I was really glad to see Palm Warblers at a couple of different locations this past Sunday. Because if I hadn’t seen them it would have led to one of those birding dilemmas.
I have missed several of the migratory species this year and missing Palm Warblers would have just added insult to injury. Palm Warblers are usually one of the last warblers to move through so I held out hope that I would see them. Otherwise I would have been forced to list one from a sad story.
I’m just enough of a lister that I like to see my state’s year list just high enough that I have done the minimum amount of birding through the year. And since I switched jobs earlier this year and living in the Eastern Time Zone, I don’t seem to be in the field anywhere near enough. That hopefully will change as I adapt to the job.
Heading into this past weekend I had seen a Palm Warbler. But I really didn’t want to add it to the list. Maybe if I had ended the year one short of my goal I might have begrudgingly added it.
The Sad Story
One of my co-workers and I were sitting outside eating lunch in early October. It’s one of those typical brick patios with outdoor tables that manufacturing facilities seem to have. The patio area is open to the east with the south and west walls part of the factory and the north wall is windows for the inside lunch area. Shrubs and small trees are spattered about.
There is a flock of House Sparrows that live in the area and they are constantly flying into the area to get crumbs off the ground. They’ll zoom in from the south parking lot one or two at a time. They usually are moving fast and head into a bush and then to the ground for food.
So when a small bird zoomed by without any halting motion of going into the bush I knew it was something different. Definitely not a House Sparrow. Even my non-birding co-worker started to comment “What was that?” And then the
I knew right away that the bird was dead. There was no way going that speed it could have survived the impact.
It was a Palm Warbler that didn’t survive the impact. Not much else to say…
But the problem from a listing perspective was that I saw it alive before it hit the window. And I really didn’t want to count it and did the eBird gods need to know that there was a Palm Warbler in Shelby County? No.
So I didn’t count it and hoped I would encounter some later so I wouldn’t have to resort to counting it. Which luckily I don’t have too after this past weekend.