Date: 9/15/20 7:24 am From: Rusty Trump <rusty_trump...> Subject: [GABO-L] Big Movement of Common Nighthawks, Rogers Bridge, Fulton County
Hi GA Birders,
After work yesterday, I went up to Rogers Bridge to see what was around in the evening and was not disappointed. It started out extremely slow. I only saw a couple of Blue Jays from the parking lot to the pond there was no other birds at all! The pond was quiet as well, just one Pied-billed Grebe floating around. As I worked around the pond, I would occasionally scan the sky and about every time I looked into the sky there were one or two nighthawks flying over very high headed south or southwest. Later I would wonder how many nighthawks I missed by looking for ground loving birds. After birding the area, I looked at my count and was up to 51 Common Nighthawks by about 7:15pm. I thought it might be interesting to stand on the dike and sky watch and see if the numbers would pick up as dusk approached. There was a constant chatter of Chimney Swifts as they fed over the application field and pond. The nighthawks kept coming, by 7:30 I was over 100. Then I heard the familiar pinking noise of a flock of Bobolink as they flew over the application field, not sure if they were looking for a place to put down or just getting started on the next leg of their migration. They never stopped and continued to the Southwest as well. Back to counting nighthawks, after 7:30 the nighthawks started coming in larger groups. At one point I had a flock of 36 came over. Most groups were 5-8, but it seems as soon as that group was out of sight another group appeared. The mosquitoes were starting to become ferocious, now it was a test of will and blood supply to determine if I would continue to watch until dark. As it began to get dark some of the nighthawks started dropping down low over the application field to feed. The last few minutes of light I could count about 40 of them feeding over the tall grass. I listened to see if any of them were doing the buzzing when swooping, but they were silent. As the bats started to appear, I decided it was time to make a run for the car while I had some blood left. I ended up with 334 Common Nighthawks in about 2 and half hours. I believe this is the most Common Nighthawks I have ever seen in an evening.