It’s been another week of late summer young birds and assorted insects … the garden itself is full of colour at the moment with bright yellows, reds and blues fighting each other for the most showy prize.

The Cardinals are starting to form loose flocks now and were busy early in the week in the Rowan trees attacking the huge crop of bright red berries – almost out-competing the Robins who are normally the gross feeders in those trees. A gang of half a dozen or so a scruffy young Blue Jays are coming and going regularly accompanied by their loud calling … very much the sound of the end of summer for us.

Both the Red and White-breasted Nuthatches have been industriously taking seed from the feeders while one large tube feeder fitted with a debris-catching saucer at the base almost disappeared under a mixed gang of House Finches, Purple Finches and Song Sparrow juveniles.

Fall migration is without a doubt getting started now and, as usual, some interesting birds are pausing in the garden as they gather and start to move southwards. Both American Redstarts (male and female) and a Scarlet Tanager enjoyed the back-yard Rowan berries mid-week.

There was a thunder shower a few days ago after which both a Carolina Wren and another American Redstart haggled with each other for priority access to the waterfall top pool … you would think they were already wet enough after the rain, but seemingly not.  As this was being posted a Black and White Warbler appeared in the pool.  The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have been much in evidence – one even allowing itself to be photographed.

Returning from a walk in a nearby park one day J found a large Cicada on a rose bush so we can look forward to yet more long days of “sawing” from all directions in the near future … perhaps the fact that this insect was found so low down and in the open may indicate it was near the end of its days. There is a photograph in the gallery below this text of a large brown insect on a mosquito netting at our kitchen window.  This fellow is a Squash Bug – a major pest which presumably came from a neighbour as we don’t grow squash.

Last week we mentioned the presence of two wasp nests under the lawn at the front. One is still going strong with busy in and out insects crossing paths continuously … however, sad to report, the other nest, which was on a slope and under the roots of a rose bush, was dug out over the course of a couple of nights by some critter and now the nest has entirely vanished. Almost certainly, the culprits are either, or both, raccoons and/or skunks.

The next couple of weeks look promising.

PS: … this is going off topic as it doesn’t relate to gardening, but if you are the sort of people who enjoy wildlife in general you might like some of the occasional posts we share in another website we maintain … please have a look at and if you like what you see leave your name there to follow it like this one. Some recent posts have included, whales, butterflies, wildflowers and a wandering Burrowing Owl.

Featured Images
(click to enlarge)

Late summer

Juvenile male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Female American Redstart

Wet Cardinal and Robin taking Rowan Berries