While I was in California visiting family for Thanksgiving, and not birding, I continued to receive e-mail reports about some nice rarities in Idaho that I was missing out on...a Yellow-throated Warbler (3rd in Idaho) and a Northern Parula (likely to be the 12th accepted sighting by the IBRC) . Yesterday, I had my wife drop me off near the Boise River Greenbelt to do my twitching while she ran errands. Unfortunately, I struck out on seeing the warblers. What was worse were the reports from other birders seeing them shortly after I left.
Fortunately they stuck around and are still being seen today! I had one solid glimpse of the Yellow-throated Warbler, but no photo ops. The 1st Winter Northern Parula was a lot of fun to watch. What a beautiful warbler! It came in close and if it wasn't for the skys being overcast and threatening snow, I could probably have gotten better photos, but these are pretty decent.
Now, in preparing to move out east, I have been gearing up mentally for spring warblers. Now I'm thinkin', crazed vagrant warblers are coming to me in Idaho - in the middle of a snow storm! It seems the warblers were finding plenty to eat...for now. I wonder if these first year birds will survive an Idaho winter. Hopefully they wise up and move down to Arizona or some place warmer.
I also had unsatisfactory views of my life Long-tailed Duck at Deer Flat NWR yesterday afternoon at a long binocular distance, but good enough to clinch the identification. Three life birds in two days is not bad at all!