Monday, October 24, 2011

October Birds Linger Despite Monsoon-like Conditions

Despite the monsoon-ish weather and strong Northeast winds of this past week, we did manage to get out a couple days to document late fall migration. There are still lots of White-throated Sparrows (WTSP), Song Sparrows (SOSP), and Hermit Thrushes (HETH) following the front in the marsh region. Banded Blackpoll Warblers (BLPW) are still being captured and are adding fat reserves for their long trek south.

A beautiful White-throated Sparrow

Kinglets were in good numbers and a fair number of Slate-colored Juncos (SCJU) beginning to appear. Warbler species for the days we were out include: Nashville (NAWA), Tennessee Warbler (TEWA), Black-throated-Blue (BTBW), Common Yellowthroat (COYE), Blackpoll, Cape May (CMWA), Myrtle (MYWA), and Orange-crowned (OCWA).

Golden-crowned Kinglets

One of the last Gray-cheeked Thrushes for the season is showing his/her hatching year (HY) buffy tips of its secondary coverts. With the accented markings on this bird, it could be aged HY with binoculars. This is not always the case as the buffy tips can be miniscule on some birds.

Note the red arrow indicating the buffy tips on the edges of the secondary coverts
A few White-crowned Sparrows (WCSP) are arriving on the beach ridge as well.
White-cowned Sparrow
This is a Hatching Year bird with brown head stripes
With species diversity declining and increasing numbers of Hermit Thrush, WTSP, Fox Sparrow (FOSP), and Rusty Blackbirds (RUBL) we should expect a fair migration for another week or two before giving way to the wintering species.

A special announcement...
For anyone interested in the future of birds, birding, and bird conservation, please consider attending the Ohio Young Birders Conference on November 5th, in Columbus, Ohio.  This event is not just for kids.  Any adult who wants to learn more about birds and nature should attend this event, where the outstanding presentations are all delievered by young people.  The cost for adults to attend is only $20.00 and this includes a morning field trip, a songbird banding demonstration, a birds of prey presentation with live raptors, fabulous presentations by our students, many great door prizes and raffle items from our sponsors, and a delicious lunch.  And the whole thing takes place at the wonderful Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus, Ohio.   Visit OHIO YOUNG BIRDERS CLUB for more details and to register for this amazing event!

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