Prothonotary Warbler Notes

Karen Havlena <jkhavlena@...>

Tue, 18 Nov 2008 -  I took a brisk walk around the hospital and medical
clinics off Cypress St in Fort Bragg sans binoculars.  Hearing many
yellow-rumps and robins, I walked to the edge of a property and gave
a soft pish, just to make the yellow-rumps jump.  Out of an old fruit
tree popped a round, very short-tailed warbler with a fairly good amount
of yellow from lower breast/belly up to the top of the crown.  She was
only 10-12 ft away in a tiny, sparse bush.  "This is a good bird!"  My
first impression was PROTHONOTARY WARBLER, but I had only
previously seen males, and she was too low in the bush for me to see
the undertail coverts.  After about 20 seconds, she flew into another
tree in the yard.
Unable to get David Jensen or Toby Tobkin on the phone, I called Jim
and persuaded him to drive down with my Warblers guide, which took
almost 1/2 hour.  In the meantime, I refound the Prothonotary twice.

She took a bath in an old apple tree by rubbing through the wet leaves
for about 3 minutes, a neat maneuver to observe.  During this bath,
I was able to see good field marks:  long, white spots in the short tail;
white undertail coverts; smooth, slate gray wings - no wing bars; green
mantle almost as green as imm Chestnut-sided; round, black eye on
a plain yellow face. The yellow wash on belly, breast, face and up onto
the crown gave way to greenish tips of the feathers on the back crown
and nape.
After this, she flew to a Douglas-fir and sat near the trunk by some ivy.
I lost her when some clinic workers came out for break, and sat right
under the fir.  Then, Jim arrived.  Later Richard, Toby and finally Matthew
came.  No luck.  I am so disappointed that, so far nobody else saw her.
I am leaving for Fort Bragg now and will write again, if she shows up.

Location:  South side of Cypress & west of River Rd.  Large, open
shrubs in the lot between the 4 large cypress trees and Ft Bragg Police
Station.  This is east of Hwy 1.

Karen A Havlena
Fort Bragg, CA 

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