Monday, July 23, 2012

An Unusual Year

From the exceptionally warm winter to what feels like an unusually hot summer, birding this year has also followed the unusual pattern. 

During spring this year, on a local level,  there were an unusually high number of Northern Parula in the area.  In the 20+ years I have lived at my current location, I cannot ever recall seeing or hearing them yet this year, they stayed for about a month.

Other birds that were/are locally present in higher number this year include the Eastern Kingbird,   Black-Throated Blue Warbler and Great Crested Flycatchers. 

Noticeably absent are the Common Yellowthroats.  Last year it was oh, another Yellowthroat.  This year, I feel lucky to see one at all.  What is strange, of those that I have seen, there have been far more females.

Despite what the thermometer says, I am already beginning to notice some very subtle signs of the impending fall season.  The  Dogwood tree leaves are already beginning to show faint signs of change.  Elderberries are rippening and the birds are having a field day.

Out Satuday morning for only the shortest period, I noticed that many of the Goldfinches appear to already be going through their molt.  The Goldfinch numbers have also been very high this year even though they are a year-round bird.

Canada Geese, although year round residents, their numbers decrease greatly during the summer months.  I can only assume they head north for cooler weather are already starting to return.  They vacated the pond beind the house in late spring but I am now hearing them coming in late in the afternoon.

The Wood Ducks have returned to the marsh area now that rain has refilled the water areas.  Unlike the Canada Geese, these are some that you are happy to see return.  Yes, I very much look forward to the fall and what will come through.

On the last unusual note, a gentleman that I work with kept telling me about a green bird that has been at this house for a couple of months now.  I asked that if he got a chance, to photograph it because I was very curious.  There have been a couple of sightings of Monk Parakeets in the area and that is all I could think of as a green bird.  Yes, that is what it turned out to be.   I know there have been concerns in some of the northern states where they have taken up residence and have a fully sustainable population.  It will be interesting to watch over the next couple of years and see if their numbers increase in the area. 

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