Friday, May 18 brought the first taste of south winds since late last week. Though southeast, with more southerly winds tomorrow, there was a noticeable increase in migrating birds. The south winds also brought warmer temperatures, with morning lows now longer in the 40s, but mid 50s today. The dune top would warm to 80+ degrees before the day would finish. The warmth was enough to bring early beach goers to the shore. Some partaking in typical beach games, other setting up the blanket for an afternoon of sunbathing.
The season’s 206th species was logged mid-morning when Jeff “Magic Eyes” McCoy located a single Ruddy Turnstone coming in off of the lake. It would be joined by a second bird in alternate plumage and feed for an hour or so in front of the high dune counters.
Cedar Waxwings also made a significant flight, with 1,287 birds seen; the highest single day total of the season.
Rounding out the highlights were 1 Common Loon, 1 Osprey, 50 Eastern Kingbirds, 1 “Trail’s” Flycatcher, 161 Blue Jays, 5 Summer Tanagers (a rare high for the lakefront), 41 Baltimore Orioles, and 9 Pine Siskin.
Finally, work has begun on the new bird observation deck from the old Green Tower site. The steel support structure is first, and from the picture below you can see all of our donations hard at work to make this dream become a reality.