Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Finally, Juncos!

Yesterday was a big migration day through my area. When I got home from work I heard the sound of something I haven't heard in a while--robins! Not one or two robins, but a large flock of them. I had robins as thick as grackles in the woods, much to the annoyance of a few local squirrels. And near the robins I found a few dozen dark-eyed juncos--my first of the year. These birds didn't arrive by onesies or twosies this year. They all got onto the bus together and came south as a group.

Overnight, the chipping sparrows have thinned out, and the white-throated sparrows are much in evidence. The chipping sparrows aren't completely gone yet, but I expect another day or two will see the end of them.

Here on the mountain, I have not yet had a frost, though the lower-lying valley areas have. Hot or even warmer air rises, and the Appalachians aren't high enough here for the temperatures to be lower than the valley temperatures. In some ways, the temperatures on the mountain are more moderate than in the cities or down in the valley. The trees and leafy canopy keep summer's hot temperatures a few degrees lower at the cabin. In the winter, the low-lying areas take the worst of the cold, though I get the wind up here that isn't felt down below.

Do you like today's photo of a wolf spider? It was on the side of the cabin a day ago. These spiders look like miniature tarantulas to me. They are common in the fall, especially around doors, porch lights (where I found this one) and windows. They don't weave a web at all, they are hunters. More than once I've found them in my shower. I tend to just leave them alone unless they get into the way.


Wanderin' Weeta said...

That's a nice spider!

Chris said...

Ooooo, your spider is creepy, especially in the shower! You're much kinder to them than I would be. Also, I'm glad you had a buss load of Junco's! :)

Carolyn H said...


The spider was a day early, but I thought it would be a good "Halloween" photo.

Carolyn H.

dguzman said...

We've had frosts for the last three nights -- I didn't get a chance to pick my last tomatoes and peppers, and now they're just goo. Haven't seen any juncos or white-throated sparrows yet, just the white-crowned. I'm sure they're on their way.

Very creepy spider!

PA-Birder said...

Yeah Juncos! I have a special place in my heart for them as they were my mom's favorite bird. I have noticed too that many sparrows have moved on.

Carolyn H said...

dguzman--I haven't seen any white-crowned sparrow here yet and don't find many of them. My sister who lives 4 miles away but down in the valley gets a lot of them.

Vern--Juncos are one of my favorites too.

ChicagoLady said...

No spiders allowed in the shower! Noooooooooooooooooo

I'm glad you finally saw some Juncos!

kat said...

Congratulations on the arrival of your juncos!

We have lots of them up here where I live, in Ben Lomond, California, in our woods. Even though they are quite common where I live, I love the fact that they show up to keep me company. I am always grateful for the birds in my woods who come to the feeders to grace me with their visits. I'd be lonely without them.