Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Golden Surprise

Consider this your Fall Migration Alert; its happening! On July 21st my friend Ken located a shorebird called an American avocet that was on its migration likely traveling from its breeding grounds in the American west en-route to the Atlantic coast. Earlier this week I received an email from my friend Ellen who contacted me about a great egret that she saw in Tioga County that is migrating perhaps from northern New York or Canada passing through Pennsylvania en-route to its wintering grounds in the south.

Today the forest edge at the north-west end of Cowanesque Lake was bustling with warbler activity; but they weren't singing. That's because they have dispersed from their breeding territories and are now preparing for or have already begin their migration towards their wintering grounds.

My "Golden Surprise" for the day was a golden-winged warbler that briefly emerged from the shadows of the dense leafy cover of the forest edge. What an incredible sighting! Unfortunately it happened so quickly that, while I got to watch it through binoculars for about 5 seconds, as soon as I picked up my camera it disappeared from sight back into the cover of thick vegetation.

Fortunately, this experience did inspire some creativity out of me. Below you'll see my sketch of this chance encounter with a truly beautiful bird.

As I seek to live into community with all that has life, the Fall Migration is one of my favorite events of the year, stretching from about August to November, offering me (and for that matter, all of us) many opportunities to get to know our wild neighbors better.

I hope we'll all find time to get out and experience and enjoy wild spaces during this special time of year that is now underway; you never know what you might find, or what creativity those experiences of wildlife and wild spaces might inspire in you.

 (my sketch-with color- of today's golden-winged warbler)

 (my sketch-without color- of today's golden-winged warbler)

 (a cropped image of the sketch to show the bird itself)

(a look at the thick shrubby forest-edge habitat where I saw it...actually from the forest looking out. Note the layers of plants, shrubs, small and medium sized trees, and vines...all make for the perfect late summer habitat for this species and others.)

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