Wednesday, March 28 brought another light morning in migration. The southerly winds throughout the night shifted to west at dawn. A west wind from the high dune top travels over a small sliver of Lake Michigan before chilling the counters. It also helps create small waves on the beach.
Today’s flight consisted of 1,428 individual birds. Clearly, the earlier bang of blackbirds and robins have been bottled up. We have many more of them to see throughout April, so the weather is evidently restricting their movement. Gulls were again moving again, with 14 Herring Gulls noted and 3 Great Black-backed Gulls. The now well known Great Black-backed (Glaucous?) hybrid gull made it’s near daily flight past the green tower. We believe it now waves when it goes by. Flickers made an attempt to migrate today, with 39 being seen. A few sapsuckers were flying with them. But, compared to recent counts, these numbers were small.
Two new birds were added to the season totals today for the old Green Tower site. The first, a well seen, flyby female Hooded Merganser was near the shoreline moving west. The second, technically within spittin’ distance to observation area, a beautiful Long-eared Owl was located in the nearby pine stands. This bird stared intently at visiting birders carefully throughout the day, and was still present roosting in the park as of this writing.
113 species have been seen from the Green Tower area in March of 2012. We hope to wrap up the week with some more counts, but the March lions may prevent it. April 1 looks good, with a strong south winds. Let’s hope it’s not an April Fools joke.