MORNING FLIGHT SONGBIRD COUNT 2022 – August 9-16 Summary

Bad photos of good birds are a common theme of morning flight watches and this Cerulean Warbler that came past on Wednesday was certainly no exception. Photo by Gautam Apte.

After the unfavorable migration conditions that plagued most of last week, we saw a shift to north winds at the start of our second week here at the count, and were able to record some interesting early-season songbird flights over the past several days. Last Wednesday, a diverse flight featuring 352 warblers of 10 different species came past the dike, highlighted by a Cerulean Warbler, only the 4th for the count since 2016. After that day, movement remained fairly strong for the early season, and count coordinator Tom Reed recorded another great warbler flight on Friday, along with an impressive movement of dragonflies dominated by over 30,000 Swamp Darner.

Things have slowed down a bit since then, with some days of south and east winds putting a damper on migration over the weekend, but we continue to see steady movements of things like Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and American Redstart most days.

Most of the American Redstarts we see are gray-and-yellow female/immature types, so it’s always a treat to see the occasional flashy adult male. Photo by Gautam Apte.


Northern Waterthrush are a constant presence in most warbler flights. Photo by Gautam Apte.

Even though it’s still fairly early in the grand scheme of passerine migration, we’re quickly starting to see increases in species diversity. Birds like Black-and-white Warbler are beginning to become more common, and we’re already starting to see lower numbers of Louisiana Waterthrush and Yellow Warbler.

Black-and-white Warblers are beginning to increase in number. Photo by Gautam Apte.

East winds are in and out of the forecast for the next week, making it hard to predict nocturnal migration activity and tough to say what our morning flights will look like, but I’m optimistic that we’ll have some good days coming up. As always, you can follow the count live from New Jersey Audubon at, and from Trektellen at  Thanks for reading!

Gautam Apte

2022 Morning Flight Counter