Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rocky Knob Migration Watch

The term "migration" is often applied to the periodical or irregular movements of all animals; but it may be questioned whether there are any regular migrants but birds and fishes.

---A.R. Wallace, 1876.

By mid to late August at Rocky Knob some of us gather to witness whatever seems to be migrating. This menagerie of creatures includes hawks, waterfowl, cormorants, nighthawks, swifts, hummingbirds, swallows, Red-headed Woodpeckers and a host of passerines, most heading to the southwest of our location. Some of these birds travel unbelievable distances. Some are considered mere short distance migrants.

We also gather to see dragonflies and butterflies "migrating" to the south. Except for perhaps some monarch butterflies, the migration of these insects is inter-generational, i.e. the individuals we see in late summer and fall journeying southward are not the same ones we might find the following spring.

I hope some folks reading this short blurb will stop by and visit and see for yourself how marvelous the migration can be. Anyway, you're invited. We'll watch sometimes, and we'll hear dog day cicadas (what I grew up calling "Jar Flies") and katydids chorusing in the woods by the cow pasture.

BTW, our watch is at milepost 168 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, on the border of Patrick & Floyd Counties.

2 comments:

bill said...

Our most frequent migrant at Harvey's Knob is the motorcyclist - on the parkway for the peace and quiet!

bj

Scott Jackson-Ricketts said...

Thanks, Clyde!
Scott