Thursday, September 30, 2021

Sparrows First Then The Foliage

I can sense the changes coming. The fields are just starting to get a tinge of color change.
I've always felt that this time of year has a mystical feel to it.
I always see these spider webs but rarely see a spider in them. They may be lurking in the tall grass safely tucked away.
Sparrows are already starting to arrive. They are one of the prime attractions for fall birders. Hopefully, the colorful foliage is not far behind!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Looking For Hawks From The Hilltops

There's a two week period every September when hawk migration is at it's peak. I could do things the right way and go to an established hawk watch site an hour away but I hold out hope that I'll be able to find a kettle of Broad-winged Hawks from out local hilltops. I went to the nearby town of Middlefield for my search.
It's amazing how the scenery can change so much just by driving 10 minutes into another town. I parked above Lyman's Orchards and set up a chair. There were some migrating warblers and sparrows traveling from tree to tree. The wind was from the north and a few clouds in the sky which makes for perfect hawk-watching conditions.
Well after 3 hours I counted  up a total of about 20 birds of prey including 10 Broad-wings, not what I hoped for. I found myself looking at kites and picking pears from the orchard. Hawk-watches are like meteor showers. Unless everything is just right-time, conditions, locations etc. then you might be disappointed. I'll just have to borrow one of my photos from an old hawk-watch. this is the type of scene I hope to see.

 I wasn't disappointed though because it was such a beautiful morning with temperatures in the low 70's, a light breeze and low humidity. I'll continue to watch the skies because you never know when they'll be passing overhead.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Not Sure Where To Look Next?

Fall migration has begun in the northern hemisphere and the weather is becoming more pleasant. The next thing to decide is where do I look for birds. I guess the answer would be anywhere and everywhere. I found a Green Heron in a flooded field (above). 
There was also several shorebirds like this yellowlegs hiding in the tall grass.
Of course, we always need to be looking up. In this case I found a nuthatch which are with us year round but the Broad-winged Hawks are starting to pass through  as we speak. I am looking forward to the formation of kettles and plan to make a visit to an established hawk-watching site. To me, though, finding a large kettle of hawks passing over your yard is the biggest thrill!