Friday, April 30, 2010

Bird Migration Update

From our friends at Journey North:

April 28, 2010

It was another good week for fallouts. That storm system that brought the terrible weather to many people across the country also forced many birds to land. In Galveston, TX, 350 Dickssels were seen, and an observer reported swallows passing by at the rate of 150 per minute! At nearby High Island, researchers at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory reported hundreds of Blue Grosbeaks, Indigo Buntings, and Painted Buntings, along with 32 species of warblers!

The scene was similar along the southwest coast of Louisiana.The storm system arrived in Tennessee on Saturday, and a birder in Memphis went out after the storm passed and saw hundreds of Indigo Buntings, Blue Grosbeaks, and Eastern Kingbirds.

By Sunday, the system had reached the East Coast. On Monday, April 26, at Cape May, NJ (one of the best places in the country to be during both spring and fall migration) people tallied 50 Gray Catbirds, 30 House Wrens, and over 200 Yellow-rumped Warblers!!! Once the system passed, the strong north winds behind it have kept migrants grounded for a while. Before the system arrived, however, there was good flying weather, and migrants were able to make some progress. In New Hampshire, the first Eastern Kingbirds, Wood Thrushes, and Louisiana Waterthrushes showed up, while Nebraska had its first Warbling Vireo, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and Cliff Swallows, and the first Western Kingbirds and Indigo Buntings showed up in Kansas.

Farther west, they have had southerly winds most of the week, so migrants have been cruising along. People in Arizona and New Mexico have been seeing good numbers of Ash-throated Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Bullock's Orioles, Western Kingbirds, and Western Tanagers. Nevada has seen an influx of flycatchers (Ash-throated, Gray, Hammond's); vireos (Plumbeous, Cassin's, Bell's); Scott's Orioles; and Western Kingbirds. Wilson's Warblers, Orange-crowned Warblers, Nashville Warblers, and Western Kingbirds have shown up in Colorado and Washington.

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