Fall birding

By , September 10, 2011 1:29 pm

about to leave the nest

It was 88 degrees yesterday but that didn’t do anything to stop the oncoming start of Fall and with it, the Fall birds.   In astronomical terms, fall starts with the Autumnal Equinox and this year it comes on September 23, 2011.  For birders in Minnesota, Fall starts in August  once birds leave their breeding spots and start moving out prior that final migration.  That is different for each species.  For example the Barn Swallow chicks left the next on July 26th, the brood stayed around for another month.

We keep a bird list, in the past it only included birds seen on days when we took bird trips of some kind, now we track every bird that we see (except for nasty birds like the House Sparrow).  We can look back and see when each species last visited us. This year we haven’t seen the Robin since August 8th, last year we didn’t record any Robins in August but saw them in early migration in late September until early October. 

American Redstart

Redstart in our driveway

We are starting to get our first undeniable fall migrants.  We saw a Gadwall yesterday. We saw a Pied-billed Grebe the say before. Loons are now in fall plumage.  Redstarts are a bird that should be visible much of the summer but it isn’t quite as common at our location as I would have expected. We had some in late Spring until early July, but they were not visible until August. We didn’t see them last year at all after our move, so we don’t know how long we will have them here.

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