August 11th - 20th, 2010

American Redstart

Although a nice variety of migrants moved through the area in small numbers during the summary period, a hot and humid mid-month made for a fairly quiet time at Fish Point from August 11th - 20th. But despite the balmy conditions, there was some active diurnal migration on a number of mornings, with a steady stream of kingbirds, swallows, waxwings, bobolinks, red-wings, and orioles, observed flying south from the tip. Interestingly, these movements occurred only on days with south and southwest winds. But with dawn temperatures as high as 25° C, along with predominately east and southwest winds, songbird activity was generally light in mid-August compared to previous years, which was likely due to the warm weather.

Seventeen Fall 'firsts' were recorded from August 11th - 20th including Ruddy Turnstone (Aug 14th), Peregrine Falcon (Aug 12th), Magnolia Warbler (Aug 16th), Ovenbird (Aug 19th), Mourning Warbler (Aug 11th), and Cape May Warbler (Aug 20th), among others. The highlight of the week was a Prothonotary Warbler noted on census on August 13th.

Ones-and-twos of a variety of species were banded earlier in the summary period, including Least and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Red-eyed Vireo, Northern Waterthrush, and Canada Warbler, but activity picked-up on the 17th and continued until the 20th. American Redstarts were abundant, with 14 individuals banded on the 20th, followed by smaller numbers of Black-and-white, Tennessee, Chestnut-sided and Magnolia Warbler. In all, eleven warbler species were captured during the ten-day period.

While the Common Terns noted in the last migration summary (August 1st - 10th) were absent this week, cormorant and gull totals increased considerably after the 15th, with 3600 Double-crested Cormorants and 1200 gulls of four species recorded on August 17th. Shorebirds were more in evidence as well, with a group of 8 Sanderlings, a few turnstones, and the season's first Semipalmated Plover noted on August 18th.

PIBO's next migration summary will be posted on September 2nd.

Photo: Sumiko Onishi