By Mike Busch

Although it still feels like Summer, there are a lot of signs of Fall around Long Island if you watch our local wildlife.  Fall migration is in full swing with a huge variety of transient birds passing through mixing with local birds  trying to fatten up before long trips South.

From what I can tell, most of the Osprey have left but you should still see a few stragglers for the next few weeks.  It is also a perfect time to look for roosting Monarch Butterflies, particularly on the south shore beaches.  Monarchs travel alone during the day but gather together at night.   From mid August into early October thousands of Monarchs stop to rest and feed on Fire Island as they head south for the Winter.  It is hard to believe but they will end up in the mountains of Central Mexico for the Winter!

It also a great time to watch the beaches for Humpback Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins.  They have been feeding together fairly close to shore and should hang around as long the bunker is still here.  Better yet, consider jumping on the American Princess Cruises with Gotham Whale this weekend, running trips Saturday, Sunday and Columbus Day out of Breezy Point.    We are planning on another group trip at the end of the month for anyone interested.  Visit their website for details.

This week’s cover shot goes to Janis Hurley with a fantastic shot of a pair of Merlins together.

Click below for 6 pages of  images from the Long Island Wildlife Photography group this week along with a great video of some Bald Eagle family conflict on the last page from Natalie Ann!

Janis Hurley | Monarch Butterflies

Dan Fiore | Bobolink

Heff Stoppe | Northern Flicker

Janis Hurley | Merlins

Jim Botta | Bobolink

Jimmy Johnny | Belted Kingfisher

Vincenzo Giordano | Greater Yellowlegs

Steven Williams | Easterm Phoebe

Steven Williams | Eastern Towhee

Steve Hyman | Bald Eagle

Jim Botta | Greater Yellowlegs

More photos on Pages 2,3,4,5, and 6