Date: 9/15/20 3:14 am From: Ian Worley <iworley...> Subject: [VTBIRD] Whip-poor-wills departing last night on migration from Weybridge site?
Each year of late, I've tried to determine when the Whip-poor-wills of the Snake Mountain Road, Weybridge site depart on migration. Last night could have been a departure night. Indeed I only heard briefly one individual. I'll keep checking until a few visits yield no Whip-poor-wills.
The annotation in the checklist is: / //Listening for owls and whips. No solicitations made. intermittent light breeze from the north.. Cooling rapidly.. Clear sky. Listening stops at known Whip-poor-will locations throughout this year. // // //All local conditions favored a likely migration departure of the multiple Whip-poor-wills at this Snake Mountain Road, Weybridge site. Knowing that conditions were favorable for the birds to depart on migration, and it was at or near the end of the season for them, my plan was to get to as many of the several calling locations along the 1.8 mile stretch from which they are heard. The most likely time to hear them this late in the year is in the near vicinity of the end of Civil Twilight, which was at 7:35pm last night. Also, any calling was likely to be but a single call lasting only 2-3 seconds. Ideally there would be listeners stationed all along the route, but since it was just me, I would be moving quickly between listening stops. After no birds heard at the first, and most likely stop for hearing one or two whip-poor-wills, I proceeded with the plan. Several brief stops later, at a known location 0.4 miles south of the intersection with Prunier Road, way west of the road I heard a single two-second call (two "whip-poor-will" calls in sequence). Nothing heard elsewhere. I'll keep listening for several more days to see whether some of all of the birds have departed, until I have 2-3 nights with just silence. // // //The latest dates I have for Whip-poor-wills at this site are Sept 22nd (2019), Sept 20th (2015), Sept 18th (2018), and Sept 16th (2016). The latest records in eBird for Vermont are three September 21st dates: Rutland (1918) and Newbury (1994, 1995).// // //The BirdCast forecast for migrations last night was: "The BirdCast model is predicting high intensity migration for the night of 14 September 2020. We estimate that 405 million birds will take flight tonight across the lower 48, including 50 million birds in the northeast alone. This will likely represent one of the largest migration nights of the year in this region. (Those in the northeast should keep a close eye on the nights of 17-19 September as well.)