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MacGillivray’s Warbler – Highspire, Pennsylvania

Alex Lamoreaux|

After close observation between yesterday afternoon and this morning, as well as consulting with warbler experts, it seems the tricky Geothlypis warbler found yesterday by Sue Hannon at Highspire Rreservoir Park is the 2nd PA state record of MacGillivray’s Warbler! This morning, the bird was mostly seen along the boardwalk on the the north side of the lake, foraging low in the Virgin’s Bower and other vines. A number of birders were able to briefly see the warbler on multiple occasions, but altogether we had less than 1 minute of total observation time due to its habit of staying hidden low in the brush. The bird’s dry ‘chik’ call was heard many times and also recorded using an iPhone. Here are some photos I took of the bird this morning, which show the bird’s thick eye-arcs, white-ish throat, long tail, and short bill.

MacGillivray's Warbler - Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

MacGillivray’s Warbler – Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

MacGillivray's Warbler - Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

MacGillivray’s Warbler – Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

MacGillivray's Warbler - Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

MacGillivray’s Warbler – Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

MacGillivray's Warbler - Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

MacGillivray’s Warbler – Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

UPDATE – The MacGillivray’s Warbler is continuing at Highspire Park as of November 27th. I was able to get a few more photos of him this afternoon which show the molt limit on the bird’s wing’s nicely, confirming it is an immature male. The bird was much more cooperative for photos this afternoon, compared to last Saturday, but sadly the lighting was very poor for getting nice shots….I guess I’ll have to try again!

MacGillivray's Warbler on November 27th (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

MacGillivray’s Warbler on November 27th (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

MacGillivray's Warbler on November 27th (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

MacGillivray’s Warbler on November 27th (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

img_8638Also, in a classic case of the Patagonia picnic table effect, there is also an adult Ross’s Goose occasionally showing itself at Highspire Park that was first discovered by birders looking for the warbler a few days ago! This is one of very few records of Ross’s Goose in Dauphin County.

Ross's Goose - adult at Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Ross’s Goose – adult at Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Ross's Goose being bothered by a Canada Goose at Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Ross’s Goose being bothered by a Canada Goose at Highspire Park, PA (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

  • DK Cards

    Alex

    Would you know the likely odds of the MacGillivray’s Warbler surviving a Eastern Pa winter? Is their any data on this? Or, could he still make a beeline south?

    • Alex took me to see the MacGillivray’s Warbler yesterday, gorgeous bird! As far as survival goes, that is something we just don’t know. We generally find survival rates for birds by banding them and then recapturing some percentage of them. We would have to start banding all vagrants to even get a hint at this.