Wednesday, March 11, 2009

SWISS and a Spring Warbler Primer

As a pretty new birding enthusiast, I must admit to some slight trepidation at the onset of spring migration. Sure, I can handle the cardinals, mockingbirds, egrets and woodpeckers that make up the bulk of my birding experience to date. And I am getting a little more comfortable with identifying some of the various raptors and waterfowl that are found around here.

But as March progresses and the listservs begin to report the leading edges of migratory passerines, I have begun to feel a debilitating case of SWISS* coming on. I mean, just a glimpse of something grayish green or [gasp] yellow moving through the trees is enough to make my knees quiver and my brain, such as it is, lock up.

So you can imagine what a relief it was to open a TexBirds email this morning and find a link to local birder David McDonald's recent Warbler ID Primer post.

David has laid out his "primer" quite well, with simple descriptions and comparative photos of most all the various warblers that move through the upper Texas coastal region this time of year. And if you need to check the details a little closer, you can just click on any of David's images to see a full-size, full-detail version.

Thank you, David! I've got some studying to do, but now I feel like I can walk outside and enjoy the spring in peace and sanity. ...Well, in peace, anyways.

(* For the woefully non-clairvoyant among you who haven't yet learned to intuitively decipher my unique brand of idiocy, SWISS = "Spring Warbler Identification Stress Syndrome." I'm just sayin'...)


Lynne said...

Thanks for the terrific link Kyle! I've bookmarked it for study. Although at minus three degrees and brutal winds here in Minnesota, the warblers probably won't show up until August!!

How about SWNP:
Spring Warbler Neck Pain!

Anonymous said...

I love your SWISS creation! :0) It made me laugh. Trust me IDing warblers in Spring is way easier than fall. A lot of these warblers pass through or nest up here. I am looking forward to getting out there with the new lens.