Morning Flight - Saturday, September 8, 2018

Moderate northeast winds, cloudy skies from horizon to horizon, and steady rain meant that this morning was not a day for photos, but there were still some birds moving in the first two hours after sunrise. You’ll just have to use your imagination for this one!

I always associate days like today with Northern Waterthrushes, because for whatever reason, they really don’t seem to mind flying in these conditions unlike many warblers (but then again, Parkesia are a distinct flavor of warbler indeed). 43 northbound individuals flew by the dike this morning, consistently alerting us to their presence with their “explosive,” rising zeep flight calls. It was also nice to observe the variation in belly color from crisp sulphur yellow to pallid white, despite the dark lighting conditions.

Not to be outdone, American Redstarts kept flying, and I counted 47 birds headed north back up the peninsula. A Blackburnian Warbler, a Scarlet Tanager and another Dickcissel were the other highlights on the songbird diversity front.

Looking ahead, we desperately need a strong cold front around here, but the 7-day forecast calls for mostly sustained northeast and east winds. These are strange times indeed, folks. These conditions are especially frustrating compared to last year’s epic flight around this time, but it’s a good reminder that nothing is given when it comes to migration and to cherish every single migrant all the more (especially in the context of climate change, habitat destruction, etc.). Still, there’s the redeeming feeling that we are collecting valuable data to better understand how the pulse of migration is changing in this human-dominated era.

As always, you can find the link to the official count on Trektellen here and the complete eBird checklist here.

Bring on Day 40!

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