"Let me keep my mind on what matters most which
is my work which is mostly standing still
and learning to be astonished."
~ Mary Oliver
It has been kind of slow lately. It's been a mild fall and temperatures will hit the mid-80's again today. But a storm front is due in tonight and that may bring in some late birds. Let's talk about some of what has been seen and discovered in these first ten days of October.
A Red-breasted Nuthatch was skittish about getting in with three Nashville Warblers and a Black-throated Green. It's easier to make them all out in those next few images.
Bay-breasted Warblers have also been in the mix.
A female Chestnut-sided Warbler came in with a small flock.
On 10-4-21, our FOS Golden-crowned Kinglet popped into view. I heard their "tsee-tsee-tsee" call several times yesterday.
One evening, we had come in to make dinner and the birds started fussing. They usually do when a large predator comes in! It was one of the Barred Owls, ready to hunt for its own dinner, or is it breakfast for them?
Not much here on 10-7-21, but at lunchtime I spotted this small bird in a clove currant (Ribes odoratum) by the pond. When I returned with the camera, it had jumped into the pickerel weed (Pontederia cordata). The plants provided great cover for this little bird to bathe in.
Birding is nothing if not a humbling experience. Exciting, yes, challenging, yes, but it definitely can be humbling! As I watched the little bird and wanted to be sure of its I.D., I thought it was a female Common Yellowthroat. I have usually found males here in the fall, though. Then, I remembered a bird that I had called a Common Yellowthroat that was in the garden six years ago, on 8-24-15. As I studied and researched young female birds that can be confusing, I figured out that the bird in the garden was NOT a Common Yellowthroat at all, but a young female Mourning Warbler.
Now it seems so obvious, but it all depends on experience. I'm so grateful for these experiences and the chance to correct my error. I don't see these species that often. We can learn so much from our mistakes. We just have to figure out that we made them, first! Birding in the fall is all about subtlety with these young birds.
Yesterday was Fall Big Day for birding, 10-9-21. Since we sit kind of low in the neighborhood, it can take a while for the insects to warm up and start moving around so the birds can find them. After all that foraging, the little flock was ready to bathe. A Northern Flicker had been in the basin, and when it left, the whole little flock came in together.
How many birds did you count in that video? There were Tennessee, Black-throated Green and Nashville Warblers, a Tufted Titmouse and a Carolina Wren. (The wren seemed a bit put out to have to share!) Some birds may have been repeats, but this kind of "flurry" is what keeps things interesting. Even after 21 years of watching birds at the bubbler, I never know when this will happen for sure, However, when it does, it's truly uplifting to stand there and simply "be astonished"!
To see all the birds since the last post, begin here: October birds