Morning Flight, 11 October 2016

Hi Morning Flight fans, you've checked in on another really interesting, migration-al-ish day at the Higbee dike in Cape May.  Today the Red-breasted Nuthatch (totally absent yesterday) returned to fly in a modest way with 33.  I was on the hunt for White-breasted Nuthatch today (and a few were noted in Cape May Point as is now is a typical arrival time of these mysterious migrants) but didn't get to detect on with the other "nuts". Yesterday was a good day for Cedar Waxwing and American Pipit but not a single one of these was around at the the dike this morning.  What an amazing phenological difference between these two days!

>900 warblers flew north today, about one third of what went through yesterday. The warbler species diversity is still "hanging in there" with 12 species, and such nice ones as Orange-crowned, Blackburnian, Yellow, and Connecticut Warblers. Today was only the second day of the season, that is that lacked much raining, that Northern Waterthrush wasn't detected. It's amazing how regularly, even on the slowest days, that at least one NOWA will break the tree-line and fly a track to the north.  with the challenges of detecting and identifying as much as one can at the dike, there probably was a waterthrush in the mix today but just not noticed.  They start strong at the beginning of the count, in mid-August, when Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is at its potential peak, so I was really excited to see one little guy/girl head north for a little bit, and three hours into the count, when the air had warmed some.  I think the 48 deg F temperature at dawn could have influenced a smaller flight than might have been expected.  But colder weather will be a good thing for the rest of October when it comes to the 2 or 3 cold fronts that already look like they're forming up and set to bring the birds to Cape May!

Today's list:

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