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Updates from Turkey Point Morning Flight Count – 11/01/2021

Observations from counter Daniel Irons.

We’re now in the last month of the count at Turkey Point. Early season migrants have moved through and mornings now consist primarily of American Robins, Cedar Waxwings, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and large flocks of Common Grackles. Late season raptors are also on the move along with a variety of waterbirds moving past the point over the bay.

Mid and late October had some nice flights and a few notables. The highlight of the month was this Franklin’s Gull that flew by the point on October 17th. The western counterpart to Laughing Gull, a few Franklins’ show up in the east in late fall every year with the right weather systems.

Franklin’s Gull © Daniel Irons

Raptor migration at Turkey Point picked up through October. A few totals for the month were 813 Sharp-shinned Hawks (including 227 in one morning), 216 Cooper’s Hawks, and 119 American Kestrels. Golden Eagles are always a treat and two cruised over Turkey Point in October, the first was on the 20th.

Golden Eagle © Daniel Irons

The first big Common Grackle flight of the season was October 28th with over 6,200 counted. Since then, 1000s move south over the point on a near daily basis.

Common Grackle © Daniel Irons

Late October is great time to see Yellow-rumped Warblers at Turkey Point and throughout MD. 3,976 Yellow-rumps were counted in October with a peak flight of 428 occurring on the 28th.

Yellow-rumped Warbler © Daniel Irons

Pine Warblers are also more of a late season migrant. We saw peak numbers of this species in mid-late October at the point with 62 tallied through the month.

Pine Warbler © Daniel Irons

Eastern Meadowlarks move through primarily in late October with a high count of 17 at the point on October 20th. A total of 79 were counted in October.

Eastern Meadowlark © Daniel Irons

Rusty Blackbirds started moving into the area in October as well with the first noted on the 9th. Numbers picked up through October and continue to build through early November.

Rusty Blackbird © Daniel Irons

With only a week left in the count, I’m excited to see how the last few days play out. It looks like another front is lined up to move through this weekend and with it being mid-November there are some exciting western species that could show up with it. 

Daniel Irons ‘Man at Work’ © Jim Stasz

Daniel Irons

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