Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pine Siskin irruption and Palm Warbler

Here are a couple highlights from my yard and Stratford Point today showing the signs of the changing season as we are about to enter October. The first is a Pine Siskin, one of two that came to my feeders today to snack on some sunflower seeds.

The Pine Siskin is another irruptive species, almost more nomadic in their ways, moving around the northeast in light numbers at the moment. Perhaps we will see a decent movement this year on the heels of the continuing and inescapable Red-breasted Nuthatch invasion that is only growing in magnitude. There appear to be a great number of common species irrupting as well with White-breasted Nuthatch moving around all over and a few Black-capped Chickadee heading south, too. Most surprising today were the over 24 Tufted Titmice I had in one large group at Stratford Point, a bright (but gray) blinking sign that they are also shifting this season.

As for the more typical migrants, I enjoyed watching some Palm Warblers feeding along Stratford Point's restored dune today. Take a look at this bird chowing down on some flying food while hawking off the snow fencing. Here it is with a catch as I continually closed in on the bird myself...

And a tasty one it is...

It's going down now...

Next please (and you can see it in flight)...

The next few weeks are going to be very exciting, and apart from the expected birds on the move we seem to be on track to host irruptive birds this well into 2013. Fill your feeders now and visit a CAS center to stock up on supplies for a very long and busy winter.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician

Photos © Scott Kruitbosch and not to be reproduced without explicit permission

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