Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cold Fronts Bring the Migrants

The cold front that came through last weekend was the stuff that birders live for. Fall fronts such as that one promise to bring loads of migrants on the winds that follow them. Some fantastic birds were found in the area on Sunday but I was out of town. The next day, Monday the 14th, was the day I spent in the field hoping to find my share of good migrants.

One stop was a section of Mallard Creek Greenway in the University Research Park. The first bird I got a good look at was a nice yellow-breasted chat that sat up nicely in a most un-chat like way. Chats can be really tough to see sometimes. 

Yellow-breasted Chat by Lee Weber

The migrant list rounded out with black and white warbler, magnolia warbler, Tennessee warbler, and American redstarts. An adult male American goldfinch feeding three begging fledged juveniles was a highlight. Goldfinches are very late nesters.

American Goldfinch by Lee Weber

American redstarts are one of the most common migrant warblers that pass thru our area in spring and fall. Immature birds like the one pictured below outnumber adults. 

American Redstart by Jeff Lewis

Black and White warblers are common too. They forage along the trunks and limbs of trees gleaning insects from bark crevices; unlike most other insectivores that glean from the foliage.

Black and White Warbler by Jeff Lewis

Magnolia warblers are pretty numerous too. Like most species, the immatures like the one below, outnumber the adults,

Magnolia Warbler by Jeff Lewis

Tennessee warblers are relatively drab compared to most other warblers, even in fall. This species is far more numerous here in the fall than in the spring, when they are very rare.
Tennessee Warbler by John Ennis