Latest Bonanza of Birds

Greetings from the dunes,

It’s been a week or so since we’ve been able to provide an update.  Having the bloggers out of town during the one week in May when the winds have actually been southerly has been a bummer for both the bloggers and those that enjoy the daily updates.  So with that, we provide an update of the last week in birds.

May 15-20 brought a decent influx of new migrants, as warm south winds blanketed the dunes with migrants, and warmed the sand to over 80 degrees.  A far cry from the upper 40s we had a week earlier.  From May 15-20 we added a whooping 16 new species to the longshore totals.  This included: Northern Parula,  Laughing Gull, Blackburnian Warbler, Canada Warbler,  Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Veery, Connecticut Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Eastern Whip-poor-will (added by Andrew Edwards), Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Hooded Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, 
Common Nighthawk, Willow Flycatcher,  Red-eyed Vireo, Black-and-white Warbler.  We now stand at 205 species for the year, which matches last year’s total, which is the highest species total for any eBird hotspot this year in the state..  The Laughing Gull may be a first site record, not for the state park, but for the actual spring tower count.

Missing from this total was another new species to the tower, seen on May 14.  As told by our counter:

Northern Bobwhite

“Extraordinary sighting for this location. A distinct Bobwhite call note was heard, but I had assumed the resident mockingbird had added to its repertoire. It became apparent that 2 birds were calling and the Bobwhite did not deviate from the 3 note cadence. In hunting the bird down, I sure as sh$t had a Northern Bobwhite fly across the road at eye level. One species I have said I would never get here.”

In other news, Blue Jays are waning, but Cedar Waxwings are beginning their major flights.  4,000+ birds were logged multiple mornings, including May 16 and 17.

Two Blue Grosbeaks were also logged on the 16h, with one female hanging around the feeder station this past week.

The eBird Hotspot for the Observation Tower has this year’s annual totals and the new species for the year.  The last week of counting remains, and hopefully a few more species can be added before we close the chapter on this latest wild and crazy spring.

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