3 Bald Eagles!

A female Wood Duck was in the Wetlands on the 21st of September.

Traditionally, the third week in September sees a push of migrating hawks through the region when the winds are from the north. More often than not, the winds were from the north during the third and fourth weeks in September. Unfortunately for those of us who like to watch hawks and also reside in the piedmont, most migrating hawks move along the ridges in the western part of the Carolinas. On 20 September, one observation site in the mountains saw over 3,000 hawks pass by on their way south with another 6,000 or so the following day, most of those being Broad-winged Hawks.

gd_9_16baeaHere at the Museum the numbers were not quite as impressive. However, three Bald Eagles were observed during the period. An adult and a sub-adult were seen soaring overhead, slowly moving in a westerly direction on the 19th of September. Another adult Bald Eagle was seen in a glide to the southwest on 24 September. Besides the eagles, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Red-tailed Hawk and several Red-shouldered Hawks (our local Red-shouldereds) were seen on the 19th of September. The eagle in the image at left is not one of the birds that flew over, but it’s a good illustration of what a sub-adult Bald Eagle looks like.

I’ve not seen a Green Heron in the Wetlands since the first two weeks of September. Have they moved on? A Great Blue Heron is still making frequent visits to the area.

Chimney Swifts continue to forage above the Wetlands. They’re often quite high so you have to strain a bit to see them, or you can use binoculars (recommended, but not required, for wildlife observation on the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Loop).

I saw three Ruby-throated Hummingbirds during the period. Neither was at the feeders in Catch the Wind. I think that they were migrants.

The local Belted Kingfisher is showing up in the Wetlands daily and staying longer. Its visits had been sporadic during the summer, but now she seems to be settling in for the duration.

A handful of Northern Flickers and a Red-headed Woodpecker were seen on the 24th of September.

Twenty or so Fish Crows were observed flying off to the west on 18 September.

Two House Wrens were seen during the period, flitting about in the underbrush that lines the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Loop. These birds were probably locals, one was a juvenile.

Several White-eyed Vireos were seen on September 24th & 28th as were a Magnolia Warbler, American Redstart, and Common Yellowthroat, with a Wilson’s Warbler making an appearance on the 28th of the month only. Also seen on the 24th were a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a Scarlet Tanager.

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