Saturday 16 August 2014

Great Start to the Fall Season

For me, autumn begins in early to mid-August with the first signs of migrating birds. Unsuccessful breeding shorebirds begin their migration southward and many young songbirds start moving around in search of food.

Autumn is by far the funnest season to be birding in Newfoundland simply because there's a lot more birds than any other season - the real reason is that many rarities found.

With yesterdays Common Ringed Plover I was still on a bit of a high going out this morning. Alison and I were headed to Cape Spear to search out an overdue Manx Shearwater for her life list. Turns out that local birder Todd Boland had some lined up for us when we arrived.

On our way home we decided to make a short stop in the woods at the bottom of the hill and BAMN there was an adult male Hooded Warbler sitting out near the top of a Larch Tree wondering what all the commotion was about. There were a lot of passerines around and most were curious in our pishing. The Hooded didn't stay up for long and hasn't been seen since. Not sure how many records of this vagrant warbler there are for the island, but I would guess around 15 - 20.

I always thought that late August was the best time to really start working the alders for rare warblers. But luck was on our side this morning. I can't wait to get out and do some more!

There were at least 3 Common Yellowthroats in the area, including this young one:

I never thought it would happen, but a young Gray-cheeked Thrush also emerged from the woods to investigate the sounds - this one was along "warbler alley":

Looking forward for what else is inevitably going to come in what has been a fantastic start to Autumn!