September 25, 2006 [LINK / comment]

First Ruby-crowned kinglet of fall

I figured a quick walk behind the good ol' Staunton-Augusta Rescue Squad might be worth a few minutes of my time this evening, and my hunch proved correct. I caught tantalizing glimpses of very small yellowish birds in the tree tops as the light faded, and eventually I got a good, close view of a Magnolia warbler, with no markings, so it was probably a juvenile female. Then I saw an even smaller bird with wing bars but no yellow color, and luckily it stayed in view long enough for me to identify it as a Ruby-crowned kinglet. It's the earliest in the season I have ever seen that species, beating my old record by four days. I also saw a Phoebe with the characteristic yellowish tinge of fall.

This morning a hummingbird showed up at our feeder on the back porch, the first we have seen in over a week. Meanwhile, the Goldfinches are quickly losing their yellow breeding plumage as the summer quickly turns to fall.