Hi everyone! I have been SO busy watching the birds migrating through Western Massachusetts. Fall migration is a super time to try and see some birds you may have never seen before. It is also a chance to see some of your favorite spring migrants again! You will often see more birds in the fall because the birds born this spring are added to the numbers now moving through. The bad news is that I am down with Covid so I can’t do anything but sit around. The good news is that I can sit out on my deck and watch birds all day. Yesterday, I had over 50 different species moving through my yard! I was in bird heaven! The better news-for you-is that I took lots of pictures!
Before I got rebound Covid (yes, it IS a thing and mine is worse that the original), I was going out birding as usual. I went to Fannie and the sandbar in Longmeadow to see shorebirds moving through. Then, I went to Skinner Mountain in Hadley for 2 hawk watches to see the different raptors flying south. I also saw a bunch of hawks fly over my yard in Wilbraham. I shared some of these birds on my Meet Today’s Bird page. But I have to say that my forced inactivity has allowed me to see SO many songbirds that I would have missed being out and about! You can see all the different species as I have been logging them into eBird like crazy. I like to do this so I can compare the birds that moved through last fall to this year’s flock. You can see how to find my eBird info on the Contact Me and Robin’s Nest pages.
Today has been a slower day for migrants so I have time to blog. I am sharing the warblers I have seen first so you can see them and then go out and look for them yourself! According to Cornell’s Birdcast, Tuesday and Wednesday nights are going to have high numbers of birds moving through. This means you can see lots of warblers (and more) on Wednesday and Thursday locally! This migration alert tool has been pretty accurate so far for me. I included the link in my Resources page so you can check for yourselves to see what birds are forecasted to be moving through our area when. You can enter you city and see the number of different birds that are predicted to move through your own city or town overnight!
As for my comparison between September 25, 2021, and yesterday, I clearly saw more birds this year. However, I was out and about last year and I also was not as experienced with identifying birds. Warblers are really tricky to identify because many of them look and sound alike. When you add the differences in birds’ appearances between males and females and mature verses immature/nonbreeding birds, it gets even more confusing. Merlin is a great app to help you explore the different warblers that are moving through and identify the ones you see. It is an app, so you need to use your human judgement too. I still make lots of mistakes, but I am learning!
I often see warblers in tall trees, near water when I am out birdwatching. They are usually more active during early morning and near dusk. But, now, during migration, you have a lot more chances to see them! I have a lot of tall trees with seeds and leaves, such as Oak trees, and a few Pine trees. I have seen the highest number of birds in my trees from 11:30am-3:30pm so far this autumn season. Yesterday, I had GROUPS of birds moving through my trees ALL DAY. It was amazing. The other tip I have for you is to sit still. Focus your eyes on a spot and watch. You will see the movement to clue you in about warblers because they continuously flit about! You may also hear a bunch of different calls at once as a group arrives and moves through your yard. I have seen lots of different species arriving together in my yard as well, which has been AMAZING to watch!
Well, that is all for now! I included pictures of the different warblers I have seen in my yard in the past 2 weeks. I tried to get great pictures of each bird, but it is not easy to photograph a bird that is constantly moving in and out of the leaves LOL! I hope I identified them all correctly, but feel free to comment below if you think I made a mistake. I appreciate ALL feedback! You can check out my spring migration blogs for pictures of warblers I have not seen recently and other birds you could see migrating through now. I also posted an earlier blog on hawks in case you want to check that out to help ID the hawks you may see traveling through now. As always, I appreciate ALL my followers SO SO much! Please share this blog with friends and family. Thank you, Robin.
I also heard Prairie Warblers, Black and White Warblers, a Canada Warbler, Indigo Buntings and an Ovenbird recently but couldn’t locate them. You can see pictures of them in my spring migration blogs. Below are some more Warblers that I DID see but they didn’t want to cooperate for pictures! Better shots in earlier post but I wanted to include these to show what the birds will look like in the fall.