The 2018 Longshore Flight Survey is set to begin soon! This year marks the 6th year of counting atop the old “Green Tower” site at Indiana Dunes State Park. Thus far we have identified 1.2 million birds as they migrate north and out of Indiana.
For the first five years we were lucky to have Brendan Grube as our point counter. But as season’s change, so must our counters. We’re happy to announce that Chicago area birder, Kyle Witkor will be taking the helm of the point count this year. The season officially starts on March 4, and will run through May. Feel free to visit the tower site any morning on a south wind to see what’s moving. The earlier the better!
With the current warm spell in place, we’ve been visiting the tower site to prepare for the upcoming season. Feeders are being filled, benches dusted off, and counting skills sharpened. In fact, we’ve had two good mornings with some flights going on already that we want to get on the books and recorded as to capture the entire spring migration. Most counts can be accessed on the eBird hotspot for the tower. In a couple days of pre-season counting, we’ve logged many new arrivals, more typical of March, such as Snow Geese, Wood Ducks, Killdeer, Longspurs, and nearly 1,000 cranes. Common Redpolls have been seen the last few days, hinting at a good March movement still to come. The last few days have also brought over 100 bluebirds over the tower site. Flocks of 10-15 are being seen. For recent checklists, see here, here, and here.
You can also subscribe to get notifications whenever count updates are given here on the blog. It’s your best way to keep up to date on the migration over the dunes!