Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mid-October Birds Behind Schedule

For mid-October we should have been overloaded with White-throated Sparrows, Hermit Thrushes, Myrtle Warblers, and kinglets. Only in the past week have they slowly begun appearing on the Navarre Marsh Beach Ridge in numbers. In fact, the last two days have seen capture totals close to a complete average fall total for the MYWA.

The past week proved to be a boost to this year's total with us finally surpassing an average number of birds captured for a fall season. September was quite slow and October is making up for the lull. This week's 16 warbler species include:Tennessee (TEWA), Orange-crowned (OCWA), Nashville (NAWA), Chestnut-sided (CSWA), Magnolia (MAWA), Cape May (CMWA), Black-throated Blue (BTBW), Myrtle (MYWA), Pine (PIWA), Western Palm (WPWA), Bay-breasted (BBWA), Blackpoll (BLPW), American Redstart (AMRE), Ovenbird (OVEN), Northern Waterthrush (NOWA), and Common Yellowthroat (COYE).
Here's a quiz bird for you to ponder:

Note heavy bill and wing bars
We had an opportunity to photograph three sparrow species: two Melospiza and one Zonotrichia genus.
Swamp, Song, and White-throated Sparrows
(Left to right)
Other highlights for the week:
Hatching Year Male
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (RBGR)

Male Red-bellied Woodpecker (RBWO)

Marsh Wren (MAWR)
Note the eye line and dark streaks on back

Another opportunity for a comparison of species. 
Here are (L-R) Winter Wren and Marsh Wren:

Winter Wren (WIWR) and Marsh Wren
Similar body size
Longer tail on the MAWR
It appears likely that the next week should bring in the final big push of October birds. Fox Sparrows (FOSP), MYWAs, and Hermit Thrushes (HETH) should be arriving in good numbers. The American Tree Sparrow (ATSP) will be the last vanguard of the fall species assemblage with its usual appearance at the end of the month.
Take time to enjoy the season!

Quiz bird answer: Pine Warbler.

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