[CT Birds] Bluff Point 10/23 - amazing flight

David F Provencher david.f.provencher at dom.com
Sun Oct 23 12:58:08 EDT 2011


I had to go to work today and arrived at Millstone Station at 5AM. The sky was full of the flight calls of White-throated Sparrows and Hermit Thrushes, it was easy to hear it was going to be an interesting day! I'm pleased you had the chance to see a big day at Bluff. Based on my personal experience I suspect your numbers are conservative (understandably). It has been shown that humans routinely under estimate the number of birds in a static flock. Getting counts accurate in the wild dynamism of the Bluff Point phenomenon is way more difficult. In the past, whenever I focused on counting rather than identifying, I was blown away at how many more birds were actually passing than I had been estimating. I have seen huge October flights of White-throated Sparrows there before (as well as Yellow-rumped Warbler flights in the tens of thousands) and it is amazing to realize that these flights can be so heavily mono-specific at this time of year. I wonder how many Golden-crowned Sparrows, Harris's Sparrows, Black-throated Sparrows, Sage Sparrows, or others have slipped by in the feathered torrent over the years! The thrill of these flights at Bluff is hard to imagine if you haven't stood in the vortex of one.


-----Original Message-----
From: ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org [mailto:ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] On Behalf Of Glenn Williams
Sent: Sunday, October 23, 2011 12:18 PM
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org; Larry Reiter
Subject: [CT Birds] Bluff Point 10/23 - amazing flight

from Glenn Williams:
10/23 - Groton, Bluff Point State Park -- late PHILADELPHIA VIREO, DICKCISSEL, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, 7 PURPLE FINCH  An estimated 31,000 birds, predominantly sparrows and kinglets.  

Some standout numbers: 105 Hermit Thrush, 10,000 White-throated Sparrows, 3000 juncos, 1600 kinglets  Complete list is below.

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