Interesting birds reported in fall migration

Interesting birds reported in fall migration

September is the month to see lots of migrant birds as they pass through our area. This year was true to form with many interesting birds reported by Ohio and Indiana birders.

Let’s start with the warblers because birders always seem to focus on these small songbirds, both in the spring and in the fall. There should be lots of them this time of year because both adults and young birders are coming our way. With trees still full of leaves and the warblers not singing, fall warbler watching is a challenge. Identifying young warblers high in the trees adds to the difficulty.

Birders in Ohio have reported finding 20-24 species of warblers in a single day. Bruce Simpson found a total of 24 warbler species at Delaware State Park during the week of Sept. 21-26, including 21 in one day and at least 13 species in a single flock. At dawn one morning he had over 200 warblers in a huge flock. In addition to the warblers, all six vireo species were present.

The week before, Ed Schlabach located 20 warbler species near Ragersville in Tuscarawas County. Ed and several other birders found both multiple Connecticut and mourning warblers this fall. That always makes for a successful day.

Nelson’s sparrows have showed up at several different locations, and some shorebirds are still being seen, especially at Funk Bottoms Wildlife Area. The first winter wrens, yellow-bellied sapsuckers and yellow-rumped warblers have arrived in our area. Several reports of pine siskins, a possible crossbill and lots of red-breasted nuthatches are welcome after last winter when almost no northern finches made their way south.

Well-known and loved birders Rob and Sandy Harlan found a very rare sharp-tailed sandpiper in Medina County. Unfortunately, the bird didn’t stay around long. The same was true for the seven red-necked phalaropes that stopped briefly at Fidler Pond here in Goshen, just 2 miles from our home.

We are still getting a few reports of ruby-throated hummingbirds, but most of them have headed south already. They were feeding actively at our feeders until the 26th, but I haven’t seen any for the last several days. Keep those feeders out because the chances of a rare western hummer will be on the increase in October and November.

There was at least one late common nighthawk report in Ohio, and I had one here in Goshen on the 25th. It’s always sad when they leave because they nest near our place and we enjoy hearing them every evening all summer.

I was delighted my good friend, Ron Martin, from Minot, North Dakota was here in Goshen for several days. He came to visit his mother but was able to get out each morning for some local birding. Ron and I have been birding together since 1979 when he and his wife Joy were students in the Goshen College SST program. Helen and I were the directors for the program in Honduras, where we got to know them. Ron is indeed a serious birder, having seen over 200 species of birds in every county in North Dakota. He now is working on Montana and South Dakota.

Good birding.

Email Bruce Glick at

Loading next article...

End of content

No more pages to load