Monday, September 17, 2012

Broad-Winged Migration Update

   In my previous post I mentioned the impending Broad-Winged Hawk Migration, well....... a massive push of hawks has yet to be observed at the Lake Erie Metropark (LEMP) this year but there is still time.  Strong winds from the north on Tuesday the 18th will get the hawks moving if the rain clears out early enough in the day but the strength of the wind may have them crossing the lower Detroit River/ Lake Erie obstacle farther south or even farther east than LEMP.
  The ideal conditions that were forecast for Saturday the 15th, for the most part were correct but historically only 11% of the Broadwings pass through by that date.  Although 400 BWs were counted at LEMP, probably a couple of thousand were observed a the Pt. Mouillee Headquarters by a group of birders that included Jeff Schultz, Scott Jennex, Mary Trombley, John Lowry and author, icon Kenn Kaufman.
  If you ever wonder if you're at the right location to observe a Broadwing migration, look around and if you see Jeff Schultz, you know you're there.  Jeff is like a hawk-whisperer with a knack for getting to the best location for intercepting flight lines.
a few Broadwings in a small kettle
BWs late in the afternoon at LEMP
    Here are some other birds I was able to photograph on Saturday.
One of several Bald Eagles that passed by the Pt. Moo HQ

Flock of Lesser Yellowlegs
Blue-Winged Teals
   One of the many birds that flew over that I wasn't able to photograph was a Palm Warbler, but it did produce this memorable exchange....
 Birder: "there goes a Palm Warbler"
 Kenn Kaufman: "They used to be known for landing on people's hands, that's why they call them Palm Warblers"
Several birders: "Really!?!"
Ken Kaufman(just sly laughter).

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