Bird #320 — Connecticut Warbler

oporornis (from opora, autumnal, and ornis, bird) agilis (active, nimble)

Tuesday, May 22, 1990 — 11:40 am

Hoffman Estates, Illinois — Poplar Creek Forest Preserve

I had been doing a lot more birding since my work moved its headquarters to Streamwood and spent many lunches and breaks outside.  On this day, I walked across the Bode-Bartlett intersection at lunch for some birding on the horse trails that lace the woods in that section.

I had just started down the trail, perhaps 50 yards from the road, when I saw a greenish bird fly up from the ground and disappear into a thicket of small trees.  I followed after it.  The trees were very close together, but there were no leaves below seven feet, so I could see pretty well.  I immediately saw the bird fly to a branch about 12 feet away and about six feet off the ground, in plain view from where I stood.  And there it sat.  I knew it was something exciting right away, but I had let my skills slip in recent years, so I wasn’t sure exactly what it was.  Fortunately, the bird was patient with me.  I had a chance to study it and memorize the field marks.  When I knew what it looked like, I checked my Peterson’s.  My suspicions were correct.  Connecticut Warbler!  When I looked up, the bird was gone.  I couldn’t find it again, but it didn’t matter.  I was elated.

A nearby Willow Flycatcher sang the entire time I was in the area, and my first Illinois Yellow-bellied Flycatcher a few minutes later sweetened the pot.

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