Migrants and yardbirds

Photos (below) and commentary by Thomas Hook

I’ve noticed that in September comes a day or two that always feels like the end of summer with autumn soon arriving. On Sept. 17, the remnant of what had been Hurricane Florence was approaching my town of Southbury, Conn., from the west-southwest. It was warm and humid but it felt as if change was in the air.

Birds who migrate rarely stick around, but that afternoon some stayed in the trees in our front yard feeding rather than passing through. Perhaps anticipating the heavy rains due to fall on Southbury the next day, they were trying to get in a meal before taking cover.

The first two photos below are of a Northern Parula and a Red-eyed Vireo, birds that I normally only see in the spring. They were  heading south, way south. 

I also saw a pair of cardinals that I thought at first they were leucistic (an abnormal condition of reduced pigmentation) but in fact they were simply molting. So the third picture is of a male, looking bedraggled but hopefully healthy enough otherwise. The Cardinals are yardbirds and won’t migrate. This guy will stick around.