The fall migration is here. There are more shore birds right now than I have ever seen this time of year. It is usually a bit later when they migrate in numbers by my recollection. Karl and Charlie and KWEC will have the exact dates of arrivals if you want to check. Whooping Cranes will be later in the fall (I think their goal is to shut down duck hunting at Quivira NWR as completely as possible. Ha!) and I think we will get some great pictures of those birds. I will try to get more pictures on Facebook this time.
We are not aware of the numbers in the vast migration of these shore birds. The range of their travels is huge. I went to west Texas (my home town is Groom-- 42 miles east of Amarillo on Interstate 40 or Route 66) for the Annual “Groom Days” celebration, BBQ, and parade this past weekend. I’m always amazed at how my classmates have aged. I toured a couple of wetland areas up there and drove past a lot of small ponds and standing water-- they have had more rain than we have. The terrain is very different from our Bottoms and Quivira. I was surprised to see night herons, Avocets, Ibis, Black-necked stilts, Green Herons, and sandpipers all cheerfully feeding and surviving without our amazing wetlands. The instinctual travel of these birds is a lot more national and international than we realize. I know they also have large numbers of waterfowl and Sandhill Cranes in the Panhandle. Change is ever-present. They have a pheasant season now, and there were NO pheasants in that country when I was growing up.
It is prime time for seeing a lot of birds in our marsh right now. We have water, the landscape is lush, and the birds are plentiful and happy. I’m amazed every day that I don’t see ALL of you out there with binoculars and sunscreen. You have to see it for yourself-- I don’t have the words to tell you how lucky we are to be this close to the wonders of our natural world!!!