A cool front and the Super Blue Moon on 8-30-23 helped to fuel migration!
So, what's up?
Let's begin with this young Barred Owl, on its own one morning, investigating the Bubbler.
Barred Owls are often seen at dawn and dusk. The owlets are curious, alert and very active as they learn about their world! This is true of all the young birds. They need to learn whether on their own or with their brood mates.
These Eastern Bluebirds came together, "Follow the leader!"
Carolina Chickadees are just as adventurous!
And, you may recall, it is these two species, the Carolina Chickadee and Tufted Titmouse, that the migrants are looking for because they eat the same foods. They are indicator species of good habitat!
The first warbler of the fall showed up on 8-23-23, a Magnolia Warbler.
The next morning, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was quickly moving about, looking for caterpillars on several trees. A telltale bit of sticky leaf hangs on its tail.
A first of season ( FOS) female Blackburnian Warbler dropped in on 8-24-23, followed by a Chestnut-sided Warbler.
The Carolina Chickadee wasn't exactly thrilled that the Chestnut-sided was barging in on its Bubbler!
There was a second bird at the Bubble on the large rock.
On 8-25-23, our FOS Bay-breasted Warbler came in. It seemed early for this one, and indeed, it was a day earlier than the earliest state record. So, I documented this bird with the Missouri Birding Society's Bird Records Committee, and wait on their final decision.
I couldn't be absolutely sure of the age/sex of this bird, it is likely to be an adult female or first fall female. Males have more of a buffy tinge on the flanks.
Black-and-white Warblers have been seen on two days so far. These may both be first fall males, the females tend to have buffy flanks.
Red-eyed Vireos have been very active, splash-bathing at the bubbler in between grabbing the white berries of Rough-leaf Dogwood and catching insects. If you look closely, this bird has a brown eye, so it's an immature bird.
A lone Ovenbird was seen bathing at 7:15 am on 8-28-23. It is also a warbler species.
It was fun to see a first fall Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at the bubbler. The yellow eye-ring is a diagnostic detail on this Empidonax species. I missed getting a good photo of its front, but here is a comparison photo.
WOW! This is the report on 8-31-23, the morning after the Super Blue Moon.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Eastern Phoebes are still very busy feeding here. See the caterpillar in the Phoebe's bill? They have some time yet before they move on.
Yesterday morning, I was hopeful that many more migrants would show up. Red-eyed Vireos were here, like the pictured immature bird, along with one Philadelphia Vireo. The only warbler that I caught sight of was this Bay-breasted Warbler at the sump puddle. This one has buffy coloration on the flanks, typical of males.
It was about noon when I heard the signature chatter of a squirrel, warning of a Cooper's Hawk. Good time for a break, I figured, and I had no sooner gotten inside with the camera that I saw the very bird drop in at the Bubbler! It was an immature bird, with its own lessons to learn.
Everybody's gotta eat!
Have a safe, enjoyable Labor Day weekend.