Monday, September 26, 2011

Bad Weather = Awesome Birding!

Yesterday, on a dark and dreary Sunday morning, I drug myself out of bed to go birding at Eagle Creek Park. It had rained over night and judging by the radar there was more rain on the way but sometime the worst weather leads to the best birds.

The shear volume of birds was evident immediately upon stepping out of the car. For the next two and a half hours, it was pretty much non-stop warblers! My first surprise was a Yellow-throated Warbler. It had been several weeks since I had seen one and even though they are hardier warblers, I thought I might not see another one until the spring.

The warbler of the day for me was a Canada. It was a beautiful first year female that suddenly appeared in front of us while we were sorting through one of the many flocks.

As the warblers were starting to disappear, we got a call from someone that was looking at 4 dark backed gulls on the mudflats at the north end of the park. The whole group hurried over and we found ourselves looking at 4 adult Lesser Back-backed Gulls! As far as I know, this is the most individuals that have ever been seen at once in Indiana!

One of the four Lesser Black-backed Gulls at Eagle Creek

Sunday was definitely one of those very special fall migration days where everything falls into place perfectly! Migrants were on the move, a storm moved through and forced them down, and a ton of birders were there to witness the magical event!



bbumgardner said...

Rob- Nice LBBG sighting and photo. The count of 4 is not state record, but is clearly the highest away from the lakefront. It's also a review species away from the lake. A quick write up and that photo should pass pretty easily.


Rob Ripma said...

Brad, Do you know what the high count is by chance?

bbumgardner said...

sorry, didn't see your reply. Brock's recent database has 7 as the all time state high. Without surprise, it was on the lakefront.


bbumgardner said...

Additionally, I misspoke on the LBBG being a review species. It was removed a few years back. No documentations required. Just find 8 of them!