Lions or Lambs?

Sunny and warmer conditions greeted our longshore flight on Monday, March 30.  It's been a cycle of cold and warm with very little continuing conditions.  What seems to be missing are multiple days with continued south winds, particularly those that continue through the night to bring a good morning flight.  By Tuesday morning we'll be … Continue reading Lions or Lambs?

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Slow Going After the Ides of March

It's been probably noticeable that we haven't given much in updates for the last few days.  After the nice surge of warm air that helped thaw things out and melt all the nearby snow, winds have wavered much more, with north winds pushing down the lake every few days.  It's been rare to have a … Continue reading Slow Going After the Ides of March

More Flights and Lights.

It's hard to write about the longshore flight after a spectacular day like Monday.  By Monday night the winds were howling.  Weather vanes swung hard from south to north by midnight and Tuesday brought bone chilling cold on the lakefront.  The breaking shelf ice literally built a brand new white cap of ice mounds behind … Continue reading More Flights and Lights.

Who Wants to Be the Millionth Bird!?…

...that could have been the question of the day!  After a sluggish week start, the longshore flight for Monday, March 16 could only be described as remarkable.  Perhaps for the counters, exhausting!  Dawn arrived at 6:59am local time and within minutes the first streams of blackbirds and robins filled the warm 54 degree air.  It … Continue reading Who Wants to Be the Millionth Bird!?…

Major Crane Movement

Sunday, March 15 was one of those days to regret if you didn't make it outside to enjoy the dunes.  Fortunately, those that didn't were in the minority, as thousands of visitors winged over the sandhills along Lake Michigan.  They were joined by thousands of the human kind too.  It didn't take long before the … Continue reading Major Crane Movement

Craning Necks

Friday, March 13 was anything but spooky for the longshore count.  After a good night of south winds, early season waterfowl, early season passerines, and the first real crane flight would post the highest longshore flight of the season. Some 6,000+ birds would drift past the site today, nearly doubling the previous season high thus … Continue reading Craning Necks

Still Slow Going

March 12 marked the sixth day of counting in the 2015 longshore flight season.  As has been the case this week, things have been slow going with little push of the major passerines we have been expecting.  While slow, it's not the slowest start yet.  Last year's count began even slower, with the bone chilling … Continue reading Still Slow Going

Migration Staging… somewhere

Our second day of the longshore flight season showed promise, but would ultimately fizzle out.  While temperatures are telling us spring is coming, we may not always appreciate the effort and work the birds must do to arrive here in the dunes.  Snowstorms to the south of us in previous weeks have snow melt that … Continue reading Migration Staging… somewhere

It Starts With One

Sunday, March 9th, marked the official start of the 2015 Indiana Dunes Longshore Flight.  Unfortunately, the day wasn't as warm and sunny as yesterday's sneak peak at the spring weather to come.  Despite this a colorful sunrise greeted the chilly morning.  Yesterday's amazing warm up left signs all around.  Snow packs were smaller, bare sand … Continue reading It Starts With One

Pre-season Counting

The annual longshore flight count begins the second full week of March each year.  That first week of March is usually still frozen in ice and more reminiscent of February.  Like usual, March began again like expected.  But in a turn of events, things have changed rapidly.  Friday, March 6 ushered in the first of … Continue reading Pre-season Counting