More Birders than Birds

Saturday, April 7 brought a small taste of southerly winds, and likewise drew a handful of birders to see if any migration would take place.  The winds were more east during the night, but turned southerly at dawn, at first quite light, but slowly building speed.  By 1pm, the lake breeze had set in and north winds were again prevailing.

Green Tower Birders, April 7, 2012.

More birders than birds were present this morning, as the late shift in the winds failed to produce any movement.  Though north winds are forecasted on Sunday, perhaps some evening southerlies will bring some new birds in for the counters.  Like many other birders, we’ve been following the cool, new wind map being produced by hint.fm.  A trip to your neighborhood birding haunt will nearly always have birds, but the green tower count depends on the right winds.  It’s a boom or bust cycle for us up here.

This morning’s numerous birders counted a paltry 1,644 individual birds.  To date we are less than 2,500 birds from 200,000 for the season.  The best birds of the morning were 2 Red-throated Loons, 1 Great Egret, 1 flushed American Woodcock (new season bird), 1 light phase Rough-legged Hawk, 1 circling Short-eared Owl, 89 Tree Swallows, 4 Barn Swallows, 1 Pine Warbler, 2 Rusty Blackbirds, and 4 Purple Finches.

The full list follows:

Canada Goose 4
American Black Duck 1
Mallard 2
Red-breasted Merganser 46
Red-throated Loon 2
Common Loon 2
Double-crested Cormorant 194
Great Blue Heron 3
Great Egret 1
Turkey Vulture 7
Sharp-shinned Hawk 3
Cooper’s Hawk 3
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 4
Rough-legged Hawk 1
American Kestrel 1
Killdeer 1
American Woodcock 1
Bonaparte’s Gull 4
Ring-billed Gull 276
Herring Gull 4
Great Black-backed Gull 1
Caspian Tern 27
Mourning Dove 6
Short-eared Owl 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 13
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 2
American Crow 10
Tree Swallow 89
Barn Swallow 4
Tufted Titmouse 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Eastern Bluebird 11
American Robin 48
Brown Thrasher 1
European Starling 2
Pine Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 5
Eastern Towhee 1
Chipping Sparrow 9
Field Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 1
Red-winged Blackbird 501
Eastern Meadowlark 1
Rusty Blackbird 2
Common Grackle 225
Brown-headed Cowbird 33
Purple Finch 4
House Finch 5
American Goldfinch 64

Turkey Vulture over the Green Tower, April 7, 2012. Someone had a foul odor today.
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