I like to divide autumn migration up into 3 parts. This is rather simplistic, but there’s a general pattern to the waves of migrants that come through Ohio.
Part 1 – September Warblers
Of course there’s much more than Warblers heading south early in the season. Some birds are already on the move in August. But to me, Warblers are rather noticeable and are a highlight of any migration season, even if they’re not quite as colorful as they are in the spring.
Bay Breasted Warbler
Black Throated Green Warbler
This Common Yellowthroat Warbler was curious when I made some soft squeaking noises to draw it out
This Yellow Throated Warbler is more often seen in the treetops
An adult male Redstart was quite colorful
A female Redstart, mate of the previous male
A Ruby Crowned Kinglet, often seen with Warblers
This Golden Crowned Kinglet was in the Maple Tree out front one morning when I stepped out my door
A female Rose Breasted Grosbeak, another non-Warbler migrant passing through
Part 2 – October Sparrows
As the season moves along, birds that are able to tolerate colder temperatures start coming through. Sparrows are fairly prominent in October, and most of them eat seeds as well as insects, so they aren’t in such a big hurry as Warblers for example. They’re not as flashy and they often like to hide out in thickets.
See black and white stripes? Both White Throated Sparrows and White Crowned Sparrows winter in the US after raising young in Canada in the summer
This Fox Sparrow prefers thickets to hang out in
This Tree Sparrow was my first of the season
This Dark Eyed Junco hangs out across the street from my front door, brightening up the winter for me
This bird may look like a Sparrow at first glance- but it’s a Yellow Rumped Warbler, which is often seen later in the season than other Warblers, often wintering over in Ohio
Part 3 – November Waterfowl
As the season draws to a close, various waterfowl flee the coldest northern weather and appear on bodies of water. Since I don’t often use a spotting scope or a tripod-mounted camera, waterfowl can be a challenge to get decent pictures of. There are certain locations where it’s easier to see them, and I’ll check out what types I can spot without a telescope. I hope to get better photos of these birds to show here one day!
Waterfowl (such as these Ring Necked Ducks and a Pied Billed Grebe) are often seen at a distance
This Black Scoter showed up on a nearby lake after hurricane Sandy- it’s a fairly rare visitor here, migrating from the subarctic to American coastal waters
Autumn seems to be over with fairly quickly. I wished it stayed around longer!