Today I was reminded of how useful it is to birdwatch with others--especially when the others know more than you. I'm usually on my own, and my knowledge is limited. I'm never without a field guide--the convenient iBird app is installed on my iPhone--but first-time bird identification is hard, even if you have great pictures to look at. Nothing is better than a reliable companion who can say, "Yup, that's a Black and White Warbler" or "Nope, we don't get Blue Grosbeaks here; that's an Indigo Bunting."
Stopping by the Bill Jarvis Bird Sanctuary today, I encountered just such a person, and with her assistance spotted my first Blackburnian Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, and Connecticut Warbler, learned to identify a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher with more confidence, and hope to remember the distinctive call of the Great Crested Flycatcher. Together, we also spotted Palm Warblers, Magnolia Warblers, a Wilson's Warbler, and a Yellow-Rumped--I doubt I would ever have seen so many birds on my own.
Truly, a lucky morning and a lovely start to the day.