In Western New York State at the Canadian border I am seeing more & more V-formations of Canada Geese flying overhead and the occassional Osprey and some Turkey Vultures.
The juvenile Red-Tailed Hawks from this season's nesting have departed, probably for Braddock Bay, Canada, but the adult Red-tailed Hawk are still here. I do have some RTH that stay all winter, deeper back into my woods.
I have seen Spotted Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers, Ruddy Turnstones, many Killdeer and Sanderling .. all in their winter plumages. Also Caspian Terns and Bonaparte Gulls and many Double-Crested Cormorants.
Still some Great-Blue Herons here and many Green Herons.
An early Fall Migrant was a lone Pied-Billed Grebe I spotted at a local large pond complex. Ruddy Ducks are appearing.
Our Northeast USA tree foliage is still mostly green with occassional patches of color in places. Scant leaves falling but my Virginia Creeper vines are steadily dropping leaves that have dried and turned marroon. Technically, my area of NY State is in the Mid-Atlantic Region and not the New England Region.
In the fields, I see blue Chickory, Goldenrod, Ragweed (ACHOO!), Staghorn Sumac, dried out & cottony Thistle, Teasel, white and colored Asters, Burdocks, Cockleburrs, Milkweed with un-bursted pods, various grasses with seedheads.
I still see a Doe and her Fawn in my meadow, foraging along the fencelines that border a fieldcorn field. The fawn still has very few, paler spots now and is growing into a more adult deer shape and silhouette .. but the fawn still runs & frolics with that fawn-like kicking up the heels run.
Still getting a few very warm & humid days but the nights are cooler. The daylight hours are noticably shorter.
My area of NY is getting plenty of moisture but other parts of the USA still have drought conditions .. some areas in the Midwest have not seen such dry conditions since the Dustbowl Days, especially Kansas, Nebraska and Montana.
With another El Nino weather system this year, our WNY weather forecast for this winter sounds quite mild. Weather forecasters are calling for less snow than normal and milder temperatures. There are plentiful supplies of gasoline, home heating oil, and natural gas, so our home heating bills this winter should not rise much, barring an all out Mideast War.
With plentiful moisture and the high heat days following the rains this Summer, the Fall crops in this area, such as fieldcorn and soybeans had a very good growing season and Fall foliage should be spectacular. We will hope for clear atmospheres to enjoy it all.
The vineyard owners suffered this season due to the early too-warm Springtime temperatures which encouraged early budding of the grape vines. The warmer temps were followed by more freezing weather that killed the first buds, which are the buds that produce the most grapes. In my area, a lot of Concord grapes and Niagara grapes are grown. Last year's grape harvest was poor and this year's grape harvest will be a disaster.
I am watching the Black-Capped Chickadees in my area, since many times, Fall Migrating Warblers and other birds will be mixed in with them in their flocks.
Gail R (WNY)