Saturday, August 31, 2013

On Avoiding Self-fulfilling Prophecies - And a Prophecy

 [Ovenbird, Higbee Beach WMA, NJ August 31 2013. So there ARE migrants around. . . ]

"There's not going to be anything today." That's how I went into it this morning at Higbee Beach WMA, NJ, which is not a good way to go into anything, thinking you're going to fail, in this case fail to find any migrants and that it was wasted time and energy to get up at 6:00 a.m. to be at the WMA while it was still cool.  I'm not saying that thinking wasn't logical, because it was - south winds overnight are not conducive to fall migration - but sometimes if you think you're going to get nothing, that's exactly what you get.

Luckily, a Veery popped up first thing, an Ovenbird after that, and I was suddenly more attentive and found a few more things. A cooperative Prairie Warbler, a gnatcatcher, a few Yellow Warblers, a redstart, Warbling and Red-eyed Vireos, and three Empids that all looked the same, and since one of them called with a Least Flycatcher's whit, that's what I called them all.

But it certainly wasn't the long species list you can sometimes pull off on a hot migration morning at Higbee Beach. That's coming next week, and here's the prophecy part of this blog: it surely sucks we have southwest winds forecast for all three days of Labor Day weekend, but next Wednesday is going to be a hot one, bird wise. Trouble is, I'm not off from work next Wednesday. . . yet.

The prophecy comes from the frontal forecast, which shows a cold front clearing Cape May on Tuesday, and the wind forecast, which shows northwest overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. There's the recipe you want.

In the meantime, I'll gladly take what I bumped into during my turn around Higbee this morning.

 [This Prairie Warbler was very cooperative at Higbee today.]

[Least Flycatcher. How do I know? The best way - I heard its whit call note! This was one of three Least's along the center path at Higbee, which is often good for Empids.]

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