The last of the south winds pushed through the area on Thursday. As usual just before the cold front, rain was in the forecast. At dawn the first wave of rain was out of the area and to the east, a nice southern wind was dominating still. However, a light, fine mist was still hanging in the air that failed to show up on any radar signatures. A fog was also present, limiting visibility to about 1/2 mile. Mt Tom was barely visible in the distance, and Lake Michigan was a calm soup with no horizon line to be seen.
Despite the dreary conditions, a few goodies went by, and we were again able to log a few new arrivals to bring the season total up to 144. For the morning, 59 species went by accounting for 1,403 total birds. While one of the season’s lowest, it was a diverse list.
New for the season were 3 Green Herons, a Winter Wren, a good looking Orange-crowned Warbler, and Brewer’s Blackbird. Other notable highlights were a both Wilson’s Snipe and Greater Yellowlegs flybys, two lingering sapsuckers, and some late juncos still hanging out. At one point a singing Rusty Blackbird came within scope distance and hanged out in one of the budding cottonwood trees.
The final highlight was a super fast Merlin who buzzed the top of the tower and swooped up to land on the cottonwood immediately next to the tower. It posed, preened, and dried it’s wet feathers for several minutes to the delight of the tower watchers.