Winged Wednesday XIX: The Shadow of Uncertainty
I fell short this morning. An unfamiliar song kept me following a skulker in the thick shrubs along the Barrier Beach Trail. Sweet sisiswit switchew ended up in my notebook. With a Chestnut-sided Warbler behind me and a Common Yellowthroat in front, I kept trying to convince myself this was an aberrant song from a resident, probably an inexperienced yellowthroat stumbling through its early attempts. Still, it was consistent, except for those occasions when immediately after finishing a song it would repeat itself once or twice as if mumbling an addendum.
As far as I could tell, the bird was never more than a foot or two above the ground and it seemed constantly on the move. I was grateful that its travels kept it reasonably close by. For a quarter hour I remained confident it would pop up for one good clear view. Now and then I'd catch movement and immediately train binoculars on the spot, but branches and leaves obscured what might have been there.
In all, I had three glimpses of a brown and yellow, notably unbrilliant bird before it moved deeper into the undergrowth and eventually stopped singing.
I struggled to convince myself it was probably just a yellowthroat, commonest of the warblers here. Back in the office, a book check and web search suggested something else, a rare warbler that was in the back of my mind the whole time I was attempting confirmation: Hooded.
So keep an ear open, would you? And let me know what you see.