A Morning of Milestones

The morning migration at Indiana Dunes State Park continued again, ready or not!  This morning saw more migrating birds than yesterday, with 8,424 birds flying by.  Several species hit some milestones for the season that may be worth mentioning.  Those being:

Sandhill Crane: 24, 947 (ok, not a milestone.  maybe tomorow?)
Killdeer: 503
Ring-billed Gull: 15,904 (actually hit a couple days ago)
Northern Flicker: 1,003!
American Pipit: 204

Tomorrow looks to be the magic day where we will have hit 50,000 Red-winged Blackbirds.  We’re at 49,741, so you’ll want to be there early for the celebration!

Aside from the usual highlights, some folks have been curious about the full list seen.  We’ve included it below for those interested.  Aside from the increased passerine flight, waterfowl were down today, as well as birds of prey.   Today’s best highlights were both expected loon species, a flyby Merlin, the first Lesser Yellowlegs of the season, and 229 Northern Flickers.  For the third day in a row, a Palm Warbler was seen from the high dune site.  We’ve now set the first, second, and third earliest spring migrants to the Dunes Area.  Not on the official count, but a Hermit Thrush was also found within the park boundaries this morning too.

The Longshore List, March 21, 2012

Canada Goose 10
Ring-necked Duck 6
Bufflehead 4
Common Merganser 2
Red-breasted Merganser 39
Red-throated Loon 5 continuing flight
Common Loon 1
Double-crested Cormorant 13
Great Blue Heron 7
Turkey Vulture 5
Sharp-shinned Hawk 3
Cooper's Hawk 4
Red-shouldered Hawk 2
Red-tailed Hawk 7
American Kestrel 1
Merlin 1
Sandhill Crane 143
Killdeer 11
Lesser Yellowlegs 1
Ring-billed Gull 419
Mourning Dove 38
Belted Kingfisher 3
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4
Northern Flicker 229
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 3
Blue Jay 1
American Crow 13
Tree Swallow 17
Tufted Titmouse 2
Brown Creeper 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 6
Eastern Bluebird 21
American Robin 655
Brown Thrasher 1
European Starling 49
American Pipit 37
Lapland Longspur 37
Palm Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3
Field Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 1
Red-winged Blackbird 4555
Common Grackle 1852
Brown-headed Cowbird 183
Purple Finch 2
House Finch 12
Pine Siskin 4
American Goldfinch 4

Lastly, we should thank Bernie Konrady for spending the last few mornings with us to gaze at the longshore flight. Today we had Bernie clicking off Flickers as they go by.

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