Morning Flight, 29-31 October 2016

While this is the last action-update for the Morning Flight count season, ending on 31 Oct, there will be more posts in the coming weeks to sum-up and expand on many of the interesting findings from this season.  My head is swirling from all the new data and also from the past few days' flights.

October 29 with light southeast winds, is THE day of this season where southward movement most clearly overshadowes any northbound flight.  Four (north) or five (one back south, same individual?--seemingly) Tennessee Warblers was a welcome sighting.  A few warblers like Yellow-rumped (43% of 133 total flew north) and Blackpoll, and American Robin (18% of 1337 total flew north) carried most of the north category.  To the south, 3070 of the 3,377 (91%) non-raptor landbirds counted flew. I use the quirky term "non-raptor landbirds" here, instead of songbirds, to technically and nerdily include the wonderful Yellow-billed Cuckoo that blazed by today.  Thanks for that one, and for the season of good effort, reaching out to our visitors, interpretive naturalist, Maria Smith! And, thanks and HI! to Jason Sigismondi, Pamela Stampul, Jesse Amesbury, and Kirsten Fuller for all their help as interpretive naturalists at the Morning Flight Platform this fall!!!

October 30 had very light to light west winds, with a low diversity, but still 3,515 non-raptor landbirds were counted.  South (57%) casually overtook the north (43%) flight while more undertook south flight to the east and more headed north to the west, nearer or spilling slightly over into the Delaware Bay, with regard to flightline tendencies, but a great variety of flightlines took place that day.

October 31, 2016 was the final day and the coldest-feeling when I arrived under-dressed and there was a piercing 10+ mph north wind breathing up face and down back.  The flightlines were wavy, twisting, or even swirling for robins, warblers, and others, while swallows and blackbirds largely flew straight (yet still variable and changing in altitude), paths.  Diversity was low but numbers were relatively high for American Robin (3,435 north, with ~1,000 or possibly more out past ~800 meters east).

Whew, that was a lot of talk about numbers, but don't worry there is way more of that to come, along with discussion of things learned through this season and past seasons of Morning Flight Project.

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