As the semester continues, I realize that I will not be able to make it out most days to bird. This will be reflected in the coming Sunday Summaries to come. Sadly, I am missing one of the greatest times of the year, fall migration. I have noticed more shorebirds lately, but I seem to be missing the warblers that others have spotted.
I was able to submit four checklists this week with a total of 27 species. No birds were added to my life list, but I was able to add three to my Pottawatomie County, Kansas list. Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea), Franklin's Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan), and Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus). This brings my Pottawatomie County list to 36 species.
My most observed species this week was the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) with 70 individuals. It's always fun to see them roosting in their large groups. I usually count one large group and think that they are all accounted for only to turn a corner to find another group of even more.
|Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) stepping off after the two ahead|
of it, disappearing into the tall grass.
The picture of the week this week is a Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) as it scurried away from me. I stopped on the road because I saw a head poking out of the grass and wanted to be sure that it was in fact a Northern Bobwhite. Not only did I confirm the one that I originally spotted, but there were two others that followed as I shuffled around for my camera. This is a species that I have been wanting to get a shot of for a long time now, and I was able to just barely catch the third before it disappeared into the tall grass and cedar trees.
My highlight of the week is from Saturday morning. I was at Fancy Creek State Park dong a little fishing (surprisingly not a birding focused trip), and I heard a high-pitched whinnying noise coming from behind me. I knew it was an owl, but wasn't 100% sure what species. Using my Merlin app, I was able to identify it as an Eastern Screech Owl (Megascops asio). As I went to the car to get my binoculars to see if it was close, a Green Heron (Butorides virescens) landed on a log not far from shore where I was standing. I was able to snap a few pictures, but the lighting wasn't very good and they all came out blurry. I didn't ever find the owl.
How is fall migration going for you? I would love to hear any stories about the migrants you have been able to observe so far.