Another installment - a little early - of November phenology for southwestern Pennsylvania. Here are some of Chuck Tague's suggestions on what to look for in the next few weeks, plus a few of my own.
- We have lots of cloud cover in November. The sun shines only 37% of the time.
- With the trees bare - around Nov 11 in the city - you'll be able to see bird and squirrel nests.
- Migration continues overhead. Watch for tundra swans. They won't stop on Pittsburgh's rivers unless the weather is terrible but you can find them resting at Yellow Creek State Park.
- Ducks, geese, and loons will pass overhead and pause on our rivers and lakes, especially at Moraine and Yellow Creek State Parks.
- Expect: Canada geese, common loons, mergansers, ring-necked, ruddy and wood ducks. There will be so many kinds of ducks there's no room to list them all.
- Watch for the unexpected: A brant (the small geese pictured here) sometimes stops briefly at Yellow Creek. You might find a red-throated loon or a few snow geese.
- Fox sparrows should be here soon.
- Chipmunks and squirrels are caching food. Will you notice when the chipmunks have gone underground for the winter? It's difficult to notice an absence, isn't it?
Chuck's complete phenology can be found here.
(photo of Brant by Chuck Tague)