Hi everyone. This is a bittersweet blog. I was out watching my birds just now-shocking, I know. A beautiful Baltimore Oriole was singing as she sat in my tree looking wistfully at the grape jelly covered by bees. She finally came and got some! My hummingbirds have also been very frequent visitors to the feeders this week. One little lady keeps flying close to my face, as if she is trying to remember my features for next spring! My Gray Catbirds are around, but not very visible anymore. I am enjoying my time with these precious birds as I know my time with them will end soon. Any day now, the male hummers will leave on their journey south and the others will follow soon after. I do not want to say goodbye to my feathered friends. ☹
On the bright side, fall is another great opportunity to see lots of beautiful birds. (I just wish it didn’t mean winter is coming next LOL.) We are in another high-intensity time for the number of migrating birds moving through our area now. You can see all the warblers, vireos, tanagers, waxwings, sparrows, flycatchers, swallows, thrushes, shorebirds and more that passed through this past spring! You can check eBird maps for info in your town! You can also read about all the different types of birds you may see in my SPRING MIGRANT series of blogs. They are loaded with pictures and sounds to help you identify the birds on their return journeys.
Again, remember that location is key to the types of birds you can see. You will see different birds in different habitats. As I noted in the spring, the birds will migrate at night. The best time to see them is around 6-8am, though they will generally hang around for the day to rest and eat in preparation for their next night’s flight. I was looking at my eBird reports from last year to see when my birds left me and what times I saw migrants in my yard. I saw my last hummer on September 21st and last oriole on the 25th. I saw a lot of migrant activity in the early mornings, but also around 2:00 in the afternoon. I remember a large group of Black-throated Green Warblers stopping by to eat berries in my trees. I also remember lots of Blue-headed Vireos and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. These birds were so intent on eating and resting that they were not overly bothered by me and my pesky camera.
I just gave a presentation on the local areas that you can visit to see the migrants passing through. Look on my site to see some of specific birds I saw in Fannie Stebbins and the sandbar in Longmeadow, Forest Park in Springfield, Conant Brook Damn in Monson, Laughing Brook in Hampden and Sawmill Pond area in Wilbraham. I know there are lots of other places as well. I visited Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Northampton, Silvie O. Conte Nature Trail in Hadley area and the Quabbin this past week. I saw LOTS of Warblers. My friend Lori even got a picture of a Blackburnian Warbler, and I missed it! I will add some pictures of my recent birds below along with her guest photo!
The shorebirds are struggling to find places to land with this current drought, so you need to go to larger water sources. I have seen some Great Egrets, Killdeer, and different Sandpipers at the sandbar in Longmeadow. I was surprised that I didn’t see much for shorebirds in the Quabbin. Birders have also been seeing an influx of Red-breasted Nuthatches and Red Crossbills lately. This would be a great opportunity to see them as Crossbill sightings are quite rare locally. I know that there are lots of other local places that you likely visit. I would be SO GRATEFUL if you could add your places in the comments section below! PLEASE! Time to go for now as I need to visit with my feather babies before they leave me. Please share and subscribe-I need help spreading the word about my sites. Thanks. Take care, Robin. 😊