A Little Bump of Yellow Rumps!

The longshore flight for Thursday, April 19 bore close resemblance to yesterdays survey.  While the totals were nearly identical (4,286 birds today vs. 4,231 yesterday), the composition of species and their totals were in stark contrast.  If yesterday was the hawk and blackbird theme day, today, the yellow wonders took stage.

The morning began warm and calm.  Temperatures at 58 degrees under a south wind would fluctuate with shifting lake breezes, that caught a foot hold by 10am, bringing the temperature down five degrees.  Winds never picked up to the predicted 10-20mph, but stayed around 5 mph all morning.

The referred to yellow up above was a good goldfinch and early warbler flight.  American Goldfinches streamed by in flocks of 30-50 today, quickly escalating to an incredible 1,157 birds.  This marks the 8th largest dunes count recorded.  Unfortunately, an overcast sky dulled out the incredible bright yellow sight that it could have been.

Also notable was the first major Yellow-rumped Warbler flight of the season.  In loose flocks and singles, these early migrant warblers were in full force migrating just above the counters’ heads today.  An incredible 435 were counted among migrating Palm and Pine Warblers.   Even with 400+ birds, the Yellow-rumps barely crack the top 10 dunes count, which goes to 2,823 of them April 26, 2011.  There’s still time!

Early Prairie Warbler, Indiana Dunes State Park, 4/19/12.

A single Prairie Warbler was back on territory in the dunes today.  This northern outpost hosts many nesting birds.  Today’s little chap was the dunes’ 3rd earliest record.

Rounding out the highlights for today were, 104 D-C Cormorants, 185 Blue Jays, 1 American Pipit, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 7 Pine Warblers, 5 Rusty Blackbirds, 19 Purple Finch, and 4 Pine Siskin

And now the north winds come.

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