Date: 1/7/18 11:29 am From: Larry <oldbirdbum...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] SEAZ: MARANA Orange Grove Pit Blackbird Morning Liftoff
Six people were on hand for this morning's blackbird liftoff from the Orange Grove Pit. The first liftoff was at 0717 hours, lasting only 4 minutes and included an estimated 12,000 birds, mostly Yellow-headed Blackbirds. The birds flew out of the upper marsh quickly with no retro-motions. They formed a long cloud streaming downriver easy to count, but not as exciting as waving, writhing murmurations.
Then a lull of 2 minutes with total silence in the upper marsh. We thought maybe they all left in one wave. But then the second wave began and the 4 remaining people got to see another 11,000 blackbirds take off mostly from the upper marsh, but a lot from the lower marsh as well. This wave also lasted 4 minutes and seemed to have a higher ratio of Red-winged Blackbirds in it. The whole liftoff of about 23,000 birds took only 10 minutes.