Saturday, May 4, 2019

May 2nd fallout at Lighthouse Point, New Haven, CT

The SW coast of Connecticut experienced an impressive fallout on May 2nd. 

I arrived at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven just before 2pm to find the place covered with neotropical migrants. This was truly a fallout - at times birds littered the forest floor and understory, as well as the canopy of course. I was joined by Julian Hough later in the day. We tallied 18 species of warbler in this small park (16 of those at eye level or lower!) plus your expected vireos, tanagers, orioles, grosbeaks and thrushes. It was probably the best single-site landbird fallout I have experienced in spring in Connecticut, as far as bird density goes. The composition was dominated by the species you'd expect for the date (i.e. Yellow-rumped, Black-and-white, and BT Green Warblers etc). Highlights included a LINCOLN'S SPARROW and an early WILLOW FLYCATCHER.

The previous night's NEXRAD radar did reveal that, while very little seemed to leave CT, a concentration of birds arrived in SW CT during the early morning hours, presumably from the take-off in the mid-Atlantic. Dreary coastal weather conditions likely caused birds to concentrate there upon arrival.

Hammonasset seemed to be the approximate eastern boundary of the fallout. I birded Bluff Point in Groton and Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme before noon and had modest numbers of migrants at those locations, but nothing like what was happening to the west.

Blackburnian Warbler

 - NB

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