Saturday, July 28, 2012

Hudwit Weather

[Radar image 7:00 a.m. this morning, 20 minutes before a Hudsonian Godwit flew over my kayak in Taylor Sound, a couple miles north of Cape May. Note the storm activity offshore.]
You could argue every bird occurrence is weather related, because birds migrate, feed, incubate eggs, and rest in sync with the wind, rain, and temperature. I'd be willing to bet the  Hudsonian Godwit that flew over Taylor Sound headed southwest this morning was there because it encountered storms offshore and diverted west to avoid them. We got hammered by these same east-tracking storms before dawn in Del Haven and elsewhere in southern Cape May.
 "Hudwits" migrate mostly offshore in fall, many taking off from Canadian staging sites and flying over the Canadian Maritimes or New England and making a nonstop flight to South America. East winds and offshore weather increase sightings of this tall, elegant, rare and therefore desirable species.
This bird, which seemed to come from the northeast (i.e., in off the ocean) called repeatedly as it passed - I never would have noticed it except for the high pee-wids ("god-whit!"). One guesses it was seeking the company of other Hudwits that might have similarly been diverted.

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