[CT Birds] is Willet migration earlier this year?

Thomas Robben robben99 at gmail.com
Sat Apr 7 22:17:20 EDT 2012

To CT Migration Watchers,
How do Willet migrations compare between 2012 and 2011? How much earlier is
this year's Spring migration up the East Coast of the USA, compared with
last year? Willets are very visible easy-to-identify birds for measuring
the advance of Spring up the East Coast.

As you can see by the 2011 email below, last year Willets were first
reported in the DE, NJ, CT region in mid-April (between April 14th and

This year, as of April 7th (and I looked at every state list from Georgia
up to NewFoundland) the FOY reports seem to be about ONE WEEK earlier than
last year.  Here is a summary of all the Willet reports I could find so
far, listed from north down to south….

NovaScotia had 2 fly-by Willets on April 3rd (no photographs, but Willets
are rarely misidentified in flight)! No other Canadian maritime province
has reported any Willets so far…..
This Canadian report is an outlier from the rest of the pattern emerging

In the USA (Georgia thru Maine) the only FOY willets reported in the last
week were the following (none reported yet from NJ up thru Maine, as far as
I can tell)…

Delaware had 6 willets at GordonsPond on March 24-25, one at BombayHook on
April 5th, and 5 at DuPontNatureCenter on April 6th.

Maryland had one willet at Elliott Island on April 7th.

Virginia had one willet MetompkinIsland on April 1st, several at
Chincoteague on April 2nd, one at Bethel Beach on April 3rd, and 650! at
Oyster Harbor on April 4th (

The Carolinas had 16 willets at Kiawah on April 5th.

Georgia had 8 willets at Jekyll Island on April 4th, 2012.

Keep your eyes open for Willets on the CT coast. Lets see if they arrive
here earlier than last year! It seems likely they will arrive in the next
few days, about a week ahead of least year.
Tom Robben
Glastonbury CT

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Thomas Robben <robben99 at gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 7:18 AM
Subject: Willets FOY arrivals
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org

Willets are a good indicator of Spring marching up the Atlantic coast.
Here are the FOY first-of-year birds for several NE locations, as per
careful searching of the various online state bird lists over the past

April 17....in Branford, Connecticut.

April 15....in Brigantine, Absecon, NJ.

April 14....in Cape May, NJ.

April 15....in Mispillion River Inlet, Delaware.

Thank you
Tom Robben
Glastonbury CT

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