On the weekends, I like to get up early (between 8-9am), make a coffee, and sit on my back porch and bird the hedgerow of trees and shrubs behind my yard. On Sat Sept 16 - I had noticed a warbler fumbling around that was light coloured, and attempted to photograph it. At first, I felt like I did not get a chance to photograph the bird, and I was thinking if I should Ebird the sighting or not. Moments later, I realized that I had some poor, diagnostic photos of the bird! A Golden-winged Warbler!!! I was trying to explain to my wife how rare it is to cross paths with this bird --- Would it be as rare as finding a $20 bill on the ground? a $100 bill? This is most certainly my only self-found southbound migrant that I have ever seen of this bird, even in 13+ years of bird watching.
On Saturday morning, besides the Golden-Winged --- I had seen several Broad-winged hawks flying low overhead. A small kettle of them was noted as well. A Lincoln's Sparrow, Least Flycatcher, Swainson's Thrush, Nashville, Tennessee and Common Yellowthroat were noted as well. Pretty amazing!
There is a small field behind the hedgerow with some interesting plants in it - even though it is ploughed and cropped for zoning and future building purposes. In the field, I have seen many different sedges, Winged Loosestrife, Dense Blazingstar, Boneset, as well as many goldenrods and asters.
Butterflies seen just this week include: Pearl Crescents, Common Checkered Skipper, Monarchs, Eastern tailed Blue among others.
I find it really fun to find birds while simply sitting in my back yard. I do not have to buy gas or spend hours driving --- I just sit and relax. 90% of the time during the fall, if I am patient, I am typically rewarded with at least one mildly interesting bird. A warbler or a flycatcher perhaps. Sometimes a decent sparrow. A wise birder once said to me that "sometimes if you are patient enough - the good birds will come to you"... Well Saturday was one of those days!