Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Louisiana Waterthrush

Most of my bird encounters go without photographic documentation. By the time my camera wakes up, the bird is usually long gone. When I do get pictures, I’m likely to miss the characters necessary for proper identification. Luck was with me yesterday when this Louisiana Waterthrush flew up from the creek bank and perched in front of me.

Of course, my camera was in power saver mode, so I had to poke it awake. The bird flew onto a nearby branch and was briefly joined by a second Louisiana Waterthrush. My camera came to life as they flew into a larger cedar. One went high and was hidden from view and the other chose a lower branch.

LW sat quietly while I zoomed and focused, then gave me the standard mug shot views before moving higher into the tree. I tried a little pishing to see if they would come back down, but didn’t have any success.

This is the section of creek where I found the birds. I waited downstream for about 15 minutes in hopes that I might catch another glimpse. I didn’t see anything and didn’t hear any singing. I’ve read that the males are often quiet during the day after they’ve paired with a mate. Maybe they are a couple looking for a nest site. About 15 years ago, along a different creek, I watched a pair of Louisiana Waterthrushes catching insects above the water. That incident took place during the nesting season, so I suspected they had nested somewhere nearby.

When I came by, the first bird was somewhere on that far bank. Judging from what I’ve read, this looks like it could provide a suitable nest site. I’ll keep an eye out for the Louisiana Waterthrush pair when I walk through here. Maybe they’ll nest. If you think I’m fooling myself, please wait a few days before commenting and spoiling my dream.

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