Saturday, October 20, 2018
While driving south along US Turnpike toward Monroe I followed a large flock of Turkey Vultures (200-300 birds) moving in a steady stream beside me. When I say late migration I mean late in the day. It was 6:30 pm and the sun was about to disappear for the night, yet these birds were actively kettling and streaming. Made for some nice pics!
I wasn't surprised, though, since the past 2 days have seen strong WSW winds and a cold front was now moving in as of late this afternoon, so the birds were taking advantage of favorable winds.
Prior to this I had a few other sightings.
I could not help but notice how cloudy the hummingbird feeder looked this afternoon. After all, it contained the bodies of a dozen wasps that had crawled inside and drowned. I emptied the feeder, cleaned it, and refilled it with fresh nectar (20% sugar water). Not 5 minutes after I rehung it in the yard did I see a hummingbird on it!
It appears to be a juvenile male from the green gorget feathers visible on the throat.
Having just returned home from the 2018 HMANA Conference I hadn't even taken my coat off when I spotted a Brown Thrasher foraging below the feeders. It only stayed a few moments before ducking back into the brush.
A Dark-eyed Junco appeared, as well. I had seen one earlier in the month, but this one just came in with the wave of birds that arrived overnight. Junco sightings were being reported all over SE Michigan this morning.
The capper came late in the afternoon when I spotted an old friend poking his head outside the box way out back. Eastern Screech Owl. Lighting was poor, but I managed a frame from a 5-minute video I took of it. As of 10/20/18 I've not seen it again. But, I'm constantly looking for it, so hopefully it'll return this winter.