August 11th – August 20th, 2012
It was a lowkey start to the summary period but activity picked up on the 13th and migrants continued to arrive in moderate numbers throughout the rest of the week. In all, 26 Fall ‘firsts’ were recorded over ten days, including eleven warbler species, and a nice variety of birds were banded in small numbers.
Heavy thunderstorms and strong west winds on the 11th and 12th hampered the coverage effort and just the 90-minute census was conducted on both days. While not many species were tallied, there was a good southward movement of swallows on August 11th, including 180 Purple Martins and 160 Barn Swallows departing off the tip.
Despite some warm southwest winds on the 13th, a nice range of birds appeared that morning and 55 species were noted in the official ‘count’ area, including the first American Redstarts and Bobolinks of the Fall. A lively Eastern Screech-Owl was the first banded bird of the season. Heavy rain on August 14th and more southerly winds the next day made for a quiet time, although a few birds were banded, including Fall ‘firsts’ for Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Magnolia Warbler.
Similar conditions prevailed over the following two days but then the wind shifted to the north, the temperature dropped to 15° C, and a nice variety and number of migrants showed up on the 18th. Ten warbler species were banded including season ‘firsts’ for Tennessee, Bay-breasted, and Mourning Warbler, and 47 species were observed on the day.
While not as active on August 19th, a noticeable increase in cormorants (3200) and 3 Bald Eagles were noted at the tip and 50 species were recorded during the official ‘count’ period, including the first Cape May Warbler of the Fall. A small but steady movement of diurnal migrants departing south off the tip on the morning census included 22 Barn Swallows, 18 Bobolinks, 18 Cedar Waxwings, 11 Chimney Swifts, and 3 Eastern Kingbirds. Fifty-two species were tallied on the final day of the summary period including eight warbler species, along with small numbers, of Red-breasted Nuthatch, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Veery, and Gray Catbird, among others.
PIBO’s next migration summary will be posted on September 2nd.
Photo: Sumiko Onishi