Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fall Migration Begins...

Subtle signs of summer's passing are all around us – roadsides and bike trails are decorated with chicory and shorebirds are beginning to show up throughout Wisconsin. One birder even reported finding a Marbled Godwit at Goose Pond earlier this week. Suddenly, there are fewer grackles in my backyard (a relief). It's also the time resident Yellow Warblers perform their great disappearing act – they're one of the first warblers to head south. That's right – I'm talking about fall migration. For us, there may be many warm days remaining until the return of arctic air, but birds have no time to waste. Juvenile plumaged birds and lack of birdsong creates a unique challenge for fall birding - it's not as certain as a singing Hooded Warbler, but I like the fact there's so much to see throughout August, September and October. Near the end, Pheasant Branch Conservancy will be full of migratory sparrows – my favorite birds to photograph.

All images © 2008 Mike McDowell

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