September 4, 2006 [LINK]

More fall warblers arrive

Yesterday was sunny and pleasant, in the wake of heavy rain associated with Hurricane Ernesto ("Che"?), so I took advantage by taking a short hike on the east slope of Elliot Knob / North Mountain. I started by retracing part of the hike I did three weeks ago, and for most of the way I encountered virtually no birds at all. Just before returning to my car, fortunately, I did come across a cluster of neotropical migrants devouring insects and larvae, including two warbler species that I had not seen all year. In addition, I heard a Pileated woodpecker, a Scarlet tanager, and a Raven. Then I drove a few miles southwest to Augusta Springs, a wetland area that is now very wet. I circled the pond boardwalk and then hiked the upland trail, but saw hardly anything of note -- and far fewer mushrooms than I would have expected. As before, almost all of the interesting birds were at the very end. The day's highlights, in rough chronological order:

RT hummer (F) perched Not a bad day! * Asterisks indicate the species that were seen in both locations. On the drive back to town, I also happened to see a Kingfisher flying near the Middle River.

Swarm of hummers

Back home, meanwhile, the male Hummingbird that was hanging around our back porch feeder for over a month seems to have left for the season. Now we have two or three female or juvenile hummers zipping around all the time. To accommodate the increased traffic, we bought a second hummingbird feeder for the window, so Princess and George now get to see those tiny green wonders up close!

NOTE: This bigger-than-life-size photo of a Ruby-throated hummingbird (female, hence the non-ruby throat) is from last year.