|Vermivora celata. Image is from Las Pilitas: http://www.laspilitas.com/images/grid24_18/5614/California_birds/Wood_warblers/Orange-warbler/p1040658-Orange-crowned-warbler.jpg|
It follows the bushtits, gleaning insects from the underside of leaves and crevices in the shrubs. I have photos of the bushtits, but not the little olive bird. I took these the other day while sitting in the same spot. They move fast and acrobatically - so it's hard to get photos of them, even though there are at least thirty in a flock. They pass over the chaparral shrubs like a softly twittering cloud:
|Bushtit, Psaltriparus minimus|
|Bushtit on manzanita|
|Bushtit on Toyon|
|Cotton ball - no wait - Bushtit! on toyon|
|Bushtit on coyote brush|
|Sweet little bushtit|
Not till I asked Randy Morgan, experienced birder and legendary naturalist, while on a recent field trip did I get ahead in my search. Olive green, I told him, with a pale eyebrow marking:
"Oh - Could be an orange crowned warbler," he said.
"'Twas not orange," said I.
"Well, you wouldn't actually see the orange!" quoth he.
"Well, then... how is a person to know? " I wondered.
But today I saw not only the little green bird and saw him open his beak and go (using the sol-fa notation) "Meee-Doh" over and over ---- But also I SAW the orange crown! Orange crowned warbler, Vermivora celata! What a little beauty! How dare they call him "drab!"
I just love it when these frustrating little mysteries are so wonderfully resolved. And now when I hear that descending warble I know - oh, he's just down the hill there. Sigh of pleasure!