5 Seconds of Sunshine

Despite the continued warm temperatures, the longshore flight for Saturday, March 25 brought a all around wet and dreary day.  A warm pocket of air persisted through the rain showers today to keep the dunes nearly muggy at one point.  If you look at the temperature heat maps of the region today you’ll notice this interesting pocket, while nearby areas were up to 30 degrees cooler, particularly in southeastern Wisconsin.

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Chicago Region Temperature Heat Map, Saturday, March 25, 2017.

When the rain didn’t disappoint, a few birds were logged, including 3 new annuals at the tower, bringing the season total to 104 species.  For the morning 724 birds were counted, from 40 species.  Only 6% of yesterday’s flight.

Interestingly, yesterday’s Eurasian Collared Dove appeared again this morning.  This time, it visited the feeders.  Will it become a regular this season?  A Winter Wren was also singing it’s melodious and bubbly trill from the tower site.  New for the season were Brown Creeper, Lesser Yellowlegs, and 7 Wild Turkeys.  

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Flyover Osprey

The biggest highlight of the morning was the brief clearing that occured in the early afternoon.  After the continuous light rain and drizzle from the morning, the peek of sunshine was unexpected.  Perhaps the birds saw it coming, as raptors quickly took off and staged the first significant hawkflight of the season.  129 birds went by quickly during this short window.  Red-tailed Hawks (48), Sharp-shinned Hawks (51), and Northern Harriers (11) made up the majority.  Notable as well was an early Osprey.  Actually two of them!

Today’s full checklist is here.

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