Monday, September 26, 2016

Northern Waterthrush; Other Warblers at Lake Kittamaqundi


In spite of its name, the northern waterthrush is a warbler species. I found this one (photo above), my first one, foraging in the Little Patuxent River next to the lake on Saturday. Its habit of bobbing its tail made it hard to get a sharply focused photo. Perhaps, the related Louisiana waterthrush is passing through the area also. I saw and heard my first Louisiana at Marriottsville in the county last spring.

Local birdwatchers are looking for "fall warblers" now -- warblers passing through the area on their way south for the winter. Lake Kittamaqundi isn't rich in warbler species, but I've seen some of the more common ones. We get the yellow-rumped warbler and the palm warbler, and the common yellowthroat spends the summer here. Last fall, I came across a black-throated blue warbler foraging in trees along the shore around the north end of the lake. I note that in eBird, somebody reported a northern parula here one morning this summer. If I want to see more warblers, I must go to places like the Howard County Conservancy, where I recently saw my first prairie warbler and black-and-white warbler. But I still keep my eye on the area around Lake Kittamaqundi. You never know what could turn up, like that northern waterthrush.

/// What are they foraging or hunting for? Warblers are usually after insects or other small invertebrates. I'm not aware that they feed on berries or seeds, but I understand that you're not going to see them at feeders generally because of their diet. ///