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Fall migration 2013

August 13 2013 at 8:37 AM
Ward  (Login WardDas)
Bird Lover

I was stuck with my hoe over at the park on Saturday while my buddies headed into the woods looking for the early migrant warblers. While it was not overt, I could detect a certain perverse pleasure in their tone as they stopped by to make their reports. 'Hey Ward, Olive-sided Flycatcher on the far side by the beaver pond; a Worm-eating Warbler chased off a Black & White; a half dozen redstarts in the willows.'

The next day when I could go birding things had slowed to a few regulars like redstart and yellow and the first migrant Blue-winged of the fall season. The next day I trumped these so called friends with a Mississippi Kite on my before work walk. Take that! We don't always have good day in August but as look as their is more August there is hope.

 
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BobKy
(Premier Login bob2aa)
Forum Owner

Hi Ward

August 13 2013, 9:31 AM 

The bird-watching Gods rewarded you for all the hard work you were doing with the hoe. [linked image]

Cheers, Bob
KLEX - USA
USDA Zone 6b
Lexington.gif

 
 
Ward
(Login WardDas)
Bird Lover

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 13 2013, 10:07 AM 

Bob, all I can say is that the birding Gods are capricious Gods. We take great care not to offend them.

There was a sign of the season I falled to mention. The walk around the park yielded 4 groups of roughly 15 Orchard Orioles. They were concentrating on the Black Locusts. The next morning I found a flock of 40 or so Baltimore Orioles also feeding in locusts and this time a got a clue why. Some sort of leaf bundling caterpiller was infesting the locusts and the orioles were all over them. Back to the other oriole - this is major migration time for Orchard Orioles and these kinds of feeding flocks are usually found in weedy fields.


    
This message has been edited by WardDas on Aug 13, 2013 12:51 PM


 
 
Ruth
(Login flowerpowereverett)
Feathered Friends Moderator 2005

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 13 2013, 1:18 PM 

Ward I had to laugh when I read your first statement, or should I say, I "mis-read" your first statement!! [linked image]

2nd, I was going to pass on commenting because all I have seen around here are the 20 million juvenile House Finch, along with 20 Goldfinch and a few Rufous Hummingbirds imbetween...however, this morning's walk yielded what sounded like a Pacific-slope Flycatcher and White-crowned Sparrows are becoming more common. Then when I got home, the first Western Tanager was flitting through the mountain ash and then later appeared at the birdbaths. Yeah, yeah, no warblers yet and nothing in comparison to what you have over there but August is a cruel month typically over here. [linked image] Hopefully this weekend, I can take a trip to Eastern Washington(more cleaning at the in laws) and get some time looking at shorebirds at the Potholes, it can be interesting this time of the year if the ponds are drying up. I think I missed my window of opportunity for the Grasshopper Sparrows again, where the heck did July go anyway! [linked image]

Ruth
Everett, WA
Zone 8
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Ward
(Login WardDas)
Bird Lover

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 13 2013, 1:28 PM 

Everyone must have their Questing Bird, Grasshopper Sparrow is as good as any other. Mine is Swallow-tailed Kite. Think of your advantage - Grasshopper Sparrows stay put.

 
 
Ruth
(Login flowerpowereverett)
Feathered Friends Moderator 2005

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 13 2013, 1:45 PM 

Well, I don't think the Grasshoppers don't stay put over here. My book suggests they leave in July? And worse, the areas where they like to nest are quickly disappearing, which is depressing. All that land and we can't leave some for wildlife? [linked image]



Ruth
Everett, WA
Zone 8
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Ward
(Login WardDas)
Bird Lover

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 13 2013, 4:04 PM 

Well, perhaps Grasshopper Sparrows in the west have different habits. Around here they get a bit harder to find because singing slows down, but we see migrants more in the September thru October time frame and very few of them. In NJ Grasshopper Sparrows along with a whole guild of grassland birds are considered threatened or endangered. The strongholds for Grasshopper tend to be at military airports. I used to do surveys at McGuire AFB and if I remember the numbers right 100 pairs or more would be tallied. The grass around the runways was a dry somewhat thin grass. At other sites you find the in thicker greener grass, rich hayfields.

 
 
Ruth
(Login flowerpowereverett)
Feathered Friends Moderator 2005

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 14 2013, 9:35 AM 

My problem is that my Quest bird list is longer than both of my arms!! Black-throated Sparrow, Swallow-tail Kite, Indigo Bunting, even the simple things like Veery and Franklin's Gull and Forster's Tern, are not on my list...[linked image] But I suppose that is what keeps me going.

It stands to reason that near the airport, the grassy fields would not be disturbed; there would not be any farmers trying to plow the land. The Columbia Plateau, where Grasshoppers nest actually showed a small increase in the population, compared to the national decline of this species. And some feel that they are often missed on surveys because their high pitched call would be lost on someone hard of hearing like me lol! happy.gif

Ruth
Everett, WA
Zone 8
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Ward
(Login WardDas)
Bird Lover

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 14 2013, 10:09 AM 

I think I told this story before. This fellow I had never heard from gives me a call saying he wants to report a Black-throated Sparrow. In my mind I went "right, and I have Storks nesting on my chimney." On spec I took a ride to his house the next morning before work and there with a flock of House Sparrows was a lovely Black-throated Sparrow. So come on Ruth, they breed in your state and for me their range is a thousand plus miles way. Yes I know Washington State is huge, at least by Rhode Island standards.

 
 
Ruth
(Login flowerpowereverett)
Feathered Friends Moderator 2005

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 14 2013, 12:51 PM 

If memory serves for the record, when you told that story before you said, "Yeah sure and I have a Road-runner dressed in a sexy red dress running around my bakc yard" [linked image]

For whatever reason, a few Black-throated sparrows nest near Vantage, WA. I don't think it's because Washington is so big(it isn't) It has more to do with that there are something like 9 distinctly different ecoretions, Steppe-shrub and East Cascades being a huge part. And they are such a beautiful sparrow, I have made DH divert off of I-90 many many times, to look for them just to the right side of the Columbia River here, but have never gotten the timing right. It needs to be around June or July when they breed or you can't hear them. There are tons of people who use this park(that you can't see in this picture) for camping, especially when there's a concert at the Gorge, so I haven't had the right opportunity yet. But one of these days, something's gonna change...
[linked image]


Ruth
Everett, WA
Zone 8
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Ward
(Login WardDas)
Bird Lover

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 15 2013, 4:28 PM 

Such is life, while I work friends are reporting Chestnut-side, Black & White, Canada, Blue-winged, Prairie, N Waterthrush, Redstart etc. Here we go and by this weekend winds will turn east and the early flights will stop. I am thrilled they are having a good time.

 
 
Ruth
(Login flowerpowereverett)
Feathered Friends Moderator 2005

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 24 2013, 8:57 PM 

Well Ward, I took a few days and went to Eastern Washington and as I was afraid of, no Grasshopper Sparrows, I even tried the spot where there have been Black-throated Sparrows, but the time of day was all wrong! [linked image] Last Sunday morning however, we did go through the Moses Coulee and early enough that the sagebrushes were alive with sparrows - Sage Sparrow and more Lark Sparrows but I did not see Brewer's this time. As we kept following this old country road we came to Jameson Lake and I found more Sage Thrasher's, Say's Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird and another annoying lbj that wouldn't let me get my binoculars on! [linked image] Coming out of that area, I stopped at this rocky cliff and yes, you guessed it, Canyon Wrens, singing their heads off. I couldn't get a decent shot, they stayed in the shadows, but I recorded their song and as I was playing it back, bingo, down they came off the cliffs, 15 feet of me as DH was picking through rocks trying to find 3 to bring home LOL! Still no picture, but a fun day. As we came through Steven's Pass coming home the next day, we stopped on a whim to see the wildflowers and found early huckleberries, enough to freeze and some to make cobbler out of, one of my childhood favs that my grandmother used to make! Naturally, when I got home, Wilson's Warblers and Western Tanagers were complaining at the empty birdbaths and turned off waterfall feature...[linked image]

So fall is just starting to heat up, DH's brother is coming in from Hawaii so there won't be time for birds for a few days until he's gone...

Ruth
Everett, WA
Zone 8
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This message has been edited by flowerpowereverett on Aug 24, 2013 8:58 PM


 
 
Ward
(Login WardDas)
Bird Lover

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 26 2013, 4:12 PM 

Eventually you will succeed. I guess you need to get your husband up at 2 am so that you arrive at dawn. Good luck with that.

This past weekend wasn't exactly stellar for me either. Around here we are in trouble if we are seeing "Empty chickadee flocks and Naked chickadee flocks or just a bunch of Flocking Chickadees". This past weekend the only joiners were some Warbling Vireos and gnatcatchers (a bit of exaggeration since between us we saw 6 or 7 of the common warblers). So you might say under dressed flocks rather than stark naked. We walked around both days reminding ourselves that almost all August days are like this if we care to remember. But who wants to remember that, the rare days with Golden-wings and Mournings keep coming to mind or those days with 15 species of warblers the last week in August and Empidonax Flycatchers seemingly everywhere. Maybe it will be next week? Maybe it is time to retire and get into reality TV full time?

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Bird Lover

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 28 2013, 9:48 AM 

I saw the first warbler of the fall season this morning. It's always difficult to identify the warblers because they never stop moving and their visits are usually very brief. This one had prominent yellow on the rump and underside of the tail as well as on the throat and breast, but the belly was white. Any eye ring was slight and there were no obvious wing bars. I think it must have been a common yellowthroat.

I've been seeing warblers in my yard for several years now, but nearly all have been the yellow and gray-colored ones like the yellow, common yellowthroat, yellow-rumped, nashville, etc. I'd like to see a few of the others with black, blue, and orange/red/rust colors as well as distinct striping. No doubt some of them just won't be making any visits to urban/suburban yards.

Dan
Zone 5
East-central Iowa

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Ruth
(Login flowerpowereverett)
Feathered Friends Moderator 2005

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 28 2013, 10:14 AM 

Geez Ward, by now I would expect you would be rubbing my nose in Warblers and neo=tropical migrants LOL! [linked image] Over here the weather is starting to change, it's a good sign though we needed rain and i hope the mountains got a good soaking too!

Dan, fall is a really fun time because many of the birds you see, particularly Warblers(my favorite birds!) are either in fall colors or juvenile plummage. It is confusing, but nothing more fun than spotting and trying to track and identify them. If I lived where you and Ward lived, I would be living only for this time of the year!Very very envious!

Ruth
Everett, WA
Zone 8
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Ward
(Login WardDas)
Bird Lover

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 28 2013, 10:51 AM 

My take this morning was a young Magnolia Warbler and a redstart. On Monday a friend found a rare one for the park, a Prothonotary Warbler. They are easy enough to find in their wood swamp habitat during the breeding season but migrants are tough. I considered taking Friday or Tuesday off to extend the the long weekend but it looks like the winds will be wrong. It is going to have to pick up quite a bit before I can really rub it in Ruth. Dan, my advice is find a wooded park near you with good tree and shrub cover and check it now and then during migration. If I had to rely on my yard for warblers I would be in for a tough time. Even after 30 years in my home some of the regular warblers have eluded me there.

 
 
Ruth
(Login flowerpowereverett)
Feathered Friends Moderator 2005

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 28 2013, 5:50 PM 

Magnolia, Prothonotary, that's not rubbing it in? LOL!! [linked image]
[linked image]
[linked image]
[linked image]
[linked image]
[linked image]

Just testing these emoticons, I never realized how much I rely on them LOL! [linked image]

Ruth
Everett, WA
Zone 8
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This message has been edited by flowerpowereverett on Aug 28, 2013 5:51 PM


 
 
I love birds
(Login WardDas)
Bird Lover

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 29 2013, 12:17 PM 

And I thought the emoticons were family pictures.

So far I have missed Olive-sided Flycatcher at my park. I walked out the front door of the office to find one sitting on a telephone wire this morning.

 
 
Kevin Morgan
(Login CowboyinBRLA)
Bird Lover

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 29 2013, 12:49 PM 

For what it's worth, Ruth, I'd gladly trade you a bunch of Prothonotaries and Magnolias for a Hermit. Or even a Townsend's. I have the latter from California, but Hermit is still a bird I need, period.



Kevin Morgan
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
cowboyinbrla@cox.net

 
 
Ward
(Login WardDas)
Bird Lover

Re: Fall migration 2013

August 29 2013, 2:49 PM 

Kevin, I recall from an earlier conversation with Ruth that she doesn't have a Hermit Warbler to trade. It was something about tiny birds and 200 foot trees. The species is a sore point with me although I have seen it in several western states. Years ago I found one here in NJ and there was no one around to back me up. Maybe they need to lump all the different "B-T Green relatives into one superspecies.

 
 
 
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