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Fall Migration 2022


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I had White-rumped Sandies in central SC about a month ago for a couple of days.  There was a  pair of yellowlegs but I couldn't tell which species; I was going somewhere and didn't have my camera.  I think Greater but marked Greater / Lesser.

Rough-wingeds have been gone for a few weeks.  Purple Martins are still making their way through.

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American Avocet was spotted at WTP today.  I himmed and hawed for almost an hour about going (all day project launch today), but ended up going.  Only 2nd one sighted in the county.  I need to get out of Moth mode, and into Bird mode.  

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@Monkeylenz, 'fall' migration is a bit of a misnomer.  In general, the farther a species has to migrate, the earlier it gets started.  Shorebirds have been moving out of the far north for a few weeks already, with some species headed for the other end of South America.

Some species move out in flocks, some as individuals.  In some species, the adults may migrate well in advance of the offspring.  In others, males and females move at separate times.  Some strategically time their movements around the availability of food.  Some tactically wait for prevailing winds.  

Identification during fall migration can be challenging because there are immature birds with unfamiliar plumage.  On the positive side, there isn't a rush to get to breeding territory like there is in the spring, so species may linger in an area longer than they did on their way north.

Migration is a complex but fascinating topic.

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33 minutes ago, Monkeylenz said:

Is fall migration starting? I'm Kinda new to birds so im not sure how the migrations work very well.

 

 

Howdy and Welcome to Whatbird @Monkeylenz!

Migration around here(Texas) starts early August, just a few birds here and there, and is over by October, the first couple weeks in September are the best here, but that may vary depending where you are at.

I don't think you really can appreciate migration till you have been birding a few years, I didn't at least. I know I missed a lot, like I didn't know the difference in the local that has been here all summer, and the birds that are moving through. Little things you don't realize till you have been birding for awhile, not anything drastic, but little things that make birding more enjoyable.

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9 hours ago, Monkeylenz said:

@Kevin  @Charlie Spencer When so you think the best time in fall migration would be in New Jersey? And do you have any suggestions on what website would be good to see migration maps?

@meghann, do we have any NJ members who could help @Monkeylenz?

If you're not yet aware of it, NJ is a birding mecca, especially the southern third of the state.  Many species of south-migrating birds stay over land as long as possibl.  The Atlantic on the east and Delaware Bay on the west shape funnel birds down to Cape May.  From there, they either continue down the coast or jump off over the Atlantic for the Caribbean (or even further!).

Where in NJ are you?  You might want hook up with the NJ chapter of Audubon.  Going out with experienced birders is a great way to improve your skills, and it looks like they have multiple fall migration programs.

https://njaudubon.org/gobirding/

If they aren't convenient, let us know and maybe we can find some groups closer to your local area.

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4 hours ago, Monkeylenz said:

@Charlie Spencer Well, the only thing is I'm younger, so I just go out with my family, and me and my sister are the birders, so we are kind of just doing it on our own. So, I don't think I would end up going with any random birders anytime soon.

There is quite a few young birders here including myself, would you be homeschooled by any chance? 

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16 hours ago, Kevin said:

There is quite a few young birders here including myself, would you be homeschooled by any chance? 

I am homeschooled. Being homeschooled gives me much more time to go birding. If there is a very rare bird, me and my father don't have to wait for the weekends, we can just go, and do school in the car. 

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As has been mentioned in NJ migration has already started, just not much volume yet. Been mostly peeps at this point. Mid to late September should be around peek depending on weather conditions. Cape May does get the most volume. As @Charlie Spencer said most of the birds passing through the state get funneled into the area before passing over the Delaware Bay. There are some birds also that follow the Delaware River down but more come down the coast. Not to far from Philadelphia there is Edwin B. Forsythe NWR (aka Brig) which is one of the better places if Cape May isn't an option.. There is an aprox. 8 mile loop that you drive that goes through a variety of habitats. It's mostly saltmarsh where most of the rarities show up but there also forest trails which you can walk that can be very good for Warblers, etcetera. Further north Sandy Hook which is part of Gateway National Seashore & Island Beach State Park which can be very good. Both places have pretty extensive forest cover in addition to beach & bay areas. Sandy Hook is my go to place for Connecticut Warbler (mid September) & can usually find a couple. With Island Beach if you have a kayak or canoe you can also paddle around the islands in the bay, pretty cool way to bird. If you're going within the next couple weeks the sod farms in the western part of the state can be very good for Upland & Buff-breasted Sandpiper as well as American Golden Plover. I've already heard a couple reports of Uppies. They have the advantage of being close to Philly also. One other place worth mentioning that is fairly accessible to Philly is Bombay Hook NWR in Delaware. It is on the opposite side of Delaware Bay from Cape May & it gets a lot of the birds that have crossed the bay stopping to refuel. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

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