Wednesday, April 1 was a great day for a longshore flight. After off and on cold spells, it was no joking matter that the counters were ready for some good counting. By dawn, some decent blackbird and robin flocks started to make an appearance. It would soon be clear that new arrivals would be flooding in as well. The sun was bright, winds were light, and viewing conditions were excellent today.
We broke the 3,000 bird slump today with a nice tally of 13,660 birds. It also helped the count total reach 100,000 birds. The first time to break 100,000 in the season the last four years are below. Remember, 2012 was the hot year, 2013 was the average year (Temperatures), and 2014 was the cold year. It also provided for the 100th bird of the season. Those being… #98 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker , #99 Eurasian Collared-Dove, and #100 Eastern Towhee. #101 was not far behind with a pair of American White-Pelicans.
100,000 birds date by season
2012- March 14
2013- March 28
2014- March 31
By mid-morning the cranes starting to migrate. Despite the first flocks moving weeks ago, there were still plenty bottled up. An excellent, and season high count of 4,765 cranes migrated over the duneland area. It was also the best raptor flight of the year. However, the caveat being that we have not had much of a hawk flight yet. Some 84 birds of prey would fly over, with Turkey Vulture, Red-tailed Hawk, and Sharp-shinned Hawks dominating.
Duck diversity was down slightly, but 19 Common Loons were the best of the season thus far. 24 juncos may not seem high, but the singing near the tower all day gave hint to a staging occurring now. They should start to filter out soon. Another season high was totaled with Pine Siskin. 48 were zipping past, far earlier than they usually peak at. What will the next month bring!?
We start April with 104,715 birds, comprising 102 species. Tomorrow we dodge rain drops, but if the timing is right, it could be another good day. Time will tell.