In many ways I look forward to fall migration more than spring migration. There seems to be less going on personally which gives more time bird. Fewer birds calling helps on ID’ing them. And I just plain enjoy the warmer, dryer temperatures of fall. And it begins with August Leading to Fall Birding.
I previously blogged about my August 2012 experiment. That month I birded Southern LaSalle County Illinois all 31 days of August and saw 129 species, 20% more than a typical August. Going back and analyzing the data I figured I would have seen 116 species if I had birded the days before and after cold fronts. If memory is correct that would have been 10-11 days or 5 fronts. So birding only 1/3 of the days I could have seen 90% percent of the species. Pareto would have been proud.
The area I birded in Southern LaSalle County Illinois was south of I80 and approximately 390 square miles. About the size of Marion County. So my plan for August 2017 is to bird Marion County and only on the days preceding and following cold fronts. Plus weekends. Hopefully with work and travel I can bird those days.
Using eBird as a guide the expected number of species for Marion County in August is approximately 115. My August high for Johnson County is 96. Which is about right since there isn’t a large body of water.
The catch in this plan is finding a good shorebird spot in Marion County. If it keeps raining the local spot will be full of water all month. But if it stops now it should be good towards the middle of the month.
And hopefully this will lead to more hours in the field. Something I’ve been truly lacking.