Statewide Birding Report - September 28, 2018

The calendar doesn't lie - fall is here. American robins and rusty blackbirds made good flights into the north this week, while both ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets, northern flickers, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, and various sparrows were seen statewide. Now is a great time to spread white millet, cracked corn, and sunflower seeds on the ground near brush piles and other thick cover to attract sparrows, juncos, and other species (e.g. blue jays and squirrels). Numbers of white-throated sparrows are nearing peak in the north, where the first fox and Harris's sparrows have also arrived. Yellow-rumped warblers now dominate the warbler scene, especially across the north where hundreds moved into the region earlier this week, although palm warblers remain relatively common and a smattering of other species can be expected for weeks to come yet. Flycatchers have largely departed save for a few least flycatchers, eastern wood-pewees, and eastern phoebes. Hummingbirds continue in small numbers across mostly southern counties. Leave feeders up and properly maintained for later migrants as this will not cause hummingbirds to delay migration. Three hundred plus broad-winged hawks were tallied in Monroe County on Sept. 21 and 500-plus over Sauk on Sept. 23. A few may continue this week but peak flights will belong to turkey vultures, sharp-shinned hawks, merlins, and peregrine falcons. The first rough-legged hawks have arrived on schedule, as have a couple tundra swans. Aside from slight increases in duck diversity and numbers and some good goose flights, water bird migration hasn't been eye-opening quite yet. October and November will undoubtedly change that. Some of this week's rarities included Ross's goose in Ozaukee, Nelson's sparrow in Dane, northern mockingbird in Iowa, and both parasitic and pomarine jaeger in Douglas. Report your finds of rare and common birds alike at www.ebird.org/wi. Good birding! - Ryan Brady, conservation biologist, Ashland


 


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