[CT Birds] Florida warbler fall-out May 1
mantlik at sbcglobal.net
Wed May 2 06:16:18 EDT 2012
In advance of some CT birders heading to Florida next week, Phil Rusch came
across this posting of a true fallout of migrants at Key West, Florida
yesterday. I thought it would be of interest.
Did anyone else see the report about the 50-75 thousand warblet fallout at Key
West this morning? I can't even imagine the scene. 20,000 BT Blues. See
Posted by Toe, for Murray Gardler for Carl Goodrich and Morgan Tingley on
Yes, those numbers are correct. The following was posted on FlaBirding
about yesterday. This could qualify as a fallout, maybe.
"I was birding this morning at Fort Zachary in Key West and also
experienced the fall-out. I don't subscribe to FLBIRDS, so you can re-post this
for me. We ran into Carl Gooodrich who was very helpful at
locating and helping us find a life Swainson's Warbler amid the thousands of
It was truly an impressive array of migrants. We arrived at Fort Zach at 10:30
am and stayed until 12 noon when the rain picked up again (and remains strong).
In total, we estimated around 30K-50K migrants (warblers, almost entirely) had
been dumped into the park. Carl estimated 75,000. It's very difficult to say.
This was based on counting birds per minute flitting past. Black-throated Blues
were the most abundant (~20K estimated). At one point I had around 100 sitting
on a dirt path in front of me, and they were constantly moving through, along
with redstarts (~5000), ovenbirds (~3000), Black-and-whites (~3000),
yellowthroats (~2000), catbirds (~2000), and amazingly (to me), yellow-billed
cuckoos (easily 500, maybe over 1000). Grassy areas had western palms (~3000).
Other warblers were around in smaller numbers: Cape May (10 seen), B-t-green
(1), Parula (5), Hooded (1), Worm-eating (2), Nor Waterthrush (3), Blackpoll
(80), and, aforementioned, 1 Swainson's. No orioles or tanagers or grosbeaks
that we saw, and only a few indigo buntings (down from several days ago). Carl
also alerted us to two Chuck-wills-widows that were competing with an osprey,
tricolored herons and about 50 cuckoos for roosting space in a tiny grove of
trees by the bathhouse. It was truly impressive."
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