Fall warblers are notoriously difficult. Of course, it doesn't help that the little birds are in constant motion.
I was walking across the Midwestern State University campus when I saw a far off flash of orange-brown. Thinking there might be an oriole, I headed toward the bird. It wasn't an oriole--too small. Instead it was a warbler. You would think being more orange than yellow would simplify things. It might once I have a chance to sit down with my books, but not immediately--color is rarely definitive.
The little guy was flitting from branch to branch, gleaning the foliage and ducking behind every leaf he could find. He was well up in the tree, so my neck was cranked back in an unnatural position, and my binoculars were in the truck (after all, I was supposed to be at work, not watching birds--darn it!) I got a couple of reasonable, 5-second looks before he flew off, but was unable to make a certain ID.
So what's the point of posting if I don't know what I saw? Well, the point of the study of birds is to learn, not to know. If we knew all there was to know, then it wouldn't be fun any more (but it would be a whole lot less frustrating, I am sure!)
If I figure out what I was seeing, I will post a follow up later.