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September 2013


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Jane Stein <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 16 Sep 2013 17:41:51 -0400
text/plain (72 lines)
FYI, raptors migrating on a perfect fall day like this will usually be
too high to see from sea level, and often too high even for
mountaintops, unfortunately.  Cold air and bright sun produce the strong 
thermals that get them very high up, and the tailwind keeps them going 
up there very fast for long distances.

Best chance to catch sight of the raptor migration when you don't have 
access to a mountain on days like this would be late afternoon when the 
thermals weaken and they drop much lower (I once looked up and saw the 
last 300 or so of what appeared to be a very long stream disappearing 
into the distance from here in Shoreham under those conditions).  If 
there's been a very late flight the day before, sometimes you can be 
extremely lucky to observe a mass lift-off from the trees around 8 or 9 
AM if a bunch of them decided to knock off for the day where you are.

The other possibility is to go look on a day when the flying conditions 
aren't so good, like with a gusty but not too fierce SW wind.  If the 
birds are coming through, they'll keep going as long as it's not totally 
impossible, but they'll be a good bit lower.


On 9/16/2013 4:13 PM, Spencer Hardy wrote:
> With reports of southbound raptors and strong north winds, I ventured
> to the fields west of Middlebury this afternoon. An hour plus of sky
> watching only produced a few raptors (1 each Broad-winged Hawk,
> Osprey, and American Kestrel) and a east moving Barn Swallow.
> I did how ever find a few nice mixed species flocks along the edge of
> the fields. Among 7 warbler species was a Bay-breasted Warbler and a
> couple Blackpoll Warblers.
> Enjoy fall, Spencer Hardy
> Complete list:
> Greater Middlebury Campus Area, Addison, US-VT Sep 16, 2013 2:00 PM -
> 3:15 PM Protocol: Traveling 0.5 mile(s) Comments:     Forest and tam
> west of campus 25 species
> Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  39 Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
> 3 Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)  1 Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus)
> 1 Rock Pigeon (Columba livia)  5 Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  3
> American Kestrel (Falco sparverius)  1 Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo
> olivaceus)  1 Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  1 American Crow (Corvus
> brachyrhynchos)  2 Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  1     Seen well
> through scope and binos. Flying east. Long tail and reddish throat
> Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  5 Tufted Titmouse
> (Baeolophus bicolor)  1 Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus)  1
> American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  1 European Starling (Sturnus
> vulgaris)  400     Scoped at the farm along Weybridge st.
> Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia)  1 Nashville Warbler
> (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)  1 Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga
> castanea)  1 Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca)  1 Blackpoll
> Warbler (Setophaga striata)  2 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga
> coronata)  5 Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)  2
> Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)  1 American Goldfinch (Spinus
> tristis)  2
> View this checklist online at
> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S15188814
> This report was generated automatically by eBird v3
> (http://ebird.org)