Heat Wave!

windy mapJust one week after unseasonably cold temperatures and snow, we’ve now been in the embrace of very warm and dry air.  Today’s temperature again topped out at 80 degrees with mid 80s being seen a little farther south from the lakefront.  Dawn’s 57 degrees was a sign of the warm day that would follow.  With lighter winds from the SE today, the land heating pulled the cooler air from the lake, resulting in a lake breeze throughout the southern basin of Lake Michigan today.  This can bee seen visually on the Windyty.com map to the right.  Today saw nearly copy cat lists from the last few days, as another 4,290 birds flew past, comprised of 68 species.

Two new species graced the tower today, bringing the season total to 130. Those were 5 American White  Pelicans and the first singing House Wren.The pelicans have become an annual at the tower, albeit not very common and typically just seen one or two days.  The House Wren was accompanied by a many more wrens throughout the state, as evidenced by ebird reports today.

Other notables included a single Greater Scaup, Red-throated Loon, 93 flickers, a Merlin, 2 Palm Warblers, 1,800 Red-winged Blackbirds, and 1,900 grackles.

Perhaps the single most excited find of the day was a new sub-species for the tower.  Among the 32 Yellow-rumped Warblers, a single “Audubon’s”Yellow-rumped went by showing it’s all yellow throat.  This former separated species from the eastern “Myrtle” has been discussed now for many years as a potential split again, so finding it may allow the tower to cash in on an arm chair tick at a later date.

Not the “Audubon’s” Yellow-rumped Warbler seen today, but a look at the yellow throat they possess. Photo taken by the author in South Dakota. 

Winds continue southeast, with a little more southerly component overnight and tomorrow. Tuesday should be interesting as a slow cold front is dropping down with amplification from the lake, but timing may delay it’s arrival until mid morning or even afternoon, allowing for a mix bag of birds to try to migrate in front of this stalling wind block. We’ll see what it brings!

Today’s full list can be accessed here.