Slow Ticking in the Wrong Winds

With variable winds (aka not south), the longshore flight grinds down to a trickle.  This trickle, however, can’t be ignored when it’s May.  Too many migrant possibilities exist that draw the counters to the dune top.  Statistically for the dunes (per Ken Brock), the peak of warbler migration is May 13.  Today is the statistical peak for White-crowned Sparrows.  Blue-headed Vireos peaked yesterday, and Lincoln Sparrows will peak by Friday.  All statistically of course.

Today’s flight involved 1,162 birds of 82 species.  Even on a meager day, new birds can arrive, since it’s May.  True to form, today welcomed Philadelphia Vireo to the tower list this season.  Season total: 204 species.

Other highlights included: 1 Common Loon, 3 Merlin (40 for the season now), 570 Blue Jays, 1 Orange-crowned Warbler, 3 Lincoln’s Sparrows, 17 White-crowned Sparrows, 1 Summer Tanager, and 2 Pine Siskin.

Just as interesting locally today was the continued persistence of Snowy Owls in northwest Indiana.  The bird below represents the state’s second latest spring sighting.  This bird is also different than the owl seen in LaPorte County last week.

Female Snowy Owl seen today, 5/8/12, six miles south of the Green Tower site. This bird is the state’s second latest spring record. Photo courtesy Ken Brock.



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