Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fall migration report - late August

More hawkwatches are opening almost every day now, and the hawkwatching is improving just as fast. Corpus Christi in south Texas already has had at least one banner day when 1,054 Mississippi Kites headed south. Counters reported several kettles of more than 200 kites at a time on August 16, though with a temperature of 104 in the shade, that might not count as fall hawkwatching.

In the eastern U.S. rain has hampered more than few days of counting so far. One thing that can be said for rain is that hawkwatching the day after it is usually pretty good! The best days so far this season were August 20-21, when Hawk Mountain was the first site north of Corpus Christi to post more than 100 raptors. They counted 104 on the 20th and just missed that mark the next day with 94. On the 20th their count included 14 Bald Eagles and 17 Osprey.

In non-hawk sightings, a few red-breasted nuthatches have already been reported, and a few south-bound ravens as well. Warblers are moving in fairly good numbers as well, at least when you consider it's still August.  Overall, migration seems a tad ahead of schedule for this point in the month, even with the days lost to rain and fog.

In another week, September 1 will be here and most hawkwatches will be up and running and in full swing. Here in the mid-Atlantic, the weather will clear for tomorrow (Thursday) and bring a nice northwest wind. It just might be a good day to play hooky.

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