Sunday, September 18, 2011

Migration at Scherman-Hoffman Sanctuary

Yesterday I went to Scherman-Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary in search of migrating songbirds. The weather conditions favored inland hotspots, so I expected some diversity. As it turned out, warblers were rather sparse, so that I only recorded four species (Common Yellowthroat, Bay-breasted, Palm, and Magnolia Warblers). Blue Jays, American Robins, and Northern Flickers were all present in numbers above what I would normally expect. The most noticeable migrants, though, were Broad-winged Hawks. I saw two kettles, one with about 40 individuals and another with about 20 individuals. Another group apparently saw 100 hawks in a single kettle. Aside from those, I noted one migrating Osprey.

Fall wildflowers are blooming in the sanctuary's meadows, including many types of asters. There were, of course, a lot of New England Asters (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae). I have identified these three additional species as best as I can. The one above appears to be a Smooth Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve). The one below seems to be Purplestem Aster (Symphyotrichum puniceum). The one at the bottom looks like a Calico Aster (Symphyotrichum lateriflorum). If you see a better identification for any of them, please leave a comment.