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MORNING FLIGHT UPDATE – September 13 (Pileated Woodpecker!)

A relatively slow week compared to the last. However, we did have a couple productive days and some notable highlights. The week started with east winds, high humidity and high temperatures. Counts were low with only a handful of migrants while the mosquitoes were out with force and hungry.

Similar to last week, a cold front blew through on Friday. Unfortunately, by the time Saturday morning rolled around, winds had shifted to the east/northeast. This isn’t ideal for migrants at Cape May, but it didn’t stop a nice variety from moving and making their way past the dike.

Even on the slowest days, Northern Waterthrushes make an appearance, usually early and late in the morning. There was a good push of them this past Sunday, with 89 flying past the dike, making them the most abundant warbler of the day.

Numbers of Blackpoll Warblers have slowly started building up in the last week.

American Redstarts are still one of the most abundant warblers on a daily basis.

9 Worm-eating Warblers have shot past in the last week, they are a bird you typically don’t see too many of on the dike.

2 Common Ravens were a nice late morning treat as they drifted south over the dike before heading back north again.

A good number of small falcons like this Merlin have started to streak across the skies at the dike.

Highlight of the week: Pileated Woodpecker! This big guy shot up right in front of us Saturday morning, causing quite a commotion on the dike. While fairly common in most of the east, Pileateds very rarely venture onto Cape Island; there’s only a handful of records.  

Weather conditions in the next week look promising. With a few days of north and northwest winds and some solid cold fronts lined up, it should be a good week.

Thanks for reading!

Daniel Irons

Morning Flight Counter

All photos © Daniel Irons

New Jersey Audubon