Where: Kiptopeke, VA • Kiptopeke State Park
Notes: What would better cap off an extended weekend of fellowship with others who share a common passion for nature, than a surprise visit from a distant migrant like this? I awoke that first morning at Kiptopeke State Park, to find the brush surrounding the cabin full of chips and chirps. I waded waist-high into the scrub a little ways, to see what was there. I positioned myself just "up-sun" from a young Persimmon Tree and began to "pish" to see if that alarm sound might peak the interest of any the birds. Soon enough, a hand-full of Yellow-rumped Warblers showed up, along with a single Winter Wren, an Eastern Wood Pewee and a female Redstart. The Wren was actually too close for me to get a shot, so I stood still and enjoyed the encounter. Just then, this fall migrant showed up to see what all the fuss was about. It was very close and I was pleasantly surprised the autofocus was able to lock on the subject, at only about six or seven feet away. So when focus was achieved, I fired as many shots as I could. I had attempted to capture images of this species in the past, in the dark under-canopy of the deciduous forests where they breed. But, I had not come close to getting any images like these. What a blessing to be in the presence of such good birds and great friends!