Bird list & natural events, October 2012

Like September before it, October’s weather was largely glorious and stable, continuing to make up (in some small way) for the brutal conditions of the past summer. We received the first hard frosts, including multiple nights in a row of hard freezes. It was also an extraordinarily busy month for us, with a wedding anniversary, major CSA event, family visit, garlic planting, irrigation removal, and more, keeping us from observing and enjoying the outdoors on the farm in this wonderful month as much as we’d like. Early November continues this trend, so we haven’t put together a photo collection or more detailed observations this time, just a reasonably complete bird list.

RECORDED IN OCTOBER (37 species, 11 new, 29 unobserved since September)
This is the month we transition toward a stable winter bird population, with most migrants either already gone or on their way out (compare the 37 species this month to 55 in September). A few winter residents arrive from further north, such as Juncos and Flickers, which will be regulars until spring. As always, a few unusual ones happen to be spotted passing through, like Hermit Thrushes and Starlings.

Great Blue Heron
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Turkey Vulture (these move south for winter, and were gone by mid-month)
Cooper’s Hawk (though seen again in early November)
Red-Shouldered Hawk
Red-Tailed Hawk
Killdeer
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl
Great Horned Owl
Whip-poor-will
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker (becoming quite common and vocal as they return from the north)
Pileated Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great-Crested Flycatcher
Red-Eyed Vireo
White-Eyed Vireo
Yellow-Throated Vireo
Blue-Headed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tufted Titmouse
Black-Capped Chickadee
White-Breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Winter Wren
Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher
Golden-Crowned Kinglet
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird (very common and vocal)
American Robin (large flocks passing overhead & through woods)
European Starling
Grey Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Northern Parula
Nashville Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Black-and-White Warbler
Golden-Winged Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
White-Throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco (abundant and energetic)
Red-Winged Blackbird

Field Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
American Goldfinch
American Woodcock (seen once in pasture)
Hermit Thrush
(three seen once in woods)

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