Sky full of Orange!

Greetings from the jam packed Indiana Dunes Birding Festival.  It’s been an amazing weekend of great folks and interesting birds.  Too many to mention right now.  But for now, let’s get an update on the Longshore Flight that took place yesterday, May 7. After two days of north winds, we had a great influx of birds for Saturday morning.  By 9am, a storm front moved through and shifted things back, but in an abbreviated 3.5 hour count, we logged thousands of birds.

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For the brief morning, 6,009 individual birds were counted by our counter and participating birders who packed the tower site.  81 species was the total for the day.

Special highlights included a flyby American Avocet that landed on the beach, Merlin, Sedge Wren, 26 pipits, and 14 Bobolinks.  The 1,196 Pine Siskins was also an amazing count.  This count looks to be the 4th highest state record ever recorded!

As impressive as the siskins are, the Baltimore Oriole flight was spectacular.  Orioles went by in groups of 12 and 14 in a fast action migration, with lots of singing whenever one would stage on a nearby cottonwood.  The former state record was 464 orioles seen by Ken Brock and Jeff McCoy at the same tower in 2003.  Saturday’s count of 536 is the new tentative state record!

For today’s full list, see the eBird post or scroll down below.

Canada Goose  10
Wood Duck  1
Mallard  2
Blue-winged Teal  3
Double-crested Cormorant  20
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  1
Green Heron  4
Turkey Vulture  4
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Sandhill Crane  1
American Avocet  1
Killdeer  1
Spotted Sandpiper  2
Solitary Sandpiper  13
Lesser Yellowlegs  9
Ring-billed Gull  10
Herring Gull  1
Caspian Tern  2
Common Tern  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  1
Mourning Dove  15
Chimney Swift  224
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  3
Red-headed Woodpecker  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Merlin  1
Least Flycatcher  1
Eastern Phoebe  1
Eastern Kingbird  82
Warbling Vireo  3
Blue Jay  386
American Crow  1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  4
Purple Martin  1
Tree Swallow  5
Bank Swallow  1
Barn Swallow  10
Cliff Swallow  2
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Tufted Titmouse  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
House Wren  1
Sedge Wren  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  46
Eastern Bluebird  4
American Robin  22
Gray Catbird  1
Brown Thrasher  1
European Starling  5
American Pipit  26
Cedar Waxwing  30
Tennessee Warbler  2
Common Yellowthroat  1
Yellow Warbler  18
Palm Warbler  2
Pine Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  23
Chipping Sparrow  1
Field Sparrow  1
White-crowned Sparrow  7
White-throated Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  1
Swamp Sparrow  1
Eastern Towhee  2
Summer Tanager  1
Scarlet Tanager  9
Northern Cardinal  1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  15
Indigo Bunting  62
Bobolink  14
Red-winged Blackbird  1675
Common Grackle  63
Brown-headed Cowbird  2
Orchard Oriole  11
Baltimore Oriole  536
House Finch  3
Pine Siskin  1196
American Goldfinch  1387
House Sparrow  1

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