Today, I returned to the ravine - this time with camera in hand. I carefully worked my way down the bluff and made it to the bottom. A Louisiana Waterthrush was working his way up the creek, bobbing his tail as he went. I positioned myself up on a precarious fallen tree and waited. Promptly, the Hooded Warbler emerged from a tangle of undergrowth. I raised my camera, and he flew away. He landed in good light, I lifted the camera again, and he flew away. This went on and on until finally he landed on a perch about fifteen feet away. I leaned out, trying not to fall into the creek below me, and snapped a quick photo. Yes! I got it.
Hooded Warblers are only just arriving to North Carolina. This was the first one reported in Wake County this year, though many will follow.
I spent another half hour observing the warbler. Seeing amazing birds like this is what I love most about birding. There is something utterly ridiculous in such a colorful plumage, but it makes the bird a real gem. I think that Hooded Warblers are now tied with Prothonotary Warblers for the coveted "Lucas' Favorite Bird" title.