Bird #306 — Olive Warbler

peucedramus (from peuke, pine, and dramein, to run) taeniatus (headband

Thursday, April 5, 1984 — 11:30 am

Coronado National Forest, Arizona — Mt. Lemmon

There were patches of snow at the top of the mountain—in fields and in the woods under the trees. We parked next to a ski lodge, and Mom, Dad and Sally went in for a cup of coffee.  That amazed me.  Imagine driving to the top of a beautiful mountain and then going inside to drink coffee, of all things!  I stayed outside. The main road ended at the lodge, but a dirt track continued through the woods along the slope.  I wandered off for twenty minutes or so but didn’t see anything exceptionable except the view.

When the others finished their coffee, Dad called me.  As always, he wanted to get going right away.  He was urging me to hurry, but as I walked toward the car I kept my eyes open.  I spotted a small bird foraging rapidly branch-to-branch, tree-to-tree near the top of some tall pines.  These trees were growing down the slope, so the bird was only twenty feet or so above my eye level.  It kept to the interior of the trees and soon disappeared from view, but I got a few good looks at it and knew immediately it was an Olive Warbler.  I would have chased it, but by this time Mom, Dad and Sally were sitting in the van, and Dad was yelling at me to hurry.

Still and all, this is an uncommon, local and hard to find bird. Finding it the way I did was a treat.  We drove back down the mountain, stopping to take a walk along a small lake. But the Olive Warbler was my last lifer on this trip in Arizona.

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