Today, I was doing some survey work out in Steuben County. The weather was not great. Clouds, patchy fog, steady winds out of the east or northeast all day. Still, around mid-day, magic happened. Visible migration happened in a big way. Literally thousands of American Robins swept in, low and fast, and landed everywhere. Many other birds, too. Song Sparrows by the hundreds, many Savannah Sparrows, double-digit Vesper Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, even many more Dark-eyed Juncos than I've seen there all winter and spring. Bunches of Towhees. Flocks of Flickers. A couple dozen Golden-crowned Kinglets. A single Barn Swallow. In one bush, I saw 4 Song Sparrows, 3 female Brown-headed Cowbirds, 5 American Robins, 3 Northern Flickers, 2 Eastern Towhees, 4 Golden-crowned Kinglets, and 6 Juncos. It was a small bush, and there were multiple birds on every branch. Oh, and I heard or saw more than 20 Yellow-breasted Sapsuckers today whereas a week ago there were none. Saw a bunch of Northern Harriers today, too. Not sure if it could be called a classic fall-out, but it was fun.
Jody W. Enck, PhD Conservation Social Scientist, and Founder of the Sister Bird Club Network 607-379-5940