Date: 5/13/20 2:36 pm
From: Harry LeGrand (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Charlotte birds

You have half of the equation right: more birders afield due to the COVID
putting more folks out of work, etc. And the other half is the remarkable
and unseasonable cool weather from late April to today -- many days at
least 10 degrees below normal. These cold to cool nights are slowing down
the migration, especially as winds at night have mostly been from the N,
NW,or W -- pushing birds eastward of their usual flight paths -- plus
likely forcing longer stay-overs on the ground. The WORST case -- a
terrible spring for migrants -- is one with above normal temperatures, and
the winds (at night when most migrants are flying) are from the S or SW.
Seems like with global warming in recent years, we are getting more and
more of those warm springs where 1) the bulk of the migrants stay to our
west, and 2) the migrants quickly move through the Carolinas (though still
need 2-3 days on the ground for feeding and resting) and with those S winds
make longer nighttime flights as well

Today, in Chatham County, my birding group of 4 managed 20 species of
warblers! -- the most I have had in one day this spring, and one of my
best for diversity ever in spring. And, we failed on the Tennessee Warbler
seen by another. I did get my first Canada Warbler of the season, and my
first sighting this spring -- finally -- of Bay-breasted Warbler.

Note that only the mountains seem to be getting the forcedown or a bunch of
scarce shorebird species. And, there is still another 2 weeks of
additional migration time for northbound shorebirds, though we need some
nighttime storms to put things down. It's been terribly slow east of the
mountains for them -- few mudflats and truly wet and flooded fields here.

Of course, after tomorrow, with high temps well up into the 80s (above
normal), the songbird migration will speed up and probably come to a quick

Keep hoping for some nighttime winds from the NW or W, or some nighttime
storms, if you want some more fallouts!!

Harry LeGrand

On Wed, May 13, 2020 at 5:08 PM Ron <waxwing...> wrote:

> Black-billed Cuckoo – two have been found in the last couple of weeks, one
> at Latta Park and one at Ribbonwalk Nature Preserve. Two evenings ago, one
> was found near McDowell Prairie in the south end of Mecklenburg County and
> seen until yesterday evening. This morning, two were seen inside the
> prairie. It’s possible the one just mentioned was one of those this
> morning,
> about 3/4 mile away from the other sighting. So, there have been four,
> maybe
> five, seen in Charlotte. Some/most years none are seen.
> Bay-breasted Warbler – typically easier in the fall, but still not very
> many. Quite a few have been seen this migration. Four were noted in Latta
> Park on Sunday, I had two and Jeff Lemon texted about a pair at the same
> time, so different birds. This is the second time for that many at Latta.
> They have been seen regularly at other sites. Most springs I don’t see any.
> Bobolink – usually some seen each spring. This migration, many were seen
> at
> several sites. An estimate at one place was 100 birds.
> Add to this: singing Alder Flycatcher, Yellow Rail (seen by a few, but
> missed by many, including me), Cattle Egret and an early-March Henslow’s
> Sparrow. Some of this could be attributed to the current times. Maybe more
> folks are out birding due to cancelled travel, jobs on hold, or just plain
> stir crazy from hanging around the house. Whatever the reason, it’s been
> great.
> On the flip side.
> Yellow-rumped Warbler – numbers seem to be down. Typically numerous (too
> many?) so you have to look through them to find another species. Someone
> noted that the numbers were down over the winter also, which I hadn’t
> thought about (I’m afraid that I tend to ignore them).
> Ron Clark
> Kings Mtn. NC

Join us on Facebook!