Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autumn at Fairview Farm

Throughout the spring and summer, Fairview Farm Wildlife Preserve is a great place to observe insects, particularly butterflies and dragonflies. It has two small, fenced-in butterfly gardens, one full of wildflowers and the other sown with a mix of wildflowers and ornamental flowers. The rest of the property has a small pond and a variety of open and wooded habitats that contain foodplants for a variety of insects. The meadows seemed like they might be attractive to sparrows during migration, so that is where I birded yesterday.

As it turned out, I ended up not seeing that many sparrows yesterday. I saw a small flock of crisp-looking Savannah Sparrows in one of the butterfly gardens. Plus there were some Song Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows around. But the fields seemed to have very little sparrow activity at all.

There was a bit more activity in the wooded and edge areas, where I saw a lot of Yellow-rumped Warblers. I saw my first Yellow-bellied Sapsucker of the fall, as well as a Blue-headed Vireo, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and some Palm Warblers. Towards the end of the morning, I heard and then saw two Ring-necked Pheasants along the entrance road into the preserve.