Monday, September 23, 2013

Highlights from September 16th- 22nd 2013

"When the gales of November come early." A cold front from the northwest is the favorable direction for good fall migration. A major front with extensive rain arrived Friday night departing just before daybreak Saturday morning. Often migrants "balloon in front of the rain front but just as often they follow right on its heels as if drafting the pressure and precipitation change. This scenario is just what happened Saturday morning; and what a day Saturday was! Untold numbers of warblers and some thrushes could be heard calling the hour before light as they descended to land following the early morning lake crossing.

Blackpoll Warblers (BLPW) were arriving in flocks, and not to be outdone, the Cape May Warblers (CMWA) arrived in numbers we haven't seen for quite a few years. An additional 18 warbler species wee recorded that day or earlier in the week and included: Tennessee (TEWA), Nashville (NAWA), Yellow (YEWA), Chestnut-sided (CSWA), Magnolia (MAWA), Black-throated Blue (BTBW), Myrtle (MYWA), Black-throated Green (BTNW), Blackburnian (BLBW), Bay-breasted (BBWA), Black-and-white (BAWW), American Redstart (AMRE), Ovenbird (OVEN), Northern Waterthrush (NOWA), Connecticut (CONW), Common Yellowthroat (COYE), Wilson's (WIWA), and Canada (CAWA). 

Below is a closer look at the CMWAs from Saturday. There was a boatload (or in this case a sky and shrub load) of them around. This species is highly variable in plumage in fall.

Cape May Warblers: adult male left and adult female right.
Note fine streaks on breast and small pointed bill.

Some highlights from the week:

Blue-headed Vireo
Connecticut Warbler:adult male with complete white eye ring.Two CONWs were captured and banded on 9/21/13

Stay tuned for another week of increasing numbers of Blackpoll Warblers. Keep that dog-eared page of confusing fall warblers handy! Prepare for the October birds: kinglets, sparrows, and blackbirds to start cranking up. 

Please mark your calendar and join us for a free public banding demonstration at BSBO next Saturday from 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM. 

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