Friday, September 26, 2008

Lucky Peak migration update & Magnolia Warbler

Hi Folks

We've had a run of busy days since last weekend's storm front. In particular, yesterday (Thurs, Sep 25) was likely the biggest combined songbird & raptor movement of the season. In addition to hundreds of raptors and Turkey Vultures, the hawkwatchers estimated 600+ American Robins as well as numerous finches (including increasing numbers of Evening Grosbeaks and Cassin's Finches), swallows, bluebirds, etc. Our songbird captures were dominated by Yellow-rumped Warblers (including one of the 'Myrtle' subspecies - Harry Krueger also saw a Myrtle at Kathryn Albertson Park in Boise yesterday) as well as RC Kinglets and WC Sparrows. A single Golden-crowned Sparrow was seen today.

This late Sept/early Oct period is often characterized by great raptor diversity (with maybe a chance for the season's last Broad-winged Hawk or a rare Red-shouldered as well as increasing chances of seeing Merlins and N Goshawks) and the highest songbird abundance of the season. This has also been a time in which we sometimes see/hear Blue Jays, Varied Thrushes, and other rarer visitors.

Thus, while it's great up there all season, the next 10 days or so (weather pending) are some of the best days to enjoy migration at Lucky Peak.

Also, we captured a rare Magnolia Warbler on Sunday, Sept 21 - this was our 2nd in 12 years of work at Lucky Peak (though I gather it occurs a little more frequently in E Idaho - esp. at migrant traps like Camas NWR). The below picture is not great (I'm not a photographer by trade ;-) but other folks took much better shots.



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