Monday, 5 August 2019

Early Fall Migration Birding with the Sault Naturalists


For most people, fall is still several weeks away and there is still lots of summer to enjoy. For birders, fall has arrived and the birds have already started to begin their migration south.

Eleven participants met early yesterday morning, August 4th, at the Sault Ste. Marie Canal National Historic Site parking lot to start our search for birds on South St. Marys Island and Whitefish Island. As I usually do, I asked everyone what species they wanted to see during the walk. We had no problem finding Black-capped Chickadee, Belted Kingfisher, American Redstart, and Great Blue Heron, but Boreal Chickadee and Harlequin Duck did not cooperate with the requests, as expected.

The group was treated to a variety of interesting species. An immature Black-crowned Night-Heron perched in a nearby tree for us, but later on the walk, it flew right overhead and nearly landed right above us, before it changed course last second. There were not a ton of warblers around, but we did get to see Northern Parula, Tennessee Warbler, and Cape May Warblers in addition to the usual American Redstarts, Yellow Warblers, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Nashville Warblers. Chimney Swifts, a Warbling Vireo, and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak round out the highlights.

In total, 40 species were recorded in our walk, which lasted just under three hours. This is a good total for early August, especially considering it is harder to find birds in a big group. Everyone had lots of fun and we are looking forward to the next few months as fall migration continues!

The full list of species can be found here: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S58735023.

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