A Good Week!
Well, if you like Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings, then this
has been the week for you! While some species are showing up in good numbers,
those two species continue to be abundant and widespread. The front that
was moving across the country last week created some good fallouts along
the Gulf coast, especially Louisiana and Alabama. The front passed by Texas
before migrants started arriving from the tropics, so while they had a
good diversity, numbers were low. Southwestern Louisiana, on the other
hand, had a very good day on the 25th. At one location in Cameron Parish
a birder sighted 85 Yellow Warblers, 35 Common Yellowthroats, 120 Indigo
Buntings, and 24 Scarlet Tanagers. On the 26th, the storms hit the Alabama
coast, reported good fallouts, with 60 Tennessee Warblers, 59 Blackpoll
Warblers, 83 Summer Tanagers, 46 Baltimore Orioles, 36 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks,
and over 1,000 Indigo Buntings! By May 1st, the front reached the eastern
US, where many migrants had enjoyed southerly winds which allowed them
to make some good progress north. When the rains came, Pennsylvania in
particular had a nice little fallout. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Common Yellowthroats,
Gray Catbirds, Least Flycatchers, Great-crested Flycatchers, and Chestnut-sided
Warblers were all reported in good numbers. Indigo Buntings, Yellow Warblers,
Baltimore Orioles, and Wood Thrushes had even made it as far north as Massachusetts
before being forced to land.
the East: Birds Continue on Their Way — But Some Missing!
the time the front reached the East Coast, winds had shifted to the
south where the earlier fallouts had occurred. This allowed birds to
continue on their way. In DeKalb County, Georgia, 10 species of warblers
were seen, including, Blackpoll Warblers, Cape May Warblers, Magnolia
Warblers, and Tennessee Warblers. Here in Tennessee, we had a similar
assortment, including our first Blackpolls, Magnolias, Tennessees,
and Balckburnians, along with (of course) Indigo Buntings and Rose-breasted
Grosbeaks. We also had our first Swanson's Thrushes, Baltimore Orioles,
Eastern Wood-Pewees, and Yellow-billed Cuckoos. Many species that are
common at my study site are present in low numbers or absent altogether.
I hear very few Hooded Warblers and Ovenbirds, only a few Common Yellowthroats.
Pewees have not shown up yet.
Migrants Arriving Out West
west, the areas along the Rio Grande River in New Mexico continue to
see good numbers of migrants arriving from the tropics. This
past week, 6 species of flycatchers, 6 species of vireos, and 10 species
of warblers were seen. The southerly winds have not only allowed birds
to arrive from the tropics, but have allowed birds already in New Mexico
and California to keep moving north. Oregon had Orange-crowned Warblers,
Wilson's Warblers, Black-throated-gray Warblers, Common Yellowthroats,
and Western Tanagers.
What's the Birdwatching Outlook Ahead?
weak storm system is over the plains right now. While the rain
is not heavy, it is enough to force birds to land. Places like
Oklahoma and Missouri should have a couple of days of good birding.
the system moves east, there could be some small fallouts, but
nothing like the last couple of weeks. Nonetheless,
there is a lot around, so it will still be worth getting out and
seeing what's there!
Another front is moving in off of the Pacific. That should bring some
good birding to the west as well.
Migration is peaking across much of the country, so get out there
and enjoy it!
North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy
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