Morning Flight - Tuesday, August 21, 2018

We’ve been fortunate so far in the count that we’ve had very few days with southeast winds. These are traditionally the least favorable wind conditions for landbird migration in Cape May, since the south winds act as a headwind for migrants, and easterlies push migrants inland away from the coast (although it can be very productive for the seawatch!).

Most species were not moving past Higbee in notable numbers this morning, but we had another stellar day of aerial insectivore movement with 1,777 actively migrating Barn Swallows! For over an hour, Barn Swallows were shooting by so quickly that it was hard for me to scan anywhere but the Bayshore! As opposed to Saturday’s flight on southwest winds where Barn Swallows were moving broadly across Cape May Point and with the biggest concentration was at the Meadows, most of today’s smaller flight seemed to be along the Bayshore and over the water thanks to the easterly winds. So who knows how many Barn Swallows were migrating further out over the Delaware Bay! Other highlights from the day include 12 southbound Great Egrets, a lone Dickcissel, and the count’s best day for Bank Swallows so far with 13 headed south mixed in with the Barns.
Lots of variation in Barn Swallow bellies today, from rusty orange to pearly white!
We are still looking forward to the cold front passing through Wednesday night and bringing northerly winds into Friday morning. But rather than hear me conjecture about weather, why not check out the 3-day migration forecasts from BirdCast that will running for the rest of the fall? We’re big fans of the good work that they do, which is changing birding for the better by informing birders about how weather influences migration in real-time, all while doing some cutting edge research.

As always, you can find the link to the official count on Trektellen here and the complete eBird checklist here. More photos from the day can be found below.

Bring on Day 22!

The most nimbly-bimbly of all swallows.
Such fresh plumage you have, my dear! 

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