10/9 Phenology Visit

The Mushroom Hole. one of several interesting natural features of the Centennial Thicket. Since Tuesday, the mushroom has grown much bigger.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 8:00-9:00 am

Weather: Mostly cloudy, mid 60s

Birds seen at this spot: Black-Capped Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker

Birds seen nearby: TENNESSEE WARBLER (late), ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (first Centennial record), Rusty Blackbird (first Centennial record), Carolina Wren (heard), White-Breasted Nuthatch.

This morning, I was able to visit Centennial Thicket, and noticed distinct changes from the last time I was there. First off, there were far fewer birds than observed just a week ago. All that was in my patch were some chickadees and a male Downy Woodpecker. I would presume that the woodpecker is resident, as is the female Hairy Woodpecker I have seen along the trail on multiple occasions (including today). Both of these species are not known to migrate, so I’ll probably see these birds more in the future. Guessing I should give them names then?

The resident female Hairy Woodpecker as seen on Friday. A male (her mate?) was very close by.

Secondly, I was able to identify more tree species in the area. There are several towering Black Walnuts, a few Horsechestnuts (whose flower-like leaves have turned a deep red), as well as a young American Elm. I noticed that nearly all trees are in the full swing of color changing. Only a handful of species appeared to still be very green overall including the Black Walnut, and Norway Maple.

Looking up into the canopy

Moving on to my other bird observations, it seemed at first as if there were no more warblers to be found, but somehow I still pulled through. Looking into a large flock of chickadees and titmice foraging among the flowers in the floodplain, I was able to identify a late Tennessee Warbler in the flock. Later, as I was exiting Centennial Woods, I saw two warblers perch in some nearby shrubs. They were moving fast, so I was only able to get on one of them. However, this turned out to be an Orange-Crowned Warbler, an uncommon migrant in the Champlain Valley, and one of the few warblers that is still coming through our area. Migration is far from over, so I can’t wait to see what new stuff shows up in Centennial Woods!

UPDATE: On Friday, 10/12, I was able to refind the late Tennessee Warbler in the same spot as before.

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