Migration Update

No, not ours. The birds, man, the birds. It's fall. That whole "south for the winter" thing, y'know?

Fall migration has been a fact for a long, long time, but this is the first time in 20 years where I've really been in a position to do much about it. The fall trimester at Woodberry is insanely busy at the best of times, and if there's ANYthing going on with, say, your family of friends--somebody performing in a play, maybe, or having a birthday--you can kiss your birding opportunities goodbye. (Note: August 22nd, 26th, and 31st, September 3rd, 25th, and 28th, and October 6th are all birthdays or anniversaries for members of my family.)

In short, I have probably had more autumnal birding opportunities in Richmond than I had in the typical five-year stretch at WoFo, and the fact that I live across the street from a large and attractive park hasn't hurt my ability to take advantage of them. Nor has the recent weather, which sent a hurricane (and a lot of storm-displaced migrants) into our area and then turned into a series of gorgeous days. Nor has the fact that I've got a couple of local birding partners to encourage me.

And that, folks, is why I've been able to see a number of species I don't usually see until springtime. Forest Hill Park (including the adjacent James River Park) has yielded the following since the first of September: Gray Catbird, Belted Kingfisher, Pine Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Black-throated Green Warbler, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Purple Martin, American Redstart, Scarlet Tanager, and Black-and-White Warbler. Toss in my end-of-August trip to Kerr Lake, on which I got one lifer (Brown Booby) and several first-of-year birds (Red-headed Woodpecker, White-eyed Vireo, Cliff Swallow, and Laughing Gull) and the Common Nighthawks I spotted at the Diamond during my first Seven Hills "faculty meeting" on August 25th, and I have to call it a mighty productive six weeks.

As I seem to be saying a lot, I could get used to this.

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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on October 14, 2015 2:23 PM.

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