SEPTEMBER 21st - 30th, 2010

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Migration activity at Fish Point was up-and-down during the final ten days of September as a result of some rainy weather and yet more unseasonably warm temperatures and south winds from the 21st – 25th. But despite the less then ideal conditions, a nice variety of birds continued to move through the area in significant numbers and PIBO staff and volunteers were kept busy throughout most of the summary period.

Rain, dawn temperatures of 20º C, and southerly winds, made for a quiet time at the start of the week, although September 23rd was active, with 51 species recorded in the official count area including nine warbler species, increased numbers of Cedar Waxwings and American Pipits, and more then 60 White-throated Sparrows. The first banded Scarlet Tanager of the fall was captured on the day along with the first Northern Juncos of the season.

The dawn temperature was 25º C the next morning and, not surprisingly, just 27 species were noted in the count area, although a couple of Peregrine Falcons at the tip made for an enjoyable sight on the census. September 25th was equally inactive, but the winds shifted to the north that evening and the mercury dropped to 13º C overnight, and it was a busy morning on the 26th, with 63 species recorded on the day along with 77 birds banded of twenty-three species. Fifteen warbler species were tallied (nine species banded) including the first Orange-crowned Warblers of the Fall, and there were lots of flickers, kinglets, thrushes, and sparrows observed and banded.

More precipitation on September 27th and 28th affected our daily field coverage, although there were quite a few birds recorded on the census on the 27th including 71 Blue Jays, 50 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and eight warbler species. A singing Whip-poor-will was noted in the netting area just before sun-up on the 27th, which was a first for the Fall.

The tide turned once again and the final two days of the summary period were quite active, with fifty species recorded during the standard count period on September 29th and 30th and with just over one hundred birds banded over the two day period. Golden-crowned Kinglets were numerous on the 29th, with 129 birds counted, along with 48 Ruby-crowns, 20 Brown Creepers, 17 Winter Wrens, and a nice variety of other mid to late-Fall migrants. Warblers continued to appear in small numbers as well including ten species noted on the 29th. The first Red-headed Woodpecker of the autumn was recorded on September 30th.

PIBO’s next migration summary will be posted on October 12th.

Photo: Sumiko Onishi