My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Movement South

Sunset
Sun Set Along Red House Lake

Every day is feeling more like fall with a few leaves changing color and goldenrods becoming bright yellow. I only had two (maybe three) hummingbirds visiting my hummingbird feeder this morning and couldn’t find any Chimney Swifts this evening (assuming they are all gone now). During the daylight hours there was a migrant Phoebe wondering around the yard. I can’t even tell you the last time I saw an Eastern Phoebe in my neighborhood. As much as I hate to admit it . . . . fall is here and migrants are moving south in full force.

red eyed vireo waxwing
Red-eyed Vireo and Cedar Waxwing

This evening’s walk had many birds vocalizing around the trees which included Pine Warblers, Magnolia Warbler and a Red-eyed Vireo. I thought I might have found a Palm Warbler fluttering around but I never did get a close enough look at it. Then I had another interesting warbler in the spruce tree. . . . My first thought was a Bay-breasted Warbler but after reviewing the many blurry photos that I took, it appears to be a young Blackpoll Warbler. (You can see her yellow toes in some the other shots I took).

Blackpoll Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler

I have been watching the NEXRAD radar images for the past few weeks and looking at millions of birds moving south. It is amazing to believe that so many of these green blurs are birds moving south! I only wish I saved the radar image from last night knowing that the birds would be soo good today. Below is the radar images that I captured from this evening movement (but not as spectacular as last night’s image).

10 sep 2007
Click to see the image in motion.

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19 responses

  1. I am a little sad about the fast approaching fall weather, and the birds migrating. I will also miss the butterflies . Thanks for visiting my site. I would like to get some pictures of some of the Cardinals that live in the backyard. There are about 14 of them. One day they were all out in my front yard eating seed. That was this past Winter. *nita*

    11 September 2007 at 1:05 am

  2. Tom,

    How do you capture the movement? We had a radar irruption (for lack of a better term) along our coastal areas tonight. I would love to show it to all. I did use it to teach the tween.

    11 September 2007 at 2:56 am

  3. Beautiful sunset photo. The season was so short for migrant birds here. Four great white egrets were seen in our region on the weekend and they made the headlines of the local paper yesterday. They are exceedingly rare in this part of Ontario. But this is the time to tick off the rare migrants

    11 September 2007 at 6:33 am

  4. @ nita – thanks and will miss the butterflies also! I can’t wait to see what you do in your post with the Cardinals! thanks
    @ trixie – I use wunderground.com and there is a button that says save image.
    @ ruth – thanks and it has happened very quickly for sure! I can’t wait to start my saw-whet owls work! They will be moving very soon!

    11 September 2007 at 8:27 am

  5. Even with many of the birds leaving, and knowing cold is coming, I still welcome fall. I feel invigorated by the change and I really love the cool, dry air.

    Remind me that I said that when November gets here- it’s our cloudiest month of the year.

    11 September 2007 at 9:12 am

  6. Nicely written text, Tom, but then the radar imagery blew me away! How about some hints (best settings, best time to watch, what to look for, etc.)?
    I also found some comfort in your “I thought I might have found a Palm Warbler fluttering around but I never did get a close enough look at it.” Sounds like the story of my life with warblers.

    11 September 2007 at 10:24 am

  7. That is a beautiful and serene sunset shot. Yes, fall is definitely in the air here too on the olympic peninsula. Our night time temps have dipped in the low 40s. It’s great. We love it. Sadly though, we have already bid farewell to the hummingbirds, swallows, grosbeaks, and warblers. All gone. Our feeders stay full for a much longer time. I’m starting to cut back on how much I put out.

    That is a great map, tom. I’ve never seen anything like it. Well, except for approaching weather and storms.

    11 September 2007 at 11:05 am

  8. That radar image is breathtaking! We have hardly noticed the birds slipping away here except the barn swallows who gather on the wires in immense flocks just before they leave. I know they are leaving us though.

    11 September 2007 at 11:42 am

  9. Moe

    Interesting you should mention the hummingbirds… I just bought a house this summer and it does not have any hummingbird-friendly plants, nor did I buy a hummingbird feeder. Yet, over he past weekend, I’ve seen a number of hummingbirds buzzing around the yard as if looking for something to eat. One even landed on the thistle feeder and stuck his beak in the hole as if he were going to eat some thistle! Of course, after discovering it was only dirty old seed, he just looked over at me as if to say, what gives? Off he went!

    Other than that, haven’t seen to much migration in my yard!

    11 September 2007 at 1:22 pm

  10. It’s a shame that I haven’t had time to get out there more because there have been some nice birding mornings around here lately. Maybe I’ll have to suck it up tomorrow morning and get out there before work and just stay a little later.

    It’s so sad when winter comes and the birds are the just the winter ones (at least to me). Consider making a trip to NJ in January – Barnegat and Forsythe NWR can often provide great waterfowl viewing (such as Harlequin and Long-tailed ducks, Scaup, Scoters, etc. and Northern Pintail, Snow Geese, Green- and Blue-winged Teal, respectively.)

    11 September 2007 at 3:25 pm

  11. It’s hard to believe the birdies are migrating south already! What a beautiful sunset photo!

    11 September 2007 at 3:53 pm

  12. Beautiful sunset Tom! Migrating? Seems it’s still in the heat of summer here. We’re just now getting down into the high 80’s… this time last year, our pool was already closed. Odddddd weather.

    11 September 2007 at 4:37 pm

  13. Great shots Tom, the radar image is nuts, my yard is full of starlings and other birds fattening up on dogwood berries. It’s going to get down in the mid forties here tonight I can’t wait for fall.

    11 September 2007 at 6:55 pm

  14. Migrants will love stopping by here. We’ve had high 96-97 this week. I look forward to seeing some newcomers. I still have many hummingbirds but next week (my fingers crossed), we’ll have 50’s at night and highs of 85. Hopefully… I dread the hummers leaving.

    Your sunset photo is beautiful!

    11 September 2007 at 8:33 pm

  15. Tom, that radar picture is amazing….those are all birds? I’ve been hearing little chirps up in the sky when I take the hounds out for their middle-of-the-night relief and also when I get to work in the morning at 5:30. I find it so fascinating that the migrating birds are able to navigate under cover of darkness.

    11 September 2007 at 9:35 pm

  16. I am missing my birds too. I keep wondering what fellows will hang with me and what guys will go. So far a few have stayed and I’m happy for them. Like you Canadian Geese are still here… a few woodpeckers, our pine siskins are still eating from my birdfeeder…. I’m curious to know. I think in a way I’ll really fall in love with the ones who stay. :)

    12 September 2007 at 2:41 am

  17. Beautiful picture of Red House Lake. I have a few more Monarchs yet to hatch out and hoping we will have some sunny days for me to release them. I don’t have to work outside the house today so hoping I might see a hummingbird yet. I do get juncos wintering over at my place so looking forward to seeing them come back. And I finally found my suet feeder a raccoon took down off its hook.

    12 September 2007 at 6:32 am

  18. It is amazing that fall is here already. Stunning photos as usual, Tom!

    12 September 2007 at 1:06 pm

  19. @ Lynne – cold is coming but they are saying that temps will be above normal next week!
    @ Zen – thanks and sent you an email yesterday on the radar! Will do more info on radar on one of my post during owls season!
    @ Robin – thanks and was happy with it. BTW: I saw all that you listed today except the Swallow! Was thinking about this comment when I saw the grosbeak!
    @ Threecollie – thanks and I have not checked to see what it looks like tonight! Bet its good though! They have been leaving us for a while now! I just didn’t want to admit to it!
    @ Moe – I bet the hummingbirds are migrants and looking for the feeder the previous owners use to have their! Always good to see them for sure! Thanks for the info!
    @ Marty – I two feel that I should be out more! I have been having a hard time waking up early to bird!! Wish you luck and one day I would love to go out that way!
    @ Nature – They have been moving for a while now!
    @ Jayne – Thanks, yep! I think they are off your way where the heat is instead of where I am wearing a sweatshirt during the day!
    @ Bernie – thanks and I think fall is close! Dogwoods, very cool!
    @ Mary – wow, that’s hot still! They are on their way south for sure!
    @ Ruthie – those are birds but might have some bats and insects mixed in! In the morning the birds are communicating and preparing to land! Very cool to hear!
    @ aullori – thanks and our geese, well you know what I think! Very cool with the Pine Siskins! 3 years ago they were breeding in my yard and I have not seen them since!
    @ Toni – thanks and we had 2 hatch today with the 3rd hatching tomorrow sometime! We also had one go into its chrysalis today!
    @ Lisa – thanks and fall is here!

    13 September 2007 at 12:26 am

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