Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Recalcitrant frog, cooperative vireo.

I was stalking a noisily vocal Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla) near the concrete pond at Paulik Park. I was having no luck with the frog; it clammed up whenever I got within ten feet.

Meanwhile, overhead, was a constant, scratchy warbling call. It was one of those calls that puzzles at first, but then sinks in. Oh! Warbling Vireo!

Though not uncommon in deciduous woods, especially during spring migration, Warbling Vireos often escape being sighted, because they are drably green/grey/yellow, and they move through the densest foliage of deciduous trees (often cottonwoods and aspens), gleaning caterpillars and other invertebrates from the leaves.

They are not a bird to inspire a novice, unless the novice has a thing for subtlety.

This one, in a birch, kept singing between mouthfuls of green larva, which gave me a sporting chance to spot it. This is my second vireo in two days (Red-eyed Vireo yesterday) and my first Warbling Vireo for Paulik Park. Neither bird is uncommon, but it's still good to see them.
Sooner or later I'll spot that frog.


Vasha said...

Speaking of larvae, today a kind woman spotted me kneeling at the edge of a parking lot with my head buried in a small evergreen, and came over to ask if I was OK. I explained that I was looking at sawfly larvae and pointed them out to her, and she admired them. That's the kind of response that's nice to get! Sadly, I was not able to interest the people who, on another occasion, accused me of blocking the sidwalk because I had stopped to watch a pavement ant war. Now, what kind of people aren't intrigued by the sight of gore and guts and desperate struggles, even if they're pretty much too small to see?

Hugh said...

Oh, I hear ya. You practically have to be wrestling a rabid skunk for people to notice, or care.

Nice (and indeed rare) that the woman was interested. The pavement ant war was cool.