Waterfowl Migration Sitings

Waterfowl and other birds associated with water are moving into and through our area right now. Some will stay with us for a while, utilizing area retention, ponds, neighborhood ponds, marshy areas, and of course, the large open water of lakes Norman and Wylie. I recently checked the large lake at Piper Glen and counted over 25 ring-necked ducks, one ruddy duck, and six wild mallards. Birders have been taking regular boat trips at dawn and dusk on Lake Norman, with great success. A recent trip at dusk counted 126 common loons and 2500 gulls (ring-billed, herring, and Bonaparte’s).

Ring-necked Duck
Photo by John Ennis

 Large groups of Canada geese may attract a rare goose during late fall. A rare Ross’s goose is associating with a Canada flock right now in Cornelius. If you notice a white goose in with a Canada flock it could be a Ross’s or a snow goose. Let me or Carol know about it. Likewise if you notice large numbers of ducks hanging out at an area ponds,

Ross's Goose
Photo by John Ennis

Last month I warned everyone that winter 2020-2021 was
forecast to be a big finch year. Well, as far as pine siskins are concerned this already has been the most productive year in my memory. Dozens to hundreds of these small striped finches can be found along any greenway or public park right now. No doubt most of you who maintain feeders have noticed these siskin hordes.

Evening grosbeaks have been reported from North Carolina already, including tow individuals from Mecklenburg County. Most reports are of singles or small groups but flock size will grow as the winter proceeds, and the invasion continues. This is our best chance to see these spectacular birds in decades. 

 Evening Grosbeak
Photo by Phil Fowler

And don’t forget the winter hummingbirds. I haven’t heard of any in Mecklenburg County yet but they have been reported throughout the state. Keep your eyes on the feeders. Thanksgiving is traditionally the time some show up here.

As the weather cools and activities move inside, I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. Feeder watching is a great indoor activity!