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Late Fall Migration Doldrums

Updated: Jun 1, 2022

10/6/2018 -10/14/2018

Fall migration has wound down, and, until a few days ago, the temperature was still in the 70s and 80s. In other words, it's hot. It's hard to say that migration seemed slow this year when I was gone for a good portion of it. I'm not the only one to comment on it, though. Shorebirds had a lot of wet weather and places to spread out, and passerines seemed to slip by during a lot of the bad weather. The lack of cold weather is not really pushing the winter migrants (finches, sparrows, etc.) south. This is leaving us with the dregs of migration and not much to push in behind them. In other words, we are still seeing imm. Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Trips to Daubenspeck Community Park have produced a few sparrows but no Orange-crowned Warblers. I did turn up a Sedge Wren and a couple Swamp Sparrows last weekend, and this weekend yielded my first-of-season White-throated Sparrows.

Of course, the sparrows on everyone's mind are the "orange" sparrows (Nelson's and LeConte's). Other than some reports up in Pine Creek though, none have been reported nearby. Lebanon Business Park's habitat has been mowed, and there have not been any reports from Goose Pond.

I've been birding close to home, mostly. At home, I was happy to host a Red-breasted Nuthatch for a few days. An uncommon visitor at my house, I was excited to see it hang around, and I'd hoped it would stay for the winter. At least it allowed me a few photos. It's an "irruption" year; so, I'm hoping to see a few more and maybe even some winter finches. The nuthatch at least sparked a little interest in shooting in the backyard again; something I'd not done for a while.

It's not been totally boring in the area. Eagle Creek Park has been hosting an adult Sabine's Gull for the past 6 days. After an initial attempt to find it, I finally got to see it yesterday and today. Pictures are distant but IDable. Some have gotten excellent view via kayak, and it makes me wish I'd gone ahead and gotten one years ago. Next summer will be the year. Other than the gull, there is not much else to report from the park. I took the opportunity to shoot some heron and egret shots while there. Sometimes, you just have to shoot what you can.

Thanks for reading,




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