May 20 2014
Last Sunday I hiked the Armstrong Trail at Sarah Furnace Road because I wanted to see a worm-eating warbler.
I’d seen them twice before — once at Enlow Fork, Pennsylvania and once at Magee Marsh, Ohio — but every time I’ve tried for them at Sarah Furnace where they’re known to nest I’ve struck out. I hear them but never see them.
Sunday was slated to turn out the same way. I walked to the old, closed railroad tunnel at the south end of the trail and I didn’t even hear one. Perhaps I’d arrived too late in the day. Perhaps they weren’t around. I couldn’t tell but I was disappointed and hungry so I sat down — out of sight of the spooky tunnel — and ate my lunch. Here’s what I mean about spooky. I was all alone.
By 1:00pm I decided it was time to go. With no particular object in mind I walked back to the tunnel once more. I stood around for a bit and then I heard *him* singing near me. A worm-eating warbler! Eventually he flew out and acrobatically foraged in the dead leaves. He was easy to see. Best bird!
Meanwhile, back at the Sarah Furnace parking lot, Shawn Collins had arrived to look for a worm-eating warbler, too. He recognized my car (it has this bumper sticker) but I was nowhere to be found. However, there was a worm-eating warbler near my car. He took its picture, above.
I walked a mile to find a warbler. He found one near my car. So now we know there are two.
The Best Birds are in the parking lot.
(photo of worm-eating warbler by Shawn Collins, photo of abandoned railroad tunnel by Kate St. John)