Tuesday, November 19, 2013
800 American Robins passing UNO in 30 minutes
This morning there were droves of American Robins flying northeast, performing their classic "correction" flight, an apparent retreat into the northeast wind to correct for wind drift that happened as they migrated behind the front that just passed. (At least, that is the interpretation I favor for these ~northward flights in fall, which occur regularly for various species).
I noticed fifty or so flying over Canal Blvd on my way to UNO, so counted as I walked onto campus from my car, and then spent 20 more minutes counting from the fourth floor of Kirschmann Hall (before my 9:30 class).
The total was 812 robins in 30 minutes, all headed northeast. They came in a series of flocks, the largest of which was 325. During the same period, 54 warblers passed headed northeast as well- presumably mainly or entirely Yellow-rumpeds. Also two small waves of Tree Swallows totalling 33, and a tight flock of ten or so Cedar Waxwings- my first of the fall.
All these were headed northeast- I expect there was quite a show at South Point this morning (where the highway bridges leave for Slidell), where even more birds should have accummulated.
While scanning, I picked up some milling raptors: an adult Bald Eagle distant to the southwest (over City Park perhaps?), a closer Osprey, and four or so Turkey Vultures.