[CT Birds] Boothe Park 9/17 - 602 raptors

Scott Kruitbosch skruitbosch at ctaudubon.org
Sat Sep 17 17:41:43 EDT 2011

We put in 4.75 hours at Boothe today, and my thanks to Lynn Jones, Charlie Barnard, Frank Mantlik, Bev Propen, Penny Solum, and many others for coming by. Today's count went right as expected, birds all over early and decreasing as the day went on for a simple reason - the high moving east and going directly to our north providing N wind that moved NNE, NE, and finally E to SE, at which time I stopped the count as I was solo. I'm sure inland sites did better than yesterday without having the hawks pushed to the coast.

You have to keep in mind it's not just the cold front, it's the high pressure moving in behind it that provides us with glorious migration of all sorts. You often get more nocturnal migration when the pressure gradient relaxes and the winds diminish to a more stable flow the next night. The cold front cleared us Thursday afternoon (this was awesome actually, dropping hundreds of dragonflies at Stratford Point and a few birds like Twan's Pipit as it did) but it was a bit turbulent that night and there was precipitation immediately along and after it. This high moved in to justtttt the right spot yesterday on the right date (Neil's knowledge is wondrous) at a good time, after weeks of backing hawks up with repeated tropical cyclones passing over/by us and keeping a southerly flow open. It was the perfect confluence of events. For the last week I pestered people with the mega hawk Friday event we had coming, though I had been afraid we would have everything except the clouds. However, Boothe Park ended up perfectly positioned to receive some high clouds from an upper level disturbance to our west. I don't think these clouds made it east enough for even Lighthouse Point during the critical hours on Friday. If not for that upper level disturbance I would surmise we would have seen 25% of those hawks or less. Better to be lucky than good.

We should have another cold front around the same time next week after a weak one on Tuesday that stalls near us and lifts back as a warm front on Wednesday. Those are best guesses considering the model divergence at the moment, and I'm hoping the second won't stall, too. We'll keep an eye on it. But today...

Raptor migrants:
Turkey Vulture - 2
Osprey - 7
Bald Eagle - 4
Northern Harrier - 3
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 121
Cooper's Hawk - 10
Red-shouldered Hawk - 2
Broad-winged Hawk - 447
American Kestrel - 5
Un. raptor - 1
TOTAL - 602
Plus local Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, and Turkey Vulture as usual.

Southbound migrants included:
Chimney Swift 93
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 8
Barn Swallow 17
Cedar Waxwing 53

Migrants in the park included:
Common Yellowthroat 2 - so quiet for nocturnal migrants for seemingly no reason whatsoever

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation Technician
Connecticut Audubon Society
2325 Burr St.
Fairfield, CT 06824
CAS blog: ctaudubon.blogspot.com
CAS Twitter: twitter.com/CTAudubon
Email: skruitbosch at ctaudubon.org

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