Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Habitats are Us

I accompanied Alan on yet another fencing expedition yesterday and found great joy, greater perhaps because it was entirely unexpected. We had chased or rescued cows all the day one was in a very great mood.

We were no more than got half way along the first line of fence, when we found we were surrounded by birds. Migration is in full swing and the trees were bristling with gold finches and fall warblers. Soft, squeaky pishing lured them close enough to narrow down the selection of species.

By way of their incessant singing and iBird Pro on my phone the majority were discovered to be magnolia warblers. Other yellow-rumped species were probably also represented.

At the top of the hill there were flocks of flickers, rafts of robins, blue jays abounding, and lots and lots of other birds everywhere we looked. 

It would be hard to estimate how many birds we saw, but there were at least hundreds. I imagine there were many more that we didn't see.

I suspect the sheer numbers of birds and the variety of species are because of the large assortment of habitats available here on the farm or on surrounding abandoned farm land. There are open pastures, dense woods, open woods, brushy areas growing up to woods, and scrub grassland. Something for everyone, whether it is clusters of intense black riverbank grapes, a plethora of insects, or grain left undigested by the cattle. 

It sure was a treat for a birder...and I can't say enough about iBird pro. You do have to narrow down the selection of possible IDs for an unknown bird, but once you do, the calls and songs feature is invaluable.


joated said...

Sounds like a good day afield. And the fence got cleared/fixed, too!

A friend has the iBird app on her phone. It really comes in handy in the spring when all are singing their love/territory songs and you can't quite ID them. Play the right one and what answers you get!

threecollie said...

Joated, despite the dim light and the almost rain it was lovely out and I can't describe the sheer numbers of birds. We are still surrounded even down here in the yard. Someone who knew warbler calls would have a field day.

Cathy said...

OMG. Sheer delight! Interesting to note that during this last week as I try to make something out of the radar 'blooms' . . .

they look as though they're blooming after dusk when migrants would lift off. You must have a major stop-over spot with all the great habitat.

threecollie said...

cathy, I was stunned by the sheer volume of birds. They are still with us, even right by the house. I don't know that I have ever seen an actual flock of flickers and they were least thirty or forty and quite likely more. They were flying over into the neighbor's woods, then coming down in the pasture to eat. You wouldn't think such bright colored birds would blend with green grass, but they did. Thus the longer you looked the more you saw.. Wish you had been there as you know a lot more than I do about what you are hearing and seeing. It was pretty cool.

Cathy said...

I have NEVER seen a flock of flickers.

You have had close to what birders call a 'fall out' . .

At least in my book :)