Updates from Turkey Point Morning Flight Count – 9/05/2021
Observations from counter Daniel Irons
With early September upon us, peak warbler migration is in full swing at Turkey Point.
Since the beginning of the month, there have been a few solid cold fronts, plenty of favorable winds, and some good flights. Before we take a look at the first week in September, it’s worth looking back at a few notables from the last week of August.
The last week in August was mostly hot and humid with light winds primarily from the south. A few days with light north winds produced some sparse, diverse flights, and several new arrivals for the fall. August 24th was a perfect example of that with 13 species of warblers counted including the season’s first Black-throated Green and Black-throated Blue Warblers.
Additionally, two Yellow-rumped Warblers were noted. It is not usual for Yellow-rumps to move through until late September, but a small number of worn and molting adults trickle through starting in late August.
It turns out Turkey Point isn’t just good for bird migration, but also dragonfly migration. The numbers of dragonflies flying by the Point picked up in late August and have continued into September. Both Wandering and Spot-winged Gliders are on the move along with Common Green Darners and Black Saddlebags. On August 27th there was a notable push of Spot-winged Gliders with 46 counted in a morning. To date, we’ve counted a total of 60 Spot-winged Gliders, 47 Wandering Gliders, 102 Common Green Darners, and 55 Black saddlebags.
September kicked off with a strong cold front following the passage of tropical storm Ida. September 1st and 2nd were slow since it took a couple days for the rain and remnants of Ida to clear north of here. But once it did, the floodgates opened and we had a strong flight on the 3rd. Over 1,000 individuals of 63 species were counted in active migration, 18 of those species being warblers. 25 Tennessee Warblers, 73 Cape May Warblers, 13 Bay-breasted Warblers, and 28 Blackburnian Warblers were the notable counts for the morning.
Here is one of the 28 Blackburnian Warblers that zipped by the Point on September 3rd.
The number of Cape May Warblers during this fall, in general, has been pretty impressive, especially for this early in the season. To date, we’ve counted 295 flying past Turkey Point.
Bay-breasted Warblers also made their first showing of the fall at the Point on the 3rd.
The colder temps and northerly winds got some raptors moving in on the last week as well. Broad-winged Hawks, American Kestrels, and Merlins have all been making appearances at the Point.
It’s looking like another great week coming up with cooler temps and some northerly winds. A good cold front is scheduled to pass through on Thursday, so Friday morning should be another strong flight at the Point.
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