Saturday, October 18, 2008

Many Migrants in Town

Thursday night was the first ideal night for migration in at least week, and migrants poured through. Yesterday morning, I spent about 20-30 minutes on the beach at Cape May Point to watch what was passing. Sharp-shinned hawks were already plentiful, flying just above the dune line. Yellow-rumped warblers were all over the bushes. (Up at Higbee's they counted over 11,000.) Several eastern meadowlarks passed overhead, along with various other songbirds that I failed to identify. Farther out near the mouth of the bay, there was a large gathering of northern gannets.

Oddly enough, we banded relatively few raptors despite the large overnight and early morning flight - only seven at the station where I was working. Starting around mid-morning, a heavy cloud cover seemed to shut off whatever movement had started. The strong wave of migration was still evident, however, in a first fall Baltimore oriole and a flock of blackpoll warblers that passed through the station, as well as greater than usual numbers of eastern phoebes and brown thrashers.