Spring migration is always seen as a big thing, spotting the first robin or bluebird is a harbinger of hope.  However, fall’s migration tends to be equally noticeable.  The juncos appear by the dozen, as does a wintering flock of chickadees.*  And sometime between October and December, the robin flock descends on the property.  We must have a pretty popular stop-over place for them; because they will hang out in the area for some time; usually twenty or thirty in a group.  A few stalwarts will hang late into winter if it doesn’t snow. It took me awhile to figure it out, the mystery of the vanishing ilex berries, a much favoured snack for robins.  The roadside bush is always the last to go, despite it having an abundant crop; I suspect because it is right next to the road, whereas the others are tucked into the woods a bit. 

Today, I nearly collected a group of robins as I turned into the drive.  They all flew up into the trees, as if a sudden swirl of red and brown leaves had chosen to return to the sky.

*Unlike the titmice, the chickadees do not hang about in the summer nor does the cardinal, though he/she nests here.