It’s Oct. 1 as I write my column solely 12 hours after getting back from a fast three-day journey to the Adirondacks to go to our daughter.
What an incredible present of shade we witnessed! We now have made a number of autumn visits over time, however this one was simply spectacular! Total mountainsides had been coated with reds, yellows, and oranges and on the steeper slopes a number of darkish greens of spruces and pines combined in. I doubt we’ll ever get one other extra excellent look because it appeared like all deciduous tree species had been so vibrant at one time.
We managed to squeeze in a hike to one of many excessive peaks which additionally gave us a stupendous view of the foliage and quickly altering skies. With the specter of rain, our mountain hike went very well as few individuals had been current. I loved seeing a number of attention-grabbing species of birds alongside the way in which – a lot of which indicated the altering seasons.
Our daughter, Mary, has a chicken feeder outdoors her condominium which is getting quite a lot of motion. I introduced alongside a peanut feeder which was readily accepted by the birds. As quickly as I held my hand out with peanuts a red-breasted nuthatch hopped on. What I discovered uncommon was a gradual flock of no less than eight purple finches on the feeders. Purple finches round right here already appear to be scarce. They shouldn’t be confused with the home finch inhabitants, which may be very wholesome.
October actually brings us a change in our chicken inhabitants. Our final three hummingbirds stayed till Sept. 26 once more this yr. Although we now have many flowers in every single place, the one which appears to at all times actually maintain them round is the black and blue salvia. They only love this deep blue tubular flower and a few of the others as nicely. Our eight to 10 Baltimore orioles lastly give up coming to the grape jelly round Sept. 6 with their much less frequent cousins, the orchard orioles, leaving method earlier than that.
You might have observed that the white-throated sparrows and dark-eyed juncos are beginning to roll in. Many juncos truly nest round right here within the forests and now begin frequenting the gardens and hedgerows. The white-throated and white-crowned sparrows are getting back from their northern breeding grounds and plenty of truly spend the winter with us although most will head additional south.
The goldfinches are energetic within the weedy hedgerows, flower beds, and gardens gleaning seeds of all kinds. For those who nonetheless have some sunflowers popping out of bloom, it’s possible you’ll discover a number of goldfinches there. This summer time I planted sunflowers within the backyard at relatively late intervals. I’ve a batch simply now blooming and hope the frost holds off till the seeds can fill out.
The goldfinches simply completed their solely nesting of the yr in late August and early September. Now the males have molted out of their good plumage so they appear fairly just like the females and juveniles. It’s a good time to get your nyjer feeders going once more in order that they know the place to get seed later in fall and all of winter.
An in depth relative of the goldfinch is the pine siskin which migrates south most years. Final yr, I didn’t see one and there have been only a few, if any, studies. To date this fall I’ve observed them three completely different occasions. After they migrate right here from the north they typically migrate additional south and typically they frequent nyjer feeders in our area all winter. One of the best ways to inform they’re current proper now’s by listening to their distinctive calls.
Trying on the October forecast, it looks as if we now have some respectable temperatures and climate coming. It’s a pleasant month to benefit from the leaves and different fairly foliage. It’s additionally a good time to prepare for the chilly months forward. Let’s hope winter doesn’t begin in early November prefer it has the final couple of years!
The journey to the Adirondacks was to see Mary, however had the added bonus of phenomenal peak foliage and an exhilarating mountain hike – and a few birding, after all. We additionally met many good individuals from throughout whereas mountain climbing the mountain. Within the meantime, get pleasure from our personal stunning Western New York foliage and maintain an eye fixed out for the altering chicken inhabitants.
Hans Kunze is an avid birder and nature fanatic who has been writing about birds and nature for greater than 30 years. He writes for the The Every day Information twice every month. Write him at 6340 LaGrange Rd Wyoming, NY 14591 or name (585) 813-2676.