American Redstart, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Audubon's Warbler at Rush Creek

Observers: Justin Hite
Email: justinhite@gmail.com
Remote Name: 65.241.2.253
Date: 11/18/2006
Time: 06:51 PM -0500

I took a quick lunch break to run down to the Rush Creek Delta today (11/18), and instead of walking down the 4WD road like I usually do, I followed the lowest terrace on the east side of the creek, which kept me just above the willows lining the creek for the whole way down to the lake. And Iím glad I did because I found an American Redstart hopping around on the river cobbles below the last Black Cottonwood before you get to the lake. Heís a first-year male, with a smattering of black feathers coming in on the crown, but otherwise heís in typical female plumage. Though today is an exceptionally warm day for November, I canít imagine that has much to do with a Redstart being in the basin this late in the season. I watched him for about 15 minutes, took some pictures, and then left with him still hopping around on the cobbles and among the leafless willows and cottonwood. Gainesí book has the late date for AMRE at September 16 (found by Stuart Johnson in 1984). There was also an Orange-crowned Warbler eating buffalo berries that were turning into buffalo berry raisins, and an Audubonís Warbler being chased by a Loggerhead Shrike. For a second I thought the Audubonís was a Myrtle Warbler, but that was just the excitement of finding a Redstart getting me a bit carried away. Also 6 adult Ring-billed Gulls at the delta, along with 16 Western Grebes far off shore, about 200 Northern Shoveler, 2 Green-winged Teal, a handful of coots, Eared Grebe, and Ruddy Ducks, and one disabled Canada Goose (shooting victim?) dragging a wing on the ground.