First official count day of the season.

It was a pretty decent day to start the season off.  It was clear and cold, much of the morning was below freezing, and the wind was coming from the East-Southeast.  There was a movement of Sandhill Cranes totaling 2,052.  Raptors included Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, Red-shouldered & Red-tailed Hawks, & American Kestrel.  A flock … Continue reading First official count day of the season.


Official Start- Start the Bugles!

Today, March 5 marked the official start of the 6th annual Indiana Dunes longshore flight survey.  In typical fashion, waterfowl and gulls made up the most diversity this morning.  Some 15 species of waterfowl were recorded going by.  Viewing was difficult due to strong gales from atop the tower.  But the winds brough a balmy … Continue reading Official Start- Start the Bugles!

A Group Effort

As you can see from the photo above, the morning prospect was not very good shortly after dawn today.  Thick fog enveloped the lakeshore, extending into Chesterton and the rest of the region.  From the creamy soup, a bright ball of light could be seen rising and it didn't take long to raise the temperatures … Continue reading A Group Effort

More Flights and Lights.

It's hard to write about the longshore flight after a spectacular day like Monday.  By Monday night the winds were howling.  Weather vanes swung hard from south to north by midnight and Tuesday brought bone chilling cold on the lakefront.  The breaking shelf ice literally built a brand new white cap of ice mounds behind … Continue reading More Flights and Lights.

Who Wants to Be the Millionth Bird!?…

...that could have been the question of the day!  After a sluggish week start, the longshore flight for Monday, March 16 could only be described as remarkable.  Perhaps for the counters, exhausting!  Dawn arrived at 6:59am local time and within minutes the first streams of blackbirds and robins filled the warm 54 degree air.  It … Continue reading Who Wants to Be the Millionth Bird!?…

Major Crane Movement

Sunday, March 15 was one of those days to regret if you didn't make it outside to enjoy the dunes.  Fortunately, those that didn't were in the minority, as thousands of visitors winged over the sandhills along Lake Michigan.  They were joined by thousands of the human kind too.  It didn't take long before the … Continue reading Major Crane Movement

Craning Necks

Friday, March 13 was anything but spooky for the longshore count.  After a good night of south winds, early season waterfowl, early season passerines, and the first real crane flight would post the highest longshore flight of the season. Some 6,000+ birds would drift past the site today, nearly doubling the previous season high thus … Continue reading Craning Necks

100,000+ for 2014

Monday, March 31 was a spectacular longshore flight day.  From dawn through mid afternoon the tower site was abuzz with bird migration.  It was also the warmest day of the season, and the first day this year to reach 60 degrees on the lakeshore.  South winds poured over the dunes throughout the night setting up … Continue reading 100,000+ for 2014

The Lion’s Lamb!

Today, March 30, 2014 was the day we were waiting all month for!  Ken Brock, in his IN-Bird list-serv post said it best, "It was the kind of day one would like to bottle up and uncork next winter when the weather is dark and dismal."  The day would end with the single best count … Continue reading The Lion’s Lamb!