Morning Flight Update – 10/14/2021

Sunrise over the Dike. Photo by Jerald Reb

Hello everyone, I apologize for the lack of recent updates; it’s been a busy season on the Dike! Early October has seen a significant shift in diversity here, with many of our early season Warblers reaching the end of their time in Cape May. The species that dominated August and September (American Redstart, Yellow Warbler, Northern Waterthrush) are all but gone, and have been replaced by large numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers, with some Palm and Blackpoll Warblers mixed in as well. Sparrows are also beginning to arrive. Swamp Sparrows have been present daily throughout the past two weeks, and this morning saw the arrival of Dark-eyed Junco in large numbers.

Yellow-rumped Warbler has become the dominant species in October. 31k and counting! Photo by Jesse Amesbury

October has so far been mostly cool and cloudy, with prevailing easterly winds. Despite this, we have had some significant flights in recent days. Sunday the 10th brought a significant flight of Blackpoll Warblers, with over 400 counted over the course of the morning. This is one of the larger Blackpoll flights we’ve seen in the past few years. Yellow-rumped Warblers arrived in force on Tuesday the 12th, with over 14,000 flying through the rain. While Yellow-rumped Warblers were the stars of the show, Tuesday morning also featured a significant count of Dickcissels, with 16 counted. While that may not seem like many when compared with the Warblers, this represents a new state high count!

Blackpoll Warbler has also put on a strong showing recently, with over 400 counted this past Sunday. Photo by Gautam Apte

While we are reaching the end of Northern Parula’s time in Cape May, there are still many around! Photo by Gautam Apte

This coming week looks exciting, with some winds out of the west finally arriving. Sunday through Tuesday look particularly interesting, with a nice cold front predicted to move through. These winds should bring many more Yellow-rumped and Blackpoll Warblers past the Dike, and hopefully a few surprises as well! As always, you can check Trektellen to see what’s flying past the Dike on any given morning:

See you on the Dike!

Jerald Reb

Morning Flight Counter