This morning, we conducted Mariton’s 13th Annual Migratory Count. We tallied 53 species and 229 individuals. Fifty-three species is the fourth highest count (the average is 49 species). The average number of individual birds for the 13 counts is 256 individuals.
Mid-May is near the peak of migration, when one can see the most species. Most birders are saying that the warbler migration has been slow this spring, and I would agree. We counted 14 warbler species in 1999 (the year with the highest species count); this year we counted 10 warbler species. What is really noticeable is that the number of birds seems down, at least for some species. On the bright side, we may be in for a stretched-out warbler migration.
I would like to thank Bill Wallace, Virginia Derbyshire, Carole Mebus and Anne Hogenboom for volunteering their eyes, ears, and knowledge. The census would not be as thorough without dedicated volunteers. Plus, I really enjoy their company.
Here is a sampling of the some of the birds that we counted this morning (the complete count is posted in the Nature Center): black-billed cuckoo, 6 black-throated blue warblers (that is a lot), Blackburnian warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, 16 ovenbirds, and 9 rose - breasted grosbeaks. We spotted a great blue heron flying overhead, and yes we counted it.
We will be doing a Nesting Bird Census on June 4. There probably won’t be as many species (although this year may be different), but it will certainly be interesting. Bring your binoculars and help us count the birds!