Missing Canada Geese

Since the last couple of weekends were warm and hazy which didn’t allow for photos it was good the weather changed to cold, clear, and windy. Maybe a little too cool since I wore long underwear Saturday but at least I could take photos without wondering if they would be too dark.

Saturday started out by checking if any Great Egrets were still at the local wet area. Sure enough there are still seven there, along with Blue-winged Teal and shorebirds, but missing Canada Geese? I was there long before sunrise and they weren’t flying away as I approached. Past weekends there have been up to 500 geese present before sunrise waiting to fly off to feed. Like in early September when I posted about their early morning flight. Where can that many geese go?

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The local wet area has no Canada Geese where previously there had been hundreds. Where did they go? But the remaining Great Egrets were still present. Urban Marion County 10/8/16

After an hour of counting Killdeer and seeing if the local Cooper’s Hawk would make a second pass for breakfast, I headed to the retaining ponds to see if any new waterfowl had moved in with the passing front.

And that answered where the missing Canada Geese had gone!

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I’m guessing the Canada Geese have decided to roost in the local retention pond since the wet area has become too shallow. The count was the same as the wet area has been on previous weekends – 500. Urban Johnson County 10/8/16
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It wasn’t long before most of the geese headed to the fields. The noise didn’t seem to bother this Belted Kingfisher. Urban Johnson County 10/8/16

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After the Canada Geese left I stayed to see what else might be around the ponds. I could see the geese in the fields feeding in the recently harvested corn fields.

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After a half hour all of the Canada Geese went up in a panic. What would cause them to take flight? I never laid eyes on the cause but I know there are Bald Eagles that fly through. Urban Johnson County 10/8/16

The rest of the morning was searching for migrants. The new semi-rural site produced several raptures plus Vesper and Lincoln Sparrows.

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How come I’m never on the right side of the wind to capture American Kestrels hovering? Semi-rural Marion County 10/8/16

I noticed a definite drop in Blue Jays flying through with only one flock of 15.

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Ruby-crowned Kinglets were on the move both Saturday and Sunday. Franklin Township Community Park 10/9/16
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As were Yellow-rumped Warblers with 25 seen in a concentrated area. Franklin Township Community Park 10/9/16
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Showing off its signature ID. Franklin Township Community Park 10/9/16
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This Tennessee Warbler was the only warbler I stumbled across Sunday. Franklin Township Community Park 10/9/16

I’ll be back in the next post with photos of the Weekend Highlight.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher – Weekend Highlights

With great weather over the weekend I spent a lot of time in the field looking for migrants. Besides spending several hours watching the Buff-breasted Sandpipers, I visited several other local sites. It will be easier to show the photos and give a dialog about each one.

YBFL (1) Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
After getting up and out early both Saturday and Sunday, I didn’t get out until 10 AM Labor Day. I still came across one wave of migrants at Franklin Township Community Park which included 3 warbler species and this Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. The photo doesn’t do it justice as it was the yellowest one I have ever seen. 9/5/16
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I have tried to crop and enlarge but it still doesn’t bring out its colors.
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Even at this distance and with the poor photo quality, the size and droopy wing shape of an Osprey is distinct. Look right and up from the boat’s mast. Rick’s Cafe Boatyard 9/3/16
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One of the two Osprey flies on the far side of Eagle Creek Reservoir.
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The local Red-tailed Hawk circles overhead at Franklin Township Community Park. 9/5/16
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Friday afternoon I walked the perimeter of Southeastway Park hoping I would come across a group of migrants. This Tennessee Warbler was the only one. 9/2/16
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Saturday morning at Southwestway Park I heard a popping in the bush. A Wood Thrush was working its way along the ground and hopping up on twigs. 9/3/16
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It finally got up a little higher to give me a look.
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A young Chipping Sparrow with its breast striping through me off for a moment. Not use to Chipping Sparrows with stripes… Southeastway Park 9/2/16
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A Belted Kingfisher was working the pond looking for lunch. It flew back and forth with its rattling call. Greenwood Retaining Ponds 9/3/16
BLIMP (1)
I couldn’t find this species in my field guides. It flew real slow and was heading south. Franklin Township Community Park 9/5/16