Migration Summary April 24th- May 15th, 2018

April 24th saw our first standard count American White Pelican, there were two seen on the census. We observed our first Chimney Swifts on April 25th. On the 27th, a single Horned Lark landed nearby on the beach giving us great views! Throughout the end of April, we consistently saw Rusty Blackbirds in the netting area. The last few days of April were notably quiet.

May 1st we had seven new species for the spring migration monitoring season including Nashville, Yellow, Palm, Black-throated Green and Black-and-white Warblers. Baltimore Orioles were back too! We had twelve more new species the next day as well including Wood Thrush, Chestnut-sided Warblers and Ovenbirds. May 3rd had an impressive influx of Yellow-rumped Warblers, among them, were a few Palm, Nashville, and Chestnut-sided Warblers as well. A Blue-winged Warbler and a Blue-headed Vireo were banded on May 4th. The warblers have really poured in now.

The bird activity had a lull for a couple of days with fewer species in general and few numbers of most species. Red-winged Blackbirds have had a heavy presence lately and they were unfazed by the winds. We did enjoy frequent sightings of a solitary sandpiper along the trail to the station during this time.

On May 7th, we had no new species for the spring but did have a total of 62 species including 11 warbler species (observed during the official count period). May 8th brought us an indigo bunting and an Orange-crowned Warbler. South winds on the 9th brought many birds including 6 new species for the spring count including the banding of a Lincoln’s Sparrow. The banding area remained busy with many species observed on the 10th as well.

On May 11th, the bird activity had dropped dramatically; even the Red-winged Blackbirds were more notably quiet. Then started some miserable, rainy weather that continued for about 24 hours. The rain almost perfectly coincided with the entire Botham Cup Bird Race. Luckily for the 9 teams of weather-hardened competitors, the sun came out for the last couple of hours of the race. The birds were actually very exciting on the 12th. We had 80 species for the migration count period and the Botham Cup Bird Race tallied a combined total of 153 species in 24 hours! Congratulations to all who competed!

After the Springsong Weekend, the rain continued a bit keeping us from opening the nets on the 13th and cut things short on the 14th as well. Despite this, we continue to see a good showing of warbler species including our first Wilson’s Warbler on the 14th. More rain delayed the start of netting on the 15th as well. Needless to say, the netting area remains flooded and rubber boots are necessary to visit the banding station.

On the 15th, Sumiko initiated her Great Canadian Birdathon. She worked diligently throughout the day searching the island for birds. She managed to tally up a very impressive list of 116 species including a Harris’s Sparrow!! Congratulations Sumiko on a great job again this year! You can read all about her big day on the PIBO Facebook page.

PIBO has started uploading our census data to eBird. As the census takes place at Fish Point Nature Preserve, all data are reported to that “hotspot” and can be viewed here: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L761132 As an added bonus to the streamlined data collection, we get to share what we see every single day.

Sumiko Onishi explaining the field marks of a Blue-winged Warbler to volunteers Heather and Sabrina. Photo by Patrick Kramer 2018