Birding (and more) in Calhoun County and beyond
Fall Warbler migration has started, with some mixed results. Lots of leaves still on the trees, making it hard to see. I did manage the Wilson's Warbler I needed, and a bonus Merlin chasing some crows helped add to the year total. Still going to be a stretch to 200. Several trips with my dog to North Country Trail have brought that trail, Kimball Pines and Bridges Park lists to 97. I've submitted it as a new Hotspot area. It has had some good warbler activity, albeit at a higher altitude than Woodland tends to offer.
The Wilson's came along with 13 other Warblers at Woodland on 9/8. Relatively hoppy morning there. It also was the start to a new Big Day high for me in September with 76 birds. My previous being 60. It has been rather unexciting beyond that. O DR N pond may end up being the best place for shorebirds, which isn't saying much. Dunlin, Golden-Plover and Pectoral Sandpiper are going to be really hard to nail.
Video of a pair of Trumpeter Swans courting
Here is catch up on some other critters seen in the past few weeks. It has been pretty quiet for them around here. A few highlights for what appears to be relative rarity.
This Red-femured Spotted Orbweaver seems to be a relatively rarity this far North. You can see in the first picture where its missing 2 limbs should have been.
This Mournful Underwing isn't even listed in my Peterson's guide to Moth of the Northeast.
Some other interesting stuff to pop up.
While Chaos has take a new form, I've been able to get out more in August to offset any hazardous effects. Shorebirding has been incredibly frustrating with the WTPs not giving up much. A small fluddle on H DR S has been the lone decent spot. Wilson's Snipe, Semipalmated and Least Sandpiper have been the "highlights" for me there. Still no Pectoral Sandpipers for me yet this year.
This Caspian Tern was the highlight of August. I spotted it while walking my dog at Brooks Nature Area. I managed to catch a fish and eat it on the fly. As usual with Stuart Lake it is difficult to get decent pics out over that body of water.
On that same day I had a decent flight of hawks overhead. A couple of juvenile Broad-winged Hawks, and 4 Red-tailed Hawks. One that really is just super odd looking. Wings seem really long and the tail seems longer. The last three shots, may or may not be the same bird, it was a few minutes later.
Beyond the Tern, only Bonaparte's Gulls at Duck Lake WTP managed to move the "rare" radar. Even the Caspian Tern was somehow not flagged as rare. Some tweaking of the settings no doubt. I still have it as a Code 5 for this area. Other than that slow and steady managed to get me to 101 for the month. It did come down to the last day where I managed to pick up a Blackburnian Warbler and Blue-winged Teal.
I added 13 birds to my August total for the county. 4 on one day on August 24th. Still the lack of shorebirds is frustrating. Both WTP have water levels too high, or too many weeds. The O DR N pond may actually end up being my best shot at a Pectoral. I thought I had 3 in the dusk, but when they flew it turned out to be Lesser Yellowlegs. I knew the shape seemed not quite right, but I've had skinny Pecs before.
Some good news was finding at least one juvenile Osprey on the F DR N Cell Tower. I was able to see it take one of its first flights. Great to see after I thought it may be abandoned.
I've had an odd Red-tailed Hawk near 24 Mile Road in the past. Very light, even for an Eastern. Always had the "What if" regarding it and a Krider's. I finally managed to get some topside shots of it, and definitely not. It is just a really light bird compared to most of them we get around here.
Lastly for the bird is what could have been some decent shots of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird at D DR S. The vine was not willing to cooperate though.
Very outside shot of 200 this year. It will end up coming down to the geese this winter more than likely. Will we finally get some Cackling Ross's, Snow and Greater White-fronted Geese to show up this year? We sit at 208 for the year, which is not a great pace but there are some birds that have seemed to be fairly regular that haven't been seen yet this year that could still show up. Along with the 4 rare geese:
My exploits in my latest passion, Birding...not Bird-watching;-)