Yesterday I spent some time in a quiet corner of Magnolia Plantation where pine forest and marshland come together. There is a small field that is kept mowed around a few scraggly trees, perfect for a Summer Tanager to hunt for bugs.
I watched this one flit back and forth in the higher tree branches until he took a break down closer to the ground.
A flash of red appeared in the middle of the road in front of us as we were leaving a wildlife management area. My first thought was Cardinal, but the shape wasn’t quite right.
A peak through my zoomed out lens revealed that it was a Summer Tanager! He flew to a nearby tree and I got a couple shots out the window. There was room to pull over and I stealthily got out of the car. The perch he selected wasn’t the best for a clear view, but his color in the patch of sun out-weighed a stick across his face for me.
Turns out there were actually three or four of them zipping around, including at least one female. The female is yellow and her color was too close to the the leaves where she landed and too far away to get a focused shot. Then they all scattered into the woods when another car approached.