Monday, August 13, 2012

Fall Prep

Osprey- photo by Lynn Jones

It's a beautiful day out today (Monday) and it's really unfair to think ahead to Fall when the weather is being resonable after so much humidity but I can't help it.  I am not a HOT weather person and, since Sue is off for the day, I thought I would sneak in with a quick post, excited about the season to come.  For a birder the season to come is fall migration, in reality it's already here!  Shorebirds started moving south over a month ago, warblers are starting to trickle in to the area (highlighted by Sue's spotting of a Black-and-White Warbler last week), and the Hawks are coming, the Hawks are coming.

Red-tailed Hawk- photo by Lynn Jones

I love hawkwatches, you sit around staring at the sky on beautiful fall days until suddenly you have to jump up to get a good look at a bird heading quickly by.  Last year was the first fall that I spent a good deal of time out there at hawkwatches.  New Haven's Lighthouse Point Hawkwatch is probably the best known in our area, producing some amazing numbers.  I did spend a few weekend days there this past fall with Steve Mayo and company.  I also helped out Scott Kruitbosch at the hawkwatch in Stratford in Boothe Park, sometimes showing up by myself for a few hours. 

Me with bins to the sky- photo by Lynn Jones

Anyway, with bright blue skies today I thought I would get my eyes ready.  At afternoon break I headed out with my lawn chair and stared up the sky, squinting.  I guess I need to get my eyes into shape.  Not surprisingly there was almost nothing.  A few Herring Gulls flew by, Barn Swallows, Tree Swallows, and Chimney Swifts seem to be gathering to head south, and as I was getting up to head inside I finally got a hawk or two.  Reasonably high were two Red-tailed Hawks (one adult and one juvenile), likely our residents just stretching their wings.... I'll take it. Want more info on Hawkwatches, check out Hawk Migration Association of North America, they even have a map to find a site near you!

Birds- Aug 6th -10th
Total = 26 species

American Robin, Mourning Dove, House Sparrow, Song Sparrow, American Goldfinch, European Starling, Common Grackle, Killdeer, Gray Catbird, Barn Swallow, House Wren, Blue Jay, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Rock Pigeon, Osprey, Black-capped Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, American Crow, Fish Crow, Canada Goose, White-breasted Nuthatch, Black-and-White Warbler, and Carolina Wren.


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