PIBO Migration Summary

April 21st – 30th, 2013


Prothonotary Warbler


It was a busy and productive ten days at the Point from April 21st – 30th thanks in part to six days of southerly winds at the end of the month. It remained cool up to the 27th, with dawn temperatures averaging around 3° C, but migration remained consistent and a good variety of species were noted in moderate numbers. In all, 22 spring ‘firsts’ were recorded during the summary period, including a number of unusual species.


Northeast winds and a chilly 1° C greeted staff on the morning of the 21st, but there were quite a few birds around, with 52 species recorded during the ‘count’ period, including the first Red-breasted Nuthatches of the spring and a White-eyed Vireo. April 22nd saw a similar mix of species – swallows were numerous along the west beach, with over 100 birds of four species observed, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were active, with 26 and 13 individuals recorded, respectively.


The wind remained from the north and migrant numbers tapered off on the 23rd – a Cooper’s Hawk and Ovenbird were both new for the year – and a blustery and very rainy morning on April 24th made for a fairly quiet time, with just 34 species tallied on the census. But things turned around the next day and staff were greeted with a busy morning on the 25th. More than 200 swallows were observed feeding over Fox Pond including 85 Barn, 51Tree, ones-and-twos of Bank and Northern Rough-winged, and the season’s first Cliff Swallow. Fifty-five species were documented, including a banded male Prothonotary Warbler and a singing White-eyed Vireo.


It was cool (2° C) and clear on the 26th and there wasn’t much to report apart from the first Veery of the spring, still lots of swallows, and small numbers of three warbler and five sparrow spp. The next day was generally quiet as well, with 46 species recorded in small numbers, but a few new arrivals included a Warbling Vireo and Black-and-white Warbler, along with a banded Louisiana Waterthrush. It rained most of the day on April 28th and just the census and a few hours of netting were conducted. Forty-eight species were tallied including a Northern Mockingbird.


It was extremely foggy and migrants were fairly sparse in the morning on April 29th, but an afternoon walk along the beach at the PIBO cottage (part of the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up) produced 50 balloons, a Red-headed Woodpecker, and PIBO’s first recorded Henslow’s Sparrow. The final day of the summary period was similar to the preceding four days – our official daily species count for the last five days of April was remarkably consistent: April 30th (45 DT), 29th (48), 28th (48), 27th (46) and 26th (44). While there were no large concentrations of birds, a nice range of species was tallied on the 30th including spring ‘firsts’ for Hooded Merganser, Wood Thrush, Yellow Warbler, and Lincoln’s Sparrow.   


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


Photo: Sumiko Onishi