Swainson’s Hawk!

Warm air and humidity spilled into the region today and allowed a few good birds to slip into the area.  Unfortunately, the 5 day forecast doesn’t look too good for any huge influxes of migrating birds.  But, today’s dune daily download will likely keep the area habitats with worthy birds to seek out through the weekend, no matter the temperature.

The day’s count was diverse, but not high.  Only 1,251 birds were seen, but they were represented by 75 species.  New birds at the tower site for the year were only a flock of Pectoral Sandpipers.  Early spring migrants may be making their last hurrah, with a single White-winged Scoter and 11 Long-tailed Ducks still moving by.

The highlight of the day was one of the best hawkwatches of the season.  This season’s hawk numbers have been nothing compared to last year’s banner year, so 135 birds becomes good this year! It only takes one hawk to make a good hawkwatch though.  Early in the hawkwatch period today, a single Swainson’s Hawk passed over the tower site.  Most, but not everyone present got to see it.

Yesterday we teased a few warblers to ID.  Today we’re going to combine that quiz with another.  So to win the Sibley Birding Basics book either ID the 3 warblers in yesterday’s video found here or comment here with the ID of the two hawks below.  We’ll extend the date through the weekend.

Today’s count had the assistance of John Cassady and Ken Brock.  Highlights below:

Blue-winged Teal 7
Lesser Scaup 21
White-winged Scoter 1
Long-tailed Duck 11 
Red-breasted Merganser 7
Red-throated Loon 21
Osprey 4
Sharp-shinned Hawk 30
Broad-winged Hawk 14
Swainson’s Hawk 1
Sandhill Crane 7
Pectoral Sandpiper 10
Great Black-backed Gull 2
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Pileated Woodpecker 1
Merlin 1
Blue Jay 10
Black-capped Chickadee 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4
Pine Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 43
Dark-eyed Junco 2
Yellow-headed Blackbird 1 
Purple Finch 6

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