warblers have started arriving here in central New Jersey. Within the past few days, I’ve seen palm warblers, a yellow warbler and common yellowthroats, all welcome returnees to my neck of the woods.

As these birds and more arrive, I need to remind myself as I wander through the woods to look up to the tippy-top branches of the tallest trees. That’s where many warblers congregate, if only for fleeting moments.

At the Mercer Meadows Pole Farm on Thursday, I spotted movement well above me and was delighted to watch four palm warblers flitting about on the upper half of a tall tree at an intersection of two paths near the old AT&T Building One oval.

I get a lot of photos like this one, a from-the-bottom view of a.palm warbler.

During migration, I must not only train my eyes but also crane my neck to spot arriving species. As a result, I take many “bird butt” photos and other shots showing the undersides of our feathered friends.

If I’m patient and lucky (not necessarily in equal proportion), I’ll get a fairly good shot that pleases me, like the one of the palm warbler topping this post.

My little buddies, the common yellowthroats, are lower-altitude birds. I typically spot them at eye level, give or take a few feet, in the bushes or out in the grassy meadows.

As I typically find it with birds that come and go from season to season, I’ll hear them for a day or two before I spot them. That’s the case again this spring with the yellowthroats, ovenbirds and Eastern towhees that have come back the past several days. I’m due to hear a wood thrush any day.

Spring is a great time to see old friends like the first-of-the-year catbird I saw this morning, and to anticipate new friends in species I’ve yet to spot. Y’all pay attention, Kentucky warblers and Louisiana waterthrushes!

My first-of-the-year catbird, which I spotted in a tree moments before I heard its telltale kitty cry of “mew.”

Published by Dan

University media executive by day, blogger by night, I am a well-traveled resident of New Jersey

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