HP Autumn Bird Report

The silence of late summer! 

My last report, on June 21, 2022, with 33 species and 183 birds tallied, was primarily the result of prolific bird songs to be heard on the course. It was the peak of the breeding season! Today was very different. Territorial and breeding songs have all but ended for another year, and other than a raucous group of four Common Ravens, silence prevailed.

Today’s low totals reflect the importance of one’s ears when conducting bird inventories:

Total Birds Identified:  64

Total; Species Identified:  14

New Species Added:  Nil  (Total remains at 91)

An obvious proof that the southward migration is well underway was the total absence of swallows: all of the Barn Swallows, Violet-green Swallows and Cliff Swallows that nest at the large storage building near the 1st tee appear to have left. So have  the many White-crowned Sparrows and House Wrens that nest throughout the course. This raises the question: Is the real home of these birds the tropics of Central and South America and the near-tropics of southern USA? Or is it here where they breed, but stay for only a quarter of the year?

A young American Kestrel was a good find as it hunted on Highland 4, possibly indication another successful nesting on or near the course. And a lone Spotted Towhee, a large sparrow species that will spend the winter here, was hiding deep in a dense Garry oak. (And, no, it is not a young robin).

Spotted Towhee – Adult Male

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