It was awful early when the alarm went off at 5:30 am! But it was the only day that I would be able to go down and join the group watching for new warblers during this spring migration in Rock Creek Park. There is a wonderful group of birders that meet every morning---and have for years!
Daniel and I made it down there and spent a few hours searching the tops of the oak trees. After holding the binoculars and bending your neck scanning the tops of trees for several hours, you end up with what affectionately referred to as "warbler neck." Unfortunately it was a slow day for migrants---but just as we were getting ready to leave, we spotted the striking Blackburnian Warbler. This is one of the most gorgeous birds in the United States (of course some of us think all birds are in their own way), with a bright orange face and neck that just blows you mind when the suns catches it just right!
Many a birder have started their birding lives after seeing this bird! Every time I see this bird, I can understand wow! One lady that was with our group had never seen one before. After watching this orange fireball dance around in the branches, she dropped her binoculars and literally yelled out in joy.