Monday, October 3, 2011
September wrap-up, oh, and another new bird
Common Raven in flight. Lynn's photo. We watched two of them during one lunch-hour, hanging out in their favorite spot - on top of C-32 at West Campus. At one point, one of the pair returned with a prey item, and we soon saw feathers floating from the rooftop. Bet there's all kinds of vertebrate remains up there!
For the final week of September our birding efforts were hampered by a few rainy days, but we managed to keep the species count high. Or rather, the birds kept on coming, and we were lucky to have lunchtimes available to get out for some birding.
Bird list for the week of September 26 - 30th, 2011.
Lynn's photo, at some distance, and through glass, of this week's new bird:
Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularius name links to Cornell University's All About Birds page on this species - scroll down to images at the bottom of page and look for the bird in non-breeding plumage - that's who dropped by early Monday morning last week to pay us a visit!
This is the first member of family Scolopacidae for our West Campus birding list. Our resident Killdeer, although we group it with sandpipers in a general way, is a plover, family Charadriidae.
And a good push of migrating raptors came through on the post-rain windiness. Few in numbers but high in diversity:
10. Broad-winged Hawk
15. Turkey Vulture
20. Northern Flicker
Yeah, here's one of our very own ravens!! such a nice ravenesque profile! Lynn's photo
25. Blue Jay
30. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Black-throated Blue Warbler
35. Blackpoll Warbler
Asters, goldenrod, mugwort, ragweed - fall greenery in every unmowed corner of campus.
40. Northern Mockingbird
45. Song Sparrow
50. Red-winged Blackbird
Fifty-one species. Yeah, another fantastic week of migration activity over our hilltop here at West Campus. After the first few weeks of October, most of the raptors and warblers will no longer make our list but the diversity of sparrow species will hopefully continue to climb. And then.... the winter finches!!
Where's our Purple Finch, and our Pine Siskin? our Red-breasted Nuthatch and our White-winged Crossbill. Okay - which of those four species have we NOT seen yet at West Campus?
ha! - we birders ALways have something good to look forward to!!
As the leaves thin out in September, we notice more and more nests around campus. This one has a pretty high percentage of plastic in the construction - we'll do some research and see if we can match to the species, but I know that Kingbirds and some other flycatchers will use plastic, as a substitute for a more traditional building material: snakeskin! [Lynn's photo]