Hunting the Northern Waterthrush

Yesterday, I went hunting for a Northern Waterthrush . . . and found it . . . in the wrong place.

Let me explain.

Most of our Wood Warbler are bug eaters . . . moving through the trees and bushes looking for caterpillars, spiders and other delectable morsels.  The Northern Waterthrush and its cousin, the Louisiana Waterthrush  spends most of their time on the ground near water.

The Louisiana Waterthrush likes fast moving streams, while the Northern prefers still or standing water.   Both birds will move along the water’s edge turning over decaying leaves looking for a meal.

Anyway, yesterday I visited Green Point Wildlife Management Area in Dresden . . . spending an hour working a path that parallels standing water. I saw lots of other Warblers and Flycatchers . . . but not my quarry.

So I headed into the neighboring hay fields . . . hoping for a consolation prize hawk or ground bird.  The Northern Waterthrush would have to wait for another day.

With the thermometer approaching 80 degrees, and a heat shimmer appearing over hay field, I suddenly heard “sweet sweet sweet swee wee wee zoom”, the three part song of  a Northern Waterthrush.  It was coming from the bordering woods . . . there must be water in there somewhere.

As I worked my way through the heavy underbrush, following the “sweet sweet sweet swee wee wee zoom” song,  I realized it was coming from three different direction . . . three birds!!!!

Eventually I found a large, disgusting decaying pool of water . . . gnats flying around my head . . . fallen rotting trees in the water . . . and it smelled bad!!!    Northern Waterthrush nirvana!!!

Eventually, I got one to pose for photos.

Now that’s entertainment!!!!

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