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Fall Migration 2023


IKLland

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Shorebirds have been on the move here in Michigan for about a month now. In the past week or so passerines have joined in - this morning I had an astonishing 15 species of migrant warblers at one location along lake Huron, and broke the early fall record for the hotspot for Philadelphia Vireo by several weeks. A few days of northern winds probably helped.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S146503626

I tripped the filters for 6-7 species on this list, Lol. Photos coming, eventually.

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Eastern warbler migration was definitely picking up in the Great Lakes by the end of July and now (mid-August) is fully underway.

In the Bay Area there are often migrant/dispersant Hermit Warblers in coniferous forests in the hills by mid-to-late July.

Of course shorebirds start earlier, even by the third or fourth week of June; some of the earliest in the Bay Area are the prairie breeders like Willet and Long-billed Curlew. Of course, these may also summer in decent numbers, so you have to pay pretty close attention to notice when they start to arrive in larger numbers. Wilson’s Phalaropes are also pretty early, and then Yellowlegs and Short-billed Dowitchers are pretty early as well. In years where breeding success is poor, failed breeders may arrive even earlier than expected.

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Had my FOS Baird’s Sandpiper and Lesser Yellowlegs(finally!)yesterday, along with a good number of other shorebirds and a truly bizarre very early Savannah Sparrow. Earliest migrant in SoCal ever, but it turns out it was seen by somebody else the day before as well, so I didn’t technically find it. Lots of birds are dispersing, as evident by them showing up the past month in habitats that aren’t their breeding habitats or locations locally in my county. For me these included Bell’s Vireo, California Towhee, Bewick’s Wren, Dark-eyed Junco, and Black-headed Grosbeak. Looking forward to fall Passerine migration, which is just starting to get underway here in California, but should be picking up by the end of the month and especially into September. It’ll be in full swing by mid September. 

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I have had Vermilion Flycatcher and several Least Flycatchers. Also been hearing Upland Sandpipers around, but I never see them. A few other migrants include: Yellow Warblers, Mississippi Kites, Orchard and Baltimore Orioles, and an Eastern Wood-Pewee. 

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Last night there was light northeast winds overnight, fairly clear for much of the night but shifting to overcast/mostly cloudy with a light rain shower early in the morning.

This seemed perfect for a nice movement of migrants overnight and the mediocre weather in the morning seemed to ground a decent amount of them. Anyhow, it was the best morning yet for songbird migrants this fall (at least at this location!): https://ebird.org/checklist/S147306238

This is a random spot and isn’t even a hotspot on eBird, but it yields some incredible mixed warbler flocks!

Edited by AlexHenry
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11 minutes ago, AlexHenry said:

Last night there was light northeast winds overnight, fairly clear for much of the night but shifting to overcast/mostly cloudy with a light rain shower early in the morning.

This seemed perfect for a nice movement of migrants overnight and the mediocre weather in the morning seemed to ground a decent amount of them. Anyhow, it was the best morning yet for songbird migrants this fall (at least at this location!): https://ebird.org/checklist/S147306238

This is a random spot and isn’t even a hotspot on eBird, but it yields some incredible mixed warbler flocks!

Nice! Thought this was from Cali at first!😂🤯

Edited by IKLland
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Fires must be pushing migration up.  Just sitting here working and I've now had my earliest fall records for Blackburnian, Bay-breasted, Chestnut-sided, Tennessee, and 1st August records of Mourning Warbler (x2).  I've gotten alerts the past few days for a couple other warblers needed for the year that I might check later to see if they are earliest Fall records for the County.

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I found a stunned Canada Warbler in the middle of a business area near my house this morning while grocery shopping. It turned out that it was far from moribund, made a big racket for such a little bird when I attempted to lift it up from the middle of a fairly busy sidewalk, and flew off.

On Sunday (8/20) there was a rare-for-the-area Upland Sandpiper, which my wife and I went out to see. It was hard to see as it would duck behind a little rise; also there was a fair amount of heat shimmer. This was the first time we've seen that species locally since the late 2000s, and seen it at all since 2015.

On Friday morning (8/18) I was birding in a park a few miles from my house when I discovered an Olive-sided Flycatcher. Unfortunately, there were no other birders in the park at all. After getting home, I put the word out, and a few hours later someone was able to photograph it. It hasn't been seen since.

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On 8/22/2023 at 3:08 PM, chipperatl said:

Fires must be pushing migration up.  Just sitting here working and I've now had my earliest fall records for Blackburnian, Bay-breasted, Chestnut-sided, Tennessee, and 1st August records of Mourning Warbler (x2).  I've gotten alerts the past few days for a couple other warblers needed for the year that I might check later to see if they are earliest Fall records for the County.

Earliest Magnolia Warbler today.  

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Golden-winged Warbler found in a park a few miles from my house yesterday morning. Yesterday afternoon, the three or four birders there did not see it. One stayed until around 5 pm and saw it; I had gone home maybe 3 hours before then. I did see a nice Blue-winged Warbler though.

This morning I returned, and ran into about a dozen birders. None of us found the Golden-winged, but we collectively found an Olive-sided Flycatcher (my second sighting there in less than a week!) and two Least Flycatchers. There were other, more mundane migrants too, like a male Baltimore Oriole.

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