Thursday, October 6, 2011
With a temperature change of almost 40 degrees in a day (from 80s to low 40s) and wind and rain...man has Fall come in with a cold shoulder! And with it, many birds have high-tailed (all pun intended) it outta here. This morning the remaining barn swallows looked very cold and angry at the turn of events - or at their friends for convicing them to stay late into the season. But, this weather also means that many other birds will start to arrive to the Refuge in large numbers. Most waterfowl has already been seen in LARGE numbers this year - due to good water conditions - and other later species such as Scaup, Goldeneye and Bufflehead cannot be far behind. Also - a priority and premiere species for the Refuge, Tundra swans are expected any day now...so keep your eyes and ears open for the big white flocks of cacophonous Cygnus columbianus.
A few other later year arrivals to watch for: American pipits are moving through along road and wetland edges, rails and soras are "talking" about leaving, and Rough-legged hawks should be replacing our summer Swainson's.
Enjoy the birding - but bundle up!