Rain date: Friday May 10th
Length: 14 Hours
Hard Difficulty: Some hiking in steep elevation, hiking off path, standing shooting, long day.
Warblers are a collection of incredibly colorful birds with lots of variety that can be a great challenge to find and photograph. Join me during a full day outing to find as many of the northern New Jersey breeding species as we can. We'll start out at sunrise and shoot all day long right through to sunset. I've personally become enamored with warblers over the past 2 years and have put in countless hours finding some of the best spots around northern New Jersey to find and photograph them. They often require a lot of research and scouting and you get to skip all that and join me as I take you right to the birds! We will also be visiting mostly off the beaten path locations. One of the things I've enjoyed during my scouting for warblers is finding locations that are out of the way and not the popular "hot spots" which means we'll explore some of the lesser known areas and won't be fighting for space with other people. If you have never gone after warblers or are looking to add some new species to your portfolio this will be a great outing for you. The group size will be limited to 3 people maximum so that everyone will get great instruction and we won't have a large group that will scare the warblers.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
A guaranteed minimum of 5 species of warbler with a potential of 10 or more in one day!
Be ready for a long day of shooting, we'll be starting at 6am and going until 8pm.
Lots of low light shooting as we will be hoping for an overcast day but if it's sunny we'll be seeking out shade for better photos.
This outing will be rain or shine. Unless it's a heavy downpour all day then the outing will be cancelled and the rain date will be used. If it's just a light rain that can actually be wonderful!
Lots of waiting around. We won't be chasing birds all over but finding them by sound and then staying put in one location for a while trying for the best photos with great perches and clean backgrounds. While our goal is to get a lot of warbler species in one day our first goal will be to get great photos of each species we encounter.
Lots of travel, we will be stopping at multiple locations to find all the different species we will be after, we will be starting in Orange County southern New York and slowly working our way south and ending in the Delaware Water Gap area in New Jersey. You will be responsible for your own travel from location to location. The exact meeting spots will be provided upon your booking.
This tour will include some mild to rigorous climbing and elevation changes in the northern NJ mountains. While mostly all on trails and one of the locations does have steps, some of the climbing can be tough with your gear. Be prepared for this type of hiking.
Warblers are very challenging to shoot but I will be providing you with the best chances to get great photos of a variety of species. Be prepared for fast moving subjects that don't stay put for very long, at times it can be frustrating but when you get that one great shot it's all worth it!
Lenses from 300mm to 600mm recommended
The fastest lens you have (lowest aperture) will be ideal as we will be in many low light conditions.
If your lens is too heavy to hand hold I highly recommend using a monopod vs. a tripod. The monopod allows for the most portability and the quickest small adjustments to get clear views as warblers bounce around the forest. That being said if you are most comfortable on a tripod then you can certainly use that.
Bring snacks and drinks with you. When driving from one location to another there will be stops for bathrooms and the chance to grab a quick bite to eat but we'll be mostly on the move and shooting all day.
Bring the appropriate clothing and gear protection if there will be any rain.
Some of the area we will be walking in will be off trail and therefore have the potential for ticks and chiggers. I wear clothing treated with Permathrin that kills and prevents ticks and other small insects. It works great and allows me to walk through any wooded area. I recommend using clothing like that or at a minimum wearing slick rain paints and spraying with regular insect repellant as I've also had good luck with that method.
WHAT I WILL PROVIDE:
Professional tips and suggestions how to achieve clear, sharp and well composed photos of many different warbler species.
Suggestions how to take advantage of the different lighting conditions
Suggestions how to find and properly photograph great perches for the variety of species we will be after.
I'll share with you how I found the different species and help familiarize you with their calls and habitat so you can hopefully find them on your own in the future.
Answers to any questions about warbler photography or camera settings.
Black-throated Green Warbler
POSSIBLE TO SEE:
Other migratory species moving through the area
You can view some photos I have taken of all the potential warbler species we may encounter on this trip. Most of these photos were taken in the exact spots we will be visiting so you can see the potential of possible photos on this trip.