Posted in BEYOND

Fall migration, bring it on!

Fall migration, bring it on! Posted on September 21, 2015

We are in the midst of Fall migration time.  Some are coming and some are going so there is a lot of bird activity right now.  Many birders say this is their favorite time of the year.

I don’t want to give all the secrets away I’d say to really get a sense of what to expect to see at what time and in what locations you should pick up a copy of Ian McLaren’s book All The Birds Of Nova Scotia.  Dr. McLaren is an active birder and the Editor of the NSBS member magazine and a regular contributor.

Needless to say for most of us warblers are on the agenda as we could have about 40 species on the move from the looks of our list.

I’ve personally seen 15 of these with my own eyes since I started birding this year and would be delighted even to see 5 more before the end of October.

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marian-frog-pond-june-15 233-WM

Shorebirds are also very actively migrating right now and their IDs are very challenging which makes for great learning opportunities.  In mixed flocks you never know what will show up so give it a second and third look always. 

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But the thing that makes all the birders giggly is the vagrants and overshoots.  Birds from the West might show up depending on the weather and their flight path.  You might get reverse migrants in large numbers.  Honestly anything goes within reason.  This is the time of the year where you really don’t know what you will see.  They usually show up on the coast of course. Since migration time started up about a month or so ago I have had opportunity to view the following new to me (aka Lifers) birds who are migrating in Nova Scotia.  I photographed all these birds but will only post the good shots.


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  • Bobolink
  • Northern Waterthrush
  • Blue Grosbeak
  • Orchard  Oriole
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Merlin
  • Lark Sparrow

all at Hartlen Point

  • Blueheaded Vireo
  • Baltimore Orioles at Sandy Cove

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Common Nighthawk – in Carroll’s Corner


Baird’s Sandpiper in Donkin Mines 


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Nelson’s Sparrow at Martinique Beach

And from what I understand things are just getting interesting.  I anticipate that October will be the most exciting time and look forward to seeing many new species.  And the leaves will be turning colours too so such a great time to get out and bird.

This Thursday the Nova Scotia Bird Society is holding a meeting (open to the public) about Fall migration and tracking songbirds, so I look forward to learning more so I really know what to look for.

Such an exciting time to be a birder…bring it on!