[CT Birds] Weather and upcoming migration

David F Provencher david.f.provencher at dom.com
Thu Sep 22 18:26:33 EDT 2011

I will be watching the upcoming weather with interest. Historically, the very end of September/very beginning of October is the time period that produces the largest number of migrants at the hot corner at Bluff Point Coastal Reserve in Groton. The main reason for this is the species mix and the age mix of those species. The upcoming weather looks very much like it will slow migration considerably for a few days, consequently when the weather breaks fair again I would expect a big push of migrants. In 1994, a situation similar to the currently forecasted weather produced a massive flight at Bluff, with thousands upon thousands of birds, including over 4,000 Flickers. I do not predict such a wild event again at this point, but things look interesting.

Last weekend I forwent the weather induced migration event at Bluff since I had the opportunity to take a young friend hiking in the White Mountains. I revisited the summit of Mt. Washington for the first time in 29 years. It isn't a place that wilderness seekers enjoy really, what with all the tourists, cars, and cog trains. (Hiking upwards for 5 hours only to be accosted on the summit by a crowd of people including one in pajamas asking "Did you really walk all the way up? That's nice that you are getting some exercise!" requires that one remind oneself there are laws against homicide even in New Hampshire.) Anyway, my friend and I finished our 12 mile hike by hiking down along the Cog Railway late Sunday evening (not the planned exit route but it's a long story) and as we descended we heard a good number of Swainson's Thrushes and Hermit Thrushes calling during their pre-flight hyperactivity behavior. The remnants of rime frost and snow on the peaks, together with the cold evening air on the slopes of the Presidentials, punctuated by the voices of thrushes in the dark, really brought home the end of the season for me. Mind you, there were still some Warblers at high elevation...

Dave Provencher
Naturally New England<http://naturallynewengland.blogspot.com/>

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