Spotting a Prairie Warbler (Setophaga discolor) foraging along the dune ridge near the entrance gate to the Bodega Marine Laboratory was a very pleasant surprise while I was working in the late afternoon today (14 September 2014).
I only managed a few distant shots, but here they are, as this is my first observation of a Prairie Warbler on Bodega Head.
This species is a rare migrant in this area — they're primarily residents of the eastern U.S. and mostly winter in the West Indies.
In the photo above and those below, note the black streaks along the sides, faint wing bars, white eye crescents, and white in the outer tail feathers (barely visible). This bird was very colorful, but the bright yellow only shows in some of the photos.
This next shot was unintended, but it's fun to see the bird in flight:
And here's one more, a head-on view of the Prairie Warbler peering through an opening in a lupine: