October is my absolute favorite month for birding. If it were up to me I'd just take the whole month off and bird the ass off of it! I loved birding in October back home in the mother land BUT it pales into comparison when birding over here. Migration is now in full swing and with each passing cold front, millions of birds pass through, over and around Florida on their way to the tropics. Early this morning, as I was getting in my truck, I heard a Veery flying over. I paused for a couple of minutes. During that time I heard several Veery and Swainson's Thrushes. Also a Bobolink and a couple of calls I didn't recognize. It was 645am! Just imagine the number of birds that had passed over Tallahassee in the preceding hours. Migration is awesome! Hopefully I'll get to witness some of it this October. At work today I was too busy to notice anything really but the last few days of September produced typical fare, such as Scarlet Tanagers, American Redstarts, Magnolia Warblers, Hooded Warblers, Veery, Gray-cheeked Thrush and many, many Acadian Flycatchers. Been a good fall for them at Maclay.
October is also a great month for birding, in general, in my area. There are lots of birds around; migrants passing through, residents that stay all year-round, birds arriving for the winter. There are up to 60 Wood Ducks on Lake Overstreet, with at least 40 juveniles. Blue-winged Teal are beginning to arrive as well. Gray Catbirds seem to be arriving in numbers and it won't be long before the wintering hordes of Yellow-rumps and Ruby-crowned Kinglets arrive.
|Wood Ducks & Blue-winged Teal - Lake Overstreet|
It isn't just birds that are abundant during my favorite month. There are always a lot of other critters out there in dem woods! Saw a Coyote on the way home from work today and Eastern Cottontail numbers in the park are increasing, so I expect Bobcat sightings to increase and Great Horned Owls to be very active during that Crepescular period between sunset and dark. Insect numbers are boosted by the plague of Gulf Fritillaries and it won't be long before the steady stream of Monarchs hit our coast line. Dragonflies are everywhere.
|Common Green Darner|
Vicariously, one of the best ways to witness migration over Florida is by visiting this website. One of the best birding resources ever!