Wonderings… by Jim Cieslak

A SILVER LINING…12-26-2020

               While it is hard to appreciate almost anything good coming out of this COVID pandemic, I think I have found something. When this all started back in spring, I decided to focus on birding and gardening to keep myself busy. While I have recorded the birds seen in my yard for over 6 years, I never really focused on what they did during the migrations. My backyard bird list is over 130 species, and considering my home is in the middle of a very average subdivision, I have been happy with that total. This year, I made it a point to spend at least two hours a day in the yard and I kept a careful record of what I saw. In April and May, I hit over 45 species, and in September and October over 60. Both numbers exceeded my expectations, but what really amazed me were two general observations:

  • Some of the migrants stayed in my yard for up to a month, including a Nashville Warbler, two Swainson’s Thrushes, and three Warbling Vireos
  • Almost all the migrants ignored my feeders but focused on the native plants and shrubs I have added over the years

This coming spring is not going to be much better for socializing but I am already looking forward to it!

Rarest birds seen, you ask?  Western Tanager, Hoary Redpoll

Swainson’s Thrush
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