Thursday 8 November 2012

Weekend Birding Outlook

My weekend will be a four day event, Fri-Mon. Planning to bird St. John's a lot, the Southern Shore and Cape Race to St. Shotts. There is an excellent looking weather system giving us strong East winds at the moment (Thurs a.m.). This very large Low will move over and past us tonight and temperatures will soar to an extraordinary +15C with strong South winds on Friday. Later in the day the winds go strong SW and by Saturday to strong West.
This is the kind of weather system that should bring Newfoundland some southern birds. Cattle Egrets are prone to late fall displacements during such storms. The best time for Cattle Egret in Newfoundland is late October to mid November. Another key bird that could get caught up in this system is Cave Swallow. November is the month for this species in northeastern North America. There have been a number of Cave Swallows reported recently from the coast of New Jersey north to NYC and maybe farther north. Good numbers also reported in Ontario so there are many of them present with reach of this storm. The only Newfoundland record was 13-15 November 2008 at Long Beach near Cape Race. We are due for more. Hard to beat Long Beach for location especially because of the abundance of flies over the kelp. Trepassey Beach would be another excellent location for a hungry swallow in November.
Who knows when the Townsend's Warblers that we see every year or so during November actually arrive. Most were found during the middle two weeks of November. This storm might be the right kind to help another one of these to St. John's. Any Yellow-throated Warblers are more or less expected in November. This seems like the perfect storm for bringing them to us if they do indeed arrive in November.
Speaking of November warblers in St. John's! We haven't been looking much so far. Time to start!! Good birds are out there gleaning aphids etc off the now bare branches of the Norway maples. Watch your chickadees and juncos. It can be hard boring work pounding the sidewalks and peering into private backyards but the rewards can be high. There ARE good birds out there waiting to be seen by us. Go find them. During the next four days I will being doing my part of sidewalk birding.
This is an exciting time of year.

Just Bird

Cattle Egrets are regular late fall vagrants to the Avalon Peninsula. This one was at Bay Bulls on 30 Oct 2010
Cave Swallow is a distinct possibility after large Low pressure areas move through in November.  This is the province's only Cave Swallow to date at Long Beach, Cape Race.  It was enjoyed by everyone during its three day stay 13-15 Nov 2008. It was found by everyone's favourite Lighthouse Keeper, Cliff Doran.

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