Thursday, April 24, 2008

Magee migrants April 24 and next weekend

After Wednesday's big arrival of migrants, today (Thursday 4/24) was a lot quieter on the boardwalk. Many of the White-throated Sparrows and Hermit Thrushes seem to have departed overnight. There were still decent numbers of Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers, lots of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and a scattering of other warblers like Pine, Nashville, and Black-throated Green Warblers, but it was definitely slower than the day before. The migrants may be spread out over areas south of the lakeshore; Kim K. found a Gray Catbird 8 miles south of the lake this morning, which isn't exceptionally early, but I hadn't seen any at the boardwalk yet this spring.

Local summer resident birds are continuing to build up in numbers. Yellow Warblers are becoming common along the road in to Magee Marsh, singing from all the willow thickets, even though there still aren't many migrant Yellows showing up in the lakeshore migrant traps themselves. On a day like today when the boardwalk isn't overly productive, it's worthwhile to go check out areas a little away from the lake, like the woodlots at Ottawa Natl Wildlife Refuge, or the Gallagher Trail or the Magee Walking Trail (to see the map for the Magee area, follow our link for birding hotspots).

Weather looks like it will be unsettled over the next few days. If the predictions hold, the wind will be some variation on easterly through tonight, shifting around to the south on Friday April 25. There may be strong south to southwest winds Friday night, possibly shifting around to west on Saturday and bringing thunderstorm activity. If the birds can dodge the storms, the next big arrival may be this Saturday, April 26.

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