Save the best for last

Toward the end of my walk, I sometimes think that I’ve seen all there is to see and I might as well head home.

Yesterday I was thinking that as I left the holding pond behind the townhomes. For no reason at all, I paused by some bushes and saw some movement. Probably a Chickadee, as I had seen a few just before. I watched for longer and eventually an American Redstart emerged on an exposed branch. I stayed and watched it patrol all the nearby shrubs for insects, never staying in one place for long. Along the way I was able to take a few picture, one of which was fairly descent.

Although the Redstart looks large-ish in this image, unfortunately there’s nothing for scale. As a member of the warbler family, it’s actually quite a small bird, about 5 inches long, including its rather-long tail.

I’m always looking out for migrating warblers in the spring and fall (as with the Palm Warbler I wrote about a few weeks ago). However, the American Redstart is one that will stay with us all summer. You can easily identify them in flight, even from underneath, by the two yellow-orange patches on either side of the tail. The one pictured here is a male; the females are more gray, with yellow patches.

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