I haven’t been birding all week. I haven’t done much of anything all week. Bit of an issue with an eye, and I was wearing a patch over it all week. Normally, if it’s mid-May, I’d be out birding a lot, given that it’s pretty much my favorite time of year to bird anyway. However, the weather has been so cold, gloomy, and wet, that I’m not sure how much I would have gone out today, one eye or not. Today isn’t any better, but I was getting stir crazy and had to get out for a couple hours. Took the eye patch off and headed down to Newton Hills State Park.
It was 38 degrees and windy when I left the house, but despite the cold and gloom, it was a pretty darn good morning birding. There weren’t many warblers around, but quality sure made up for the lack of quantity. I first heard a bird I didn’t recognize, and then saw him in shrubs near the path…a Black-throated Blue Warbler, only the 2nd time I’ve seen one in South Dakota. They’re usually found much further to the east. Despite the cold, he was pretty active, moving through the shrubs looking for food. Given that I’ve never photographed one in South Dakota, I stayed with him for almost half an hour and took what photo opportunities he gave me. There weren’t many, but I finally did get a decent shot. Here are some photos from this morning.