Early Fall Migration (Gail Menk)
- RE: THE EARLY FALL MIGRATION, 2008
After mid-August, other than Yellow warblers, I did not encounter or
learn of warbler species in any numbers locally until 19 SEP when I
listed 2 Yellows, 2 Yellowthroats, a Pine, and 2 Prairie at south Lake
Jackson. On 22 SEP I experienced a mini-fallout at Black Swamp Nature
Preserve (BSNP)--5 Yellowthroats, 4 Redstarts, 1 (male) Blackburnian,
and a Pine plus another one at my residence later that day. On 23 SEP
I tallied 2 Redstarts and a Magnolia at San Luis Mission Park (Lake
Esther). As 'of above said date' , this year's Leon County Fall
Warbler Parade reads: 31+ Yellows, 12 Yellowthroats, 8 Redstarts, 4
Prairies, 3 Pines, 2 Worm-eating, 1 Blackburnian, 1 Parula, 1
Magnolia, 1 Cerulean,
1 Louisiana Waterthrush, and 1 Hooded.
With the exception of the overdue Black-and-White, Chestnut-sided,
uncommon Blue-winged and unpredictable Kentucky, reports of warblers
were pretty much in line with their status cited in H.M. Stevenson's
'Field Card of Tallahassee Birds'. Another more recent supporting
document is WARBLER SIGHTINGS IN OUR YARD, a charting of autumnal
warblers, August through Oct by Sally and Dean Jue during 1977-2004 at
their residence on Dorchester Court.
A Pied-billed Grebe at the Springhill Road Sewage Treatment Facility
(SRSTF) on 13 AUG and a Blue-winged Teal there on 2 SEP were
considered early fall arrivals. Differentiating Pied-bills from
sedentary nesting individuals during August is presumedly best
determined by presence of the former in unlikely nesting sites such as
SRSTF. My earliest-ever date locally is of one listed there on the
first day of August, 1995.
On 19 SEP, 2 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were in the retention pond
on Edison Drive (off Hartsfield Road); this recently established
county resident seems to “sample” every pond or lake in these parts.
Eight Glossy Ibis lingered at the pond on Rhoden Cove Road on 8 AUG,
remnant of the 20-or-morerecord-known number of said species ever
recorded county-wise (during the previous spring/summer period).
SHOREBIRDS, TERNS: Uncommon were a Sanderling at SRSTF (M. Forehand)
and another there on 11 SEP along with a comparatively rare Ruddy
Turnstone (GEM). Most surprising, however, was 2nd appearance there
this fall of a WILLET on 26 AUG (M. Forehand, M.Collins, GEM) –-to
date there are only about a dozen records of the species county-wise.
As of 14 AUG small numbers of migrating Forster's Terns appeared at
SRSTF and TRWTF and after a single Black Tern was listed at SRSTF on
29 JULY (GEM, M. Collins), dozens of the species showed up at the 2
sites as well as elsewhere in the county. Noteworthy were Caspian
Terns, one each, at SRSTF on 25 AUG (Jim Cavanagh), another at Lake
Jackson's Faulk Drive Landing (FDL) on 12 SEP (GEM), the latter only
a 2nd known inland September record for the Big Bend.
I saw a Veery at San Luis Mission Park on 5 SEP, also heard 3-4 Yellow-
throated Vireos; as in past years, Yellow-throateds sing well into
September―also heard one singing there on 17 SEP. Yellow Warblers
continued to be tallied at several sites locally, and 2 of those
confusing “little transient brown jobs” (fall-plumaged Indigo
Buntings) were at the Robert White Williams Birding Trail (RWW) on 2
CERTAIN LATE NEOTROPICALS included 2 Eastern Kingbirds at RWW on 30
AUG, another one at Crowder Landing on 5 SEP. And on 29 AUG I last
heard at least 3 Great Crested Flycatchers call loud and clear near my
residence at daybreak.
OTHER FAUNA: A black-legged fox and an otter continue to appear at
RWW, and on 11 SEP
I saw a white squirrel chasing another near the intersection of
Eisenhower and Ridgeway streets--recalls the famed colony I visisted
at Olney, Illinois, many years ago (post cards included).
(Mr. ) Gail E. Menk
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