Special Projects Turkey Point Morning Flight Count Updates from Turkey Point

Updates from Turkey Point Morning Flight Count – 9/05/2021

Observations from counter Daniel Irons

With early September upon us, peak warbler migration is in full swing at Turkey Point.

Eastern Kingbird © Daniel Irons

Since the beginning of the month, there have been a few solid cold fronts, plenty of favorable winds, and some good flights. Before we take a look at the first week in September, it’s worth looking back at a few notables from the last week of August.

The last week in August was mostly hot and humid with light winds primarily from the south. A few days with light north winds produced some sparse, diverse flights, and several new arrivals for the fall. August 24th was a perfect example of that with 13 species of warblers counted including the season’s first Black-throated Green and Black-throated Blue Warblers.

Black-throated Blue Warbler © Daniel Irons

Additionally, two Yellow-rumped Warblers were noted. It is not usual for Yellow-rumps to move through until late September, but a small number of worn and molting adults trickle through starting in late August.

Yellow-rumped Warbler © Daniel Irons

It turns out Turkey Point isn’t just good for bird migration, but also dragonfly migration. The numbers of dragonflies flying by the Point picked up in late August and have continued into September. Both Wandering and Spot-winged Gliders are on the move along with Common Green Darners and Black Saddlebags. On August 27th there was a notable push of Spot-winged Gliders with 46 counted in a morning. To date, we’ve counted a total of 60 Spot-winged Gliders, 47 Wandering Gliders, 102 Common Green Darners, and 55 Black saddlebags.

Spot-winged Glider © Daniel Irons
Wandering Glider © Daniel Irons
Black Saddlebags © Daniel Irons

September kicked off with a strong cold front following the passage of tropical storm Ida. September 1st and 2nd were slow since it took a couple days for the rain and remnants of Ida to clear north of here. But once it did, the floodgates opened and we had a strong flight on the 3rd. Over 1,000 individuals of 63 species were counted in active migration, 18 of those species being warblers. 25 Tennessee Warblers, 73 Cape May Warblers, 13 Bay-breasted Warblers, and 28 Blackburnian Warblers were the notable counts for the morning.

Here is one of the 28 Blackburnian Warblers that zipped by the Point on September 3rd.

Blackburnian Warbler © Daniel Irons

The number of Cape May Warblers during this fall, in general, has been pretty impressive, especially for this early in the season. To date, we’ve counted 295 flying past Turkey Point.

Cape May Warbler © Daniel Irons

Bay-breasted Warblers also made their first showing of the fall at the Point on the 3rd.

Bay-breasted Warbler © Daniel Irons

The colder temps and northerly winds got some raptors moving in on the last week as well. Broad-winged Hawks, American Kestrels, and Merlins have all been making appearances at the Point.

Broad-winged Hawk © Daniel Irons

It’s looking like another great week coming up with cooler temps and some northerly winds. A good cold front is scheduled to pass through on Thursday, so Friday morning should be another strong flight at the Point.

Come Visit Us!

Daniel

Visit MBP’s Turkey Point Bird Count project page for more information.

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