Morning Glories – and a Black-and-white Warbler

A profusion of white and deep-purple morning glories has begun to spill out and over a roadside ditch choked with tall grass, kudzu, and other vines and weeds along the edge of the old field. I’ve been watching for them to appear – it’s a spot where they usually bloom in late summer, gracing the grass and weeds with unexpected color. The vines of hundreds of tiny bright-red morning glories also twist among them and spread even further out into the field. A burning-orange Gulf Fritillary, several lemon-yellow Cloudless Sulphurs and Sleepy Orange butterflies and a Red-spotted Purple flew over the field, some stopping on the yellow blooms of dandelions. A few early Foxtails have begun to appear. From the shadows of dense privet thickets came the raspy mews of a Gray Catbird and the song of a White-eyed Vireo, which for some reason sounded more musical than usual, a tumble of whistled notes between the beginning and ending tchick!

In a ragged old pecan tree just down the road, a female Black-and-white Warbler crept lightly over the limbs, looking for insects, her black-and-white striped coloring slightly muted, not as bright and crisp as a male’s. Among the dull-green and brown leaves of some privet nearby, a flash of yellow showed another warbler, though all I could see was a small, fluttery bird with a grayish back, very yellow throat and chest, clean white on the lower belly, and some kind of facial marking that might have been an eye-ring. My best guess was a female Magnolia Warbler – but I’ll never know for sure.

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