Sunday, September 27, 2009


September is usually a dry month in these parts, however this year it has been exceptionally dry. Rain finally moved in last night and it was still drizzling at daybreak. I was actually kinda looking forward to some inclement weather as this tends to slow fall migration down a bit and causes the birds to suspend their southerly progress. It was very foggy at the house so I went down in the valley to 5-Rivers to see if anything was going on.

One of the first birds I spotted at daybreak was this Wilson's Warbler. They are very active and this one was no exception. It disappeared very quickly.

Once I started walking the trails, it didn't take long to realize that something interesting was going on. The first thing I noticed was that there were a lot of Palm Warblers "chipping" and wagging their tails.

They were all over the place and were a lot of fun to watch as they foraged along the paths. I stopped counting at 25 and there were probably a few more than that.

We only get to see them during migration, so there must have been a major movement of them out of Canada. Watch out for that spider web buddy!

Almost stepped on this one. They can be very tame and curious.

There were also quite a few Yellow-rumped Warblers mixed in. They also make a "chipping" sound while in a flock feeding. Their numbers continue to build during migration, but a few can be found in our area all summer long. There was actually a male found singing at 5-Rivers on June 19 of this year. Uncommon, as they usually stick to the higher elevations.

Now that looks like fall!

A Lincoln's Sparrow popped out of the foliage and gave some nice looks. There were a lot of sparrows around, mainly White-throated.

This is the same bird in a little better light. Another was found a little further down the trail.

A Bay-breasted Warbler was found along the edges of one of the ponds. This bird was fairly well marked and had quite a bit of bay coloring along the flanks.

Blue-headed Vireos are a lot of fun. This little guy was singing away in the drizzle and even came down out of the tree tops to see what I was up to. If you have the chance to get close to them, they actually make some very interesting sounds. Lots of soft chattering and murmurs.

It can be tough to crawl out of bed on cool damp mornings like this. This morning it was well worth it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Went out at dawn to see if migration had really kicked into gear yet. The weather has been very favorable for the migrants so I figured I would stay close to home in Partridge Run WMA.

This Bay-breasted Warbler was found in an alder thicket just after dawn. I was actually trying to get a picture of a Northern Waterthrush that was lurking in the dense cover below.

Sure makes it easy to identify them when they still have that much "bay" on them.

Found this Northern Parula in a clearing a little further down the road.

This Magnolia Warbler is the first of many to pass through the area this fall. Judging by the numbers we see here, they must be a very common bird in the boreal forest of Canada.

A Black-and-white Warbler checking out a dead snag.

During fall migration, Black-throated Green Warblers are one of the most prevalent birds one can expect to see while in the field. Plenty more of these birds to come.

Even from below American Redstarts are easily recognizable due to their unique tail pattern.

Found another Bay-breasted Warbler basking in the early morning sunshine.

It will be interesting to see how many are spotted this fall as there has been spruce budworm outbreak for the last few years in Canada.

A first fall female Black-throated Blue Warbler hanging out in the shade.

Spotted two birds hanging out on a broken branch laying on the side of the road. I was surprised to see a Palm Warbler here this early. The Yellow-rumped Warbler may or may not be a migrant. One thing is for sure, migration is definitely underway.