Tonight is the Harvest Moon, the name given to the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox which occurs on Monday, 9/23/19. Dan tells me the moon will appear to be 14% smaller than the January Wolf Moon we all experienced because it is further from the earth now.
There haven't been many new migrants seen since last week, so I will highlight some more from the sightings of 9/4/19. First up is a Blackburnian Warbler. I believe this may be a young male. It's interesting to see how beautifully camouflaged it is in the second image.
There was a Magnolia Warbler foraging on this Rough-leaf Dogwood. The bird was too busy and hungry to come out in the open. See how its tail looks like it is dipped in ink? That is one way for sure to know it is a Magnolia, This tail pattern is unique to the species.
For the first time, a female Canada Warbler bathed in the 'bubble'. Typically, they go to the basin, if they get in the water at all. I took nearly 200 frames of this bird having a blast!
A Nashville Warbler stopped by to look, then foraged in the Smooth Hydrangeas (Hydrangea arborescens) behind the bubbler. These plants really attract a lot of warblers! They look for holes in the leaves, and that indicates caterpillar activity, the primary food source for them.
The usual suspects have been busy, too. Young birds, like this Carolina Chickadee have been exploring their world. A Hairy Woodpecker found beetle grubs in this stump.
Every summer, I witness an important little event with the Northern Cardinals. One of the adults, this time a female, brings a juvenile to the bubbler, looks up at me and then leaves. Is this a plea to babysit the little one? Or is it Trust, evidenced by leaving the young one in front of me to figure things out on its own? I like to think it's Trust. For years, we have worked to make this a safe refuge for the nesting birds as well as the migrants.
The funky-looking young female started exploring and watched an American Goldfinch come in to bathe. "Hmm, well, that looks like fun!" It bathed and later came in again for a drink. Lesson learned!
On 9/7/19 there were a few migrants around. This first year female Chestnut-sided Warbler was on an American Elm (Ulmus americana).
The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been busy at the feeders and in the garden. This female had the feeder for a minute or two until the male interrupted her. The young ones have been at the orange flowers of the Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis).
Yesterday, I saw just a single migrant, another Magnolia Warbler. It was around for a couple hours and found a fat, juicy caterpillar on a young Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) in the woodland.
While I'm waiting in the woods, taking the pulse of what is here, I am so grateful for the natural beauty of these native trees and lovely birds around me. It feels like a comforting embrace, Sanctuary, set apart from the profane, ordinary world. Nature - invite it in!