Date: 5/2/18 4:17 pm
From: Shaibal Mitra <Shaibal.Mitra...>
Subject: RE: [nysbirds-l] Red-headed Woodpeckers at Jones Beach
Hi Steve and all,

At Robert Moses SP, to the east of Jones beach, I didn't see any Red-headed Woodpeckers this morning, but I did see 14 Red-bellied Woodpeckers--all migrating east to west. Those familiar with the barrier beaches, and the usual absence of most forest "resident" species there, will understand that this was a remarkable sight. Stephane Perrault has some interesting ideas on the relationship between these irruptive flights and inter-year variations in the regional population density.

Southwest winds tonight?--let's get some more Melanerpes data!

Shai Mitra
Bay Shore
________________________________________
From: <bounce-122535933-11143133...> [<bounce-122535933-11143133...>] on behalf of Steve Walter [<swalter15...>]
Sent: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 7:09 PM
To: NYSBIRDS
Subject: [nysbirds-l] Red-headed Woodpeckers at Jones Beach

I had two adult Red-headed Woodpeckers at Jones Beach West End this morning, essentially as fly-bys. The first flew by me while I was in the median and turned east on the blind side of the tree line. The second, about a minute later, made brief stops in the higher trees before also moving east and out of sight. Also, one or two Red-bellied Woodpeckers were around. So it was Melanerpes Moving Day.

I hadnít planned on going down to the beach, but an early assessment of the Queens parks suggested the much anticipated and overdue first big wave had not materialized Ė at least not here. Iíve gotten into the radar watching, like others have. I canít say that I feel comfortable with what I see Ė but. The other day, someone mentioned the radar showing birds. Looking at the referenced radar image, it didnít look that way to me. But I do appreciate people looking at that and offering alerts or opinions. We might figure this out. What I looked at on radar this morning suggested there was movement along the coast. So I figured why not change plans and check that out. I canít say that what I saw on the ground should have lit up the radar, but there were a variety of migrants at Jones. Not much unusual other than the woodpeckers, but 5 Baltimore Orioles in one tree was a sight to see. Maybe the most interesting bird I came across was an immature Great Cormorant on a piling outside the boat basin. It doesnít look like a record late date, but close as far I can see.

So what happened with the migration? Itís May 2, there was no flight of note recently, and winds last night were SW to WSW. There should have been migrants everywhere. One thing I had been noting and saying to people is that the trees have barely begun to leaf out Ė which would also limit insect hatches. Arboreal birds donít want to be in that. Would that retard the migration? Wouldnít they actually have to get here to know what the situation is here? Well, SW again tonight. It can only get better.


Steve Walter
Bayside, NY
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