Sunday, May 8 was a great day for birding! Dr. Adam Mitchell of Tarleton State University led a group of enthusiastic volunteers who counted birds from the West End to the East End of Fishers Island, following Audubon Bird Count rules.
“We observed a total of 52 species during the migration count, and 58 species overall for the weekend.” Dr. Mitchell said. “To put that in perspective, the average migration count over the past eight years is 47 in the spring and 39 in the fall.
“According to birdcast.info (a great migration tool!), however, the predicted overall migration rate for birds this spring was low. The late spring, compounded by cold and windy weather, kept many of our overwintering and migrant birds on the Island.
“More recent migrants, like warblers, vireos and other passerines (perching birds), were forced to wait out our recent storm front by hiding in the dense undergrowth, rather than gleaning from the exposed tree branches, so our detection on these birds was likely to be fairly low.
“Of note was the unusual amount of brown-headed cowbirds in the mix,” Dr. Mitchell said. “It’s possible that these migrants were blown in from the storm. The bird count list is below:
American black duck
Great black-backed gull