Date: 10/21/18 3:30 pm
From: Stephen Mirick <smirick...>
Subject: [NHBirds] NH Coast (Massive passerine flight, Hudsonian Godwits, OC Warbler, and another YB Cuckoo)
I was shaken out of bed (for some reason I slept in!) this morning by a
text message from Jason Lambert at 8 AM.  He was having wave after wave
of birds flying overhead and heading south.  Many coming in from off the
water.  By the time I got to the coast, there were still huge numbers of
land birds flying overhead.  I met Jason at Bicentennial Park where the
sky was just about filled with birds. Almost all impossible to ID due to
height, etc.  It is believed that there was a mix of birds including
mostly Yellow-rumped Warblers and American Goldfinches, but there were
also Robins noted as well as an occasional kinglet and blackbirds.  And
there were hawks!!!  They were moving like crazy early.  I had at least
7 Northern Harriers, 13 Sharp-shinned Hawks and 3 Kestrels......in about
1/2 hour!!  I ballparked 1,500 passerines passed over in less than one
hour. Jason's numbers are much more impressive as many thousands of
birds likely passed along the coast.

What caused this?  Yesterday was strong SW winds and a cold front passed
by LATE last night and into the morning hours with some light rain and
lots of clouds.  Apparently the winds were rather light out of the north
at dawn.  By 10 AM it was all over and the winds started getting
progressively stronger and eventually gusting VERY STRONG out of the
northwest and the temperature plummeted during the afternoon.

Some other highlights of the day in the cold blustery wind:

HUDSONIAN GODWIT - 2 juveniles in Meadow Pond in Hampton.  (Also an
unusually high count of 60 Dunlin here) First noted by Jason at
Bicentennial Park, they flew past him heading south.  They then circled
near Meadow Pond.  Jason texted me and I got over just in time to see
them.  They stayed for about 10 minutes before taking off and resuming
their flight south.

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER - 1 off Island Path in Hampton.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevemirick/44755428294/in/dateposted/

CAPE MAY WARBLER - 1 off Tidemill Road in Hampton.  Brief views and bad
photo.

YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO - 1 at Applecrest Farm in Hampton Falls. Eating a
"wooly bear" Isabella Moth caterpillar.  This is my 5th (!) in 3 days. 
All photographed.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevemirick/44563527285/in/photostream/

NASHVILLE WARBLER - 1 at Seabrook Dog Track parking lot.  Almost
certainly a Magnolia Warbler there also.

Steve Mirick
Bradford, MA

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