Sunday, September 9, 2012

... and the other half may come tomorrow!

Well, it was a bit of a strange one today; the long-term weather forecast had looked really good, with the promise of the first NW front coming through - guaranteed to bring birds. In the end, a pretty steady belt of rain, variously overhead and to the north of us, put paid to a big arrival of birds, but there was plenty to enjoy and it was certainly worth the early start at Higbee Beach. In the event, there was no extended movement of birds, but a kind of condensed hour-long period early morning provided some wonderful moments. First light was quiet, but then the busy period started, with all those present enjoying movements of Black-and-white Warblers, American Redstarts and Red-eyed Vireos, liberally sprinkled with Blackpoll Warblers at the dike and Nothern Parulas both at the dike and in the fields. Veeries called from every other tree, a Wood Thrush was 'bubbling' in the woods and a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher was in the parking lot. Yellow-billed Cuckoos were active and unwilling to stay long and a few Red-breasted Nuthatches continued to move through. Other goodies today included Connecticut and Mourning Warblers at Higbee's, an Olive-sided Flycatcher at Cox Hall Creek and a late Orchard Oriole at the dike.

Later, the Hawkwatch provided plenty of activity, with American Kestrels putting on an excellent show. Late in the day, I ventured over to Sunset Beach, where at least 15 kestrels and five Merlins were hunting over the old Magnasite Plant and my own day ended with two American Golden Plovers heading south down the bayshore against a setting sun - oh alright, it really ended with a few beers in town actually!!

So what of Monday? Well, the forecast is set for North-westerlies to continue through the night and into tomorrow, so I reckon Higbee's will be hopping again - hopefully with all those birds that didn't make it through today!