Thursday, October 30, 2014

Should we be preparing for an INVASION!?

Is this it? Is this the year? I feel like "northern" birds have been mounting various incursions southwards over the past several years... A few Boreal Chickadees, record-setting flights of Great Gray/Snowy Owls, White-winged Crossbills... Bohemian Waxwings are becoming an annual thing... And we're on the path again this year...

Black-backed Woodpeckers in Ottawa
Boreal Chickadees on the move early (per ontbirds)
Gray Jay in London (per ebird)
Evening Grosbeaks are rolling
Pine Siskins are invading
Purple Finches are leaving
White-winged Crossbills and Common Redpolls are making eradic movements southwards
Pine Grosbeak recently (WPBO)
Snowy Owls (may?) be moving early
Reports of Great Gray (Sudbury) and Northern Hawk Owls (WPBO) on the move south already...

Are there any northern goodies that AREN'T showing some potential for a southwards movement this year?

I'm not really expecting anything "record setting" at this point. Heck, it's merely a guess... I just have that gut feeling that things may be prepping for something exciting... My hope is that some of the true boreal goodies will move far enough south to match some historical accounts of many years ago...

Woodland Cemetery in Hamilton may be a great place to keep tabs on something like this (for me at least) - as it would be phenomenal to see a small group of Boreal Chickadees, or a Black-backed Woodpecker - go flying overhead some point this November.

Do you have a favourite spot for watching diurnal passerine migration? I know the spots in Hamilton, but am not really that familiar elsewhere. The Hamilton Fall Bird Count is this Sunday - so that could give a good idea of what is around.

(unlikely this weekend, to say the least)

Not only are the birds moving, but we have some serious cold weather on the way as well! Check out these temp forecast maps:

That's COLD! 

Longer range models keep hinting at this type of setup returning in the next 7-12 days... Another model run (which is just a guess, but these are how weather forecasters try and predict what may happen in the longer run) - 

I know that our northern birds are more than willing to stay north and stick out the cold, but IF they actually are getting ready to do a bit of a movement, weather like this will enable them to make longer flights (into southern Canada or NE USA) where birders will be more than happy to welcome them...

Only time will tell! In the shorter term, strong NE winds in the forecast for Saturday morning as this blast arrives. It is a similar to a previous setup several days ago, where I was hoping for Kittiwakes and Gannets - and saw NOTHING..

But hey - I'll still be looking. It only takes one bird!

1 comment:

  1. Also, six Boreal Chickadees (dead) have been collected at window strike locations this last week in Ottawa.