Butter Butt Influx

Happy Easter.  No longshore flight officially is taking place today due to the holiday. However, Saturday, April 15th brought a very warm day to the dunes and is worth reporting.  Overnight spotty storms and south winds created a warm wind at dawn that increased through the day.  Like a good Saturday does, a contingent of … Continue reading Butter Butt Influx

South Winds Flanked

As predicted, southern winds began to waft in early Wednesday morning.  The day started cold, well below freezing, but soon warmed to the upper 50s.  Similarly, today, Thursday ,April 14 also began chilly (35 degrees) and also warmed with slightly stronger winds.  The winds the last few days have been unusually oriented from the east, … Continue reading South Winds Flanked

Warbler Waves

As predicted, the longshore flight for Sunday, May 3 nearly doubled that of Saturday.  A good full night of south winds allowed for even more nocturnal migrant and perfect conditions allowed for a strong morning flight.  It was a fabulous flight for Blue Jays, gnatcatchers, Palm Warblers, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.  94 species, made up of … Continue reading Warbler Waves

Tail Wagging Warblers

Today's longshore flight brought another good day of migration.  Despite the east winds, with northerly tendencies (especially after noon) the day ended being the best flight of the season and sixth best of all time according to the Grube Magnitude index (65.80 specifically).   88 species, making up 2,790 birds were logged today.  Warblers were … Continue reading Tail Wagging Warblers

Butterbutts Blowing in the Breeze!

As predicted last night, strong south winds fed a stream of birds into the dunes overnight.  By dawn, the winds were stiff and strong, feeling far stronger than the 10-20mph that was predicted for today.  We almost felt concerned for our Longshore Platform construction workers who are laying the outer ring of the platform decking … Continue reading Butterbutts Blowing in the Breeze!

1/4 Million Birds!

Longshore bird counting is a frustrating balance of birding expertise and humility.  Whether a mile out over Lake Michigan or a speeding bullet 20 feet above your head, you must be ready for a good number of birds to go by un-identified.  With experience, the spectators watch in wonder as birds are identified that might … Continue reading 1/4 Million Birds!

Great Day to Be a Birder!

The longshore flight at Indiana Dunes State Park on May 2, 2012 will be remembered as one of the best flights witnessed by both number of species seen and incredible high counts.  Long before dawn, signs that today would be a good day were already being seen.  The forecast was for stronger south winds in … Continue reading Great Day to Be a Birder!

Bad Day to be a Songbird…

May Day!  May 1, 2012 provided for another wondrous day of south winds.  An eclectic group of birds were logged that made the day just as spectacular as yesterday, except with a completely different set of birds.  The promise of good birds lured other birders to the old Green Tower site at Indiana Dunes State Park.   … Continue reading Bad Day to be a Songbird…

Some Loony Weather

This morning greeted the counters with the first real precipitation in days, if not two weeks.  Despite the weather, it was absolutely beautiful and calm out over the high dune.  By dawn, most of the morning rain was more of a drizzle off and on.  The rain was never really hard enough to put a … Continue reading Some Loony Weather

A Morning of Milestones

The morning migration at Indiana Dunes State Park continued again, ready or not!  This morning saw more migrating birds than yesterday, with 8,424 birds flying by.  Several species hit some milestones for the season that may be worth mentioning.  Those being: Sandhill Crane: 24, 947 (ok, not a milestone.  maybe tomorow?) Killdeer: 503 Ring-billed Gull: … Continue reading A Morning of Milestones