Enter the Cranes

Thursday, March 14 brought a small south wind shift and welcomed back a small longshore flight.  The flight today was brief.  Any wind shift was quickly neutralized by a lake breeze that set in for the rest of the day.  Conditions began below freezing but finally warmed to the low 40s.

In honor of Pi day, here’s today’s layout of birds in a pie chart.

pie chart

As seen above, the largest number of birds today came from Sandhill Cranes.  The first flight of cranes over the dunes began today with 3,091 birds.  Most were observed south of the park, likely turning west in the face of the lake breeze, rather than flying directly to the lake before turning.

Other notables seen in the 6,540 birds that went over  today included 17 White-winged Scoters, 1 Rough-legged Hawk, 1 Thayer’s Gull, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, and 9 Common Redpolls.  Today’s new species bring the season total to 75 species so far.

Tomorrow morning holds promise of south winds for a short time, before north winds and rain set in sometime in the afternoon.  After that, the weekend looks out until Monday.   Birding has certainly been colder this year compared to last year.  On this date last year temperatures were pushing 80 degrees.  Below shows the comparison during the first two weeks of March this year and last year.

march temp graph

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