With the first big Christmas Bird Count weekend approaching, I thought it might be worth mentioning that this late autumn's warm weather could make for a very interesting count period, at least early on. It is likely that the warm weather has allowed the survival of many species that would otherwise perish or be forced to move on. Note the continuing Westport Ash-throated Flycatcher, Paul's report of inland Redstart and Black-and-white Warbler the other day, a late movement of Cave Swallows, a Swainson's Hawk on Staten Island, NY...there are more examples. Insectivores obviously benefit most from this situation. Indeed, October-November weather has persisted well into December this year, and there may be several birds typical of that Oct-Nov rarity season still out there waiting to be found. Keep an open mind.
There will be a
brief blast of cool/cold weather for a day or two this weekend, but
perhaps not cold or prolonged enough to have much effect, as temps will
again rebound well into the 50s next week.
This is just an
educated guess, but my bet is that we'll see an above-average haul of
rarities on this year's counts. Good luck to everyone.