Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Cave Swallow Season

It looks like there is another mini-invasion of Cave Swallows this year. Each fall, around the end of October and November certain weather conditions are right for bringing Cave Swallows from the southern States into the northern States and southern Ontario.

In the past week, several have been reported, especially along Lake Erie. Today, I found one at Erieau! My intention was to look at Franklin's Gull that had been seen there on Tuesday. I did see that gull at first, but wanted to get a closer look, so I went to the other side of the harbour at Erieau. Before I even looked for the gull, I came across a Cave Swallow.

I then saw another swallow, but it was a Barn. It is very late for Barn Swallows, so that in itself is a decent sighting for this date.

The first major invasion of Cave Swallows was in early November 1999. I saw three at Erieau at that time. The last time I saw a Cave Swallow was in 2003 just outside Erieau.

The Franklin's Gull was a new species for my Rondeau list. It was long overdue!

On another note, it appears we are experiencing a major finch invasion this fall. Due to a very poor seed and cone crop in the boreal forest, the finch types are moving south. Already thousands of Pine Siskins have gone through. Some are staying at feeders, such as my own. I noticed one siskin today looked like a female Eurasian type. They are popular cage birds so who knows where that one came from.

I have yet to see a grosbeak yet this fall, but I am sure it will be soon. Redpolls will be around this winter as well.


  1. That's pretty neat Blake! I love fall birding! It seems every year there are exciting goodies to see. I am jealous though of your Franklin's Gull. That is my jinx bird, as I have never ever seen one...sighh...What is worse is that both times Kevin McLaughlin has been down this fall (the ofo week and this week) he has seen one....What the heck eh?...ahh well. I think I will set up camp at Wheatley Harbour on my days of and just sit back with a cup of coffee and wait.

  2. Hey Blake, great sightings from Erieau. Marianne and I had a late Barn Swallow last Monday but you beat us in lateness on that one. I still have yet to get Cave Swallow on my life list (not worried, I just have to be home at the right time). It's great to be back from Florida and I'm glad you have a lot of updates for me to read.