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Oak Openings Fall Migration Update

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Category: Rarebird Alerts
Forum Name: Greater Toledo Ohio Area
Forum Description: For reporting rare birds in NW Ohio
Printed Date: 21 Sep 2018 at 10:00am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.05 -

Topic: Oak Openings Fall Migration Update
Posted By: Matt Anderson
Subject: Oak Openings Fall Migration Update
Date Posted: 26 Aug 2017 at 2:31pm
A couple of Tornado Alley (Oak Openings Preserve Metropark) fall migration mainstays are back: Merlin (on the early side) and Olive-sided flycatcher. The Merlin broke up a gathering of 64 Purple martins that were perched in one of TA's tallest dead trees.
The most interesting find this morning in TA was a family group of Blue grosbeaks - an adult male and female and two young. The female was actively feeding large caterpillars to the young. While there are lots of Blue grosbeak reports locally over the years and they undoubtedly nest regularly, I'm not aware of many records of confirmed breeding. Interestingly, the male of this family group (a beautiful all-blue bird) is different than the singing male that was in the same area in June.

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 04 Sep 2017 at 5:48pm
This weekend I've had a couple more Olive-sided flycatchers along with a decent smattering of warblers in OOPM. This morning along Wilkins Road just north of Reed Road, a female Summer tanager was accompanied by two young birds.

Posted By: harpy
Date Posted: 07 Sep 2017 at 12:16am
This morning, I visited Petersburg SGA in Monroe County, MI for a little while before work meetings.  I'm replying in this thread instead of starting a new one because Petersburg is part of greater oak openings region and shares many of the same ecological traits and species as dune country in Ohio.

I was shocked to find a Lawrence's Warbler among a foraging flock of mixed migrants; it was the first I've ever seen, and I wasn't disappointed - a very beautiful bird (and bright!) to see along with the duller warblers.  I saw it just southeast of the parking area on Lulu road nearest to Teal road, which is an area that is frequented by Blue-wingeds with mixed DNA in the summer (some sing Golden-winged songs) and at least 1 Brewsters.  None of those were around today, so I don't know if this was a local or a migrant.  It didn't vocalize, as most fall warblers don't beyond chip notes.

-Greg L.

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 09 Sep 2017 at 4:55pm
Greg, what a great find. As rare as this gorgeous recessive hybrid is, finding one in fall is really extraordinary.

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 09 Sep 2017 at 5:01pm
Another good morning in OOPM. The highlight for sure was a group of three Sedge wrens in Tornado Alley (about one hundred yards west from the paved walking/bike trail along the first trail south of the creek). At one point all three wrens were within five feet of each other with two singing the typical song. This is the first time that I've ever seen this species within the bounds of OOPM.
Other noteworthy birds this morning included a Golden-winged warbler (Wilkins Road just north of Reed), two Olive-sided flycatchers, a Yellow-bellied flycatcher, a Red-breasted nuthatch, and a couple of Summer tanagers.

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 11 Sep 2017 at 1:43am
At least two Sedge wrens remained in Tornado Alley this morning.

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 18 Sep 2017 at 1:27am
A Merlin was putting on a superb show in Tornado Alley this morning. A dozen or so Blue jays and maybe ten flickers were taking turns harassing it and then being chased themselves. The Merlin was nonstop action for the twenty minutes or so that I was watching it.
Warblers were around in only modest numbers with the best being a Canada and three Wilson's. Three Yellow-throated vireos were in full song in TA today. They are consistently one of our latest-singing migrants.

Posted By: harpy
Date Posted: 19 Sep 2017 at 3:19pm
A highlight of the fall migration for me is listening to the migrating thrushes as they call overhead before sunrise.  I have had a few good mornings this fall, including early this morning when Gray-cheeked calls outnumbered Swainson's maybe 4 or 5 to 1.  Gray-cheekeds seem to peak a couple weeks later in the fall than Swainson's. 

And I am always surprised at how few thrushes I actually see during the day relative to how many I hear going overhead.

Greg L

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 01 Oct 2017 at 3:20pm
A male Summer tanager on Wilkins remained very vocal today and was accompanied by a female. Yesterday, I had a couple of Pine siskins in Tornado Alley. A few Brown creepers, both kinglets, sapsuckers, White-throated, White-crowned, Lincoln's, and Swamp sparrows are back. Red-headed woodpecker numbers have thinned out.

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 08 Oct 2017 at 10:50pm
A male Summer tanager remained along Wilkins Road just north of Reed road this morning. I also had my first Purple finches of the season this afternoon here at home in Whitehouse.

Posted By: Matt Anderson
Date Posted: 21 Oct 2017 at 6:52pm
Fox sparrows and Pine siskins in Tornado Alley today. Also lots of Swamp sparrows but only one Red-headed woodpecker. Our feeder is hosting an Oregon junco.

Posted By: harpy
Date Posted: 05 Nov 2017 at 6:26pm
3 Red Crossbills at Swanton cemetery this morning @ about 9:30am.  Unfortunately they only flew over and did not stop, despite there being a pretty decent cone crop there.  They were flying eastbound.  Birders out that way should have this place on their radar as it seems like as good a place as any for a few crossbills to settle in for awhile. 

American Tree Sparrows were back in good numbers in Tornado Alley.

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