Morning Flight - Friday, August 31, 2018

The final morning of August featured an interesting mix of both weather and birds. A cluster of thunderstorms passed through much of the peninsula just before sunrise, bringing plenty of lightning and torrential rainfall. In addition to depicting this rain, radar also indicated some bird movement overnight, though easterly winds aloft led birds inland and away from the coastal plain.

 [One of 213 northbound American Redstarts counted Friday morning. Photo © Andrew Dreelin.]

Still, we were pleasantly surprised to find a number of birds on the move once the sun came up, with a nice northbound movement dominated by American Redstarts. Overall warbler diversity was fair, with the remainder including 20 Yellows, 16 Northern Waterthrushes, 14 Black-and-whites, 4s of Cape May, Parula, and Chestnut-sided, 2s of Blackburnian, Tennessee, and Black-throated Blue, and singles of Prothonotary, Prairie, and Blue-winged.

A highlight for many was the Western Kingbird that briefly appeared just to the south of the dike during the mid-AM; it tangled with several Eastern Kingbirds before vanishing again a few minutes later. The flight gradually tapered as easterly surface winds and associated cloud cover swiftly increased after 8:00am.

 [A Western Kingbird squabbles with one of the locals. Photo © Andrew Dreelin.]

Count totals can be found here; a full list of birds encountered here.

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