Date: 4/30/18 2:49 pm From: Jon King <jonking271...> Subject: Clinton Lake 4/30
Today Matt Longabaugh and I birded Clinton Lake for the first two or so hours of the day. The main purpose of our visit was to observe morning flight of nocturnal migrants, and flight of diurnal migrants at the southern end of the dam. Southerly winds push the northbound birds into the lakeshore, where they hesitate to cross, and are funneled around the southern end of the dam.
Quite a few birds were on the move last night (per radar), continuing into this morning. The highlight of the morning was of course the Blue Jay flight. In the hour or so after sunrise I saw ~1600 individuals flying by. We stopped by an hour later, after checking out the state park and before departing for the day, and they were still coming. Several thousand easily passed the southeastern corner of the lake today. Blue Jay flight seems to be a reliable phenomenon here. Peak flights from years past were 3,640 in 3 hours (2016), and 3,270 in 1 hour and 47 minutes (2017). Additional migrants flying by the point included warblers (~50), Dickcissels (~50), Baltimore Orioles (~5), Red-winged Blackbirds (~100, all female), Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Savannah Sparrow, Indigo Bunting, Swainson's Thrush, Eastern Kingbird, Summer Tanager, Solitary Sandpiper, and more. We were probably too early to observe many raptors, although a single Sharp-shinned and Broad-winged Hawk did pass by. Also nice was a male Painted Bunting at the southern end of the dam. I'm assuming it will establish a territory.
Later in the day, I stopped by my parents house (east Lawrence). Quite a few birds were FOS there today. It seems that last night's southerly winds brought Yellow Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore Oriole, and Indigo Buntings to the neighborhood, which had been scarce to non-existant in the preceding days.