Friday, October 14, 2005

Evening of the Yellow-rumped Warbler

This place is just chock-a-block with birds the last few days. I might have a detailed explanation of the pattern of the migration if I'd paid more attention to the relationship of when the birds are numerous and the recent hot, muggy weather, cold, rainy weather, winds from the west, winds from the south, winds from the north, and soft days like today. Soft, i.e., not windy, not sunny, damp without being terribly chilly. High today was probably only 15 or 16 C, but without wind that's pretty nice-so nice in fact that I was bitten by a mosquito.

It's hard to get out in the mornings this time of year on days with morning appointments, and what have you. It's not really light until almost 7:00 a.m. now. Evenings, much the same thing. Come home tired at 5:00 or 6:00, I've got to move pretty fast to get out before I lose all the light at around 7:00 p.m. (you'd think we'd just passed the equinox!). And it moves so quick, no more lingering dawns and dusks.

But when I saw another kinglet (all on its own) visiting the snowball bush this evening, and could hear all kinds of calls, even though the light was quickly vanishing, out I went.

Tonight it was all yellow-rumped warblers. They were feeding apparently at all levels, ground to treetop, and moving pretty fast, so I didn't get a good sense of how many there might have been. I saw as many as 8-10 at a time, and could hear more, so possibly 20 or 30. As it grew darker I also heard a song sparrow really belting out a song; a mystery bird, singing a crazy medley of the catbird genre, but somehow it didn't sound like a catbird; a huge flap and resettling of wings in the undergrowth, grouse, maybe; and the ever-present robin, along with many other chips and chucks and contact calls of various birds, unidentifiable by me. As they settled to roost or gathered their strength for a night flight over the next leg of the journey, or whatever they were doing, I had the sense of more birds around me in the far field than I have ever had.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We still have the odd tenacious mosquito, too. And we are getting bonked once in awhile by the odd dopey bee and wasp - they seem just as startled as us when they fly into us. Haven't seen a single warbler in about two weeks, I suppose they're all down at your place...