Friday, October 9, 2009

Flight After All

Much to our surprise, an early morning movement of landbirds and raptors was very much evident today, despite the wind shift to the south overnight.

Very interestingly, David LaPuma reported strong nocturnal movement in the northeast on the radar last night. Jeff Wells had heavy nocturnal migration over central Maine, too far north, at over 500 miles, for those birds to reach us by morning but indicative of what was going on. And Andy Farnsworth had lots of calling over Manhattan this early morning, and reported a morning flight there.

We had written this morning off, and I didn't go out listening in the dark, but Doug Gochfeld counted 8,997 birds at Morning Flight! Included in the mix were 3001 Yellow-rumped Warblers (I busted on him a little for that very precise number), 1325 Palm Warblers, and 3,600 unidentified warblers. Also in the mix wer 691 Cedar Waxwings, 140 Flickers, 24 Black-throated Green Warblers, and 9 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. 14 species of Warblers were identified.

Anyone who's birded Higbee Beach in the fall knows the flight, when there is one, is generally going north, but today they were flying straight into the wind - heading south.

The CMBO Higbee walk had similar birds, with some challenging viewing in the fields since only a few paused in the trees. Raptors were moving, too, and we noted multiples of both small falcons and both small accipiters, as well as a number of Ospreys. Teed-up Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Baltimore Oriole were highlights, as was a sort of cooperative Nashville Warbler.

A drake Ring-necked Duck is on Lily Lake today, my first of fall.

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