2019 Favorites #3 MacGillivray's Warbler

This one hit my favorite list, not because it’s the most compelling image, but because it represented a completely unexpected return on my labors. When I built my permanent blind and installed a couple of small ponds and drips, I expected to get a lot of visits from our regular backyard birds. What I didn’t expect was the strangers that would drop in. This warbler was the last of our normal Northwest warbler species to put in an appearance-and many of them have become somewhat regular visitors for at least part of the summer.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

7DII, Sigma 150-600 C @ 600 mm, tripod with ball head and Sidekick from blind, f/8, i/640 iso 2000, manual exposure, fill flash @-2 1/3 EV. Taken August 16th at 2:49 pm.

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Wonderful capture of this little one. The colors and processing are excellent.

I can see why this might be a favorite given your story and efforts.

Hate to do this on a favorites post - but can’t help myself. Wondering about cloning the what spec above the eye? I’m guessing remnants from feeding somewhere… no biggie though. A beautiful image.


I do think it is quite compelling. A wonderful portrait. Well executed. Wonder if the small white speck above the eye is a water drop.

Hi Lon. As @Jim_Gavin guessed, the white spot is a water drop that seems to have caught the flash a bit too well. Good idea to get rid of it since it doesn’t come across as a drop.

Dennis, both the story and the image fit well with a “best of the year”. My ponds have also resulted in some “unusual” visitors. It looks to me like the migrating birds come in and follow the local birds to find food sites. I see several small dots on the bird’s belly also. To me those are part of the bird’s behavior story. The perch (which I’m guessing you added) fits perfectly.

Looks like you have a nice setup, Dennis. The details are outstanding, and it’s a nice background to work with, especially for this species.


Well seen (scene) and captured with superb detail, color, pose, slight head turn. I have seen one of these at my place, once, several years ago.

That is an excellent view of a very secretive warbler. Your blind is getting you some excellent opportunities. Overall, processing is good and the BG is dark enough to offer some separation for the subject. W#ell done…Jim

An excellent capture, Dennis. I have enjoyed all of your bird photos this summer. The setup seems to be perfect, and you have figured out the technical requirements, and seem to produce lots of wonderful images. I can see though how this can be a the top of your collection.

It appears that all your efforts payed off, Dennis! This is an excellent capture of this Warbler. Great detail and a nice complimentary colored background. Nice even lighting for a flash shot also. That’s something I have yet to try. Maybe I’ll have an opportunity next year.

Dennis, that is an awesome bird on an awesome perch. Congrats on this beautiful image.