I had two adult Red-headed Woodpeckers at Jones Beach West End this morning,
essentially as fly-bys. The first flew by me while I was in the median and
turned east on the blind side of the tree line. The second, about a minute
later, made brief stops in the higher trees before also moving east and out
of sight. Also, one or two Red-bellied Woodpeckers were around. So it was
Melanerpes Moving Day. 


I hadn't planned on going down to the beach, but an early assessment of the
Queens parks suggested the much anticipated and overdue first big wave had
not materialized - at least not here. I've gotten into the radar watching,
like others have.  I can't say that I feel comfortable with what I see -
but. The other day, someone mentioned the radar showing birds. Looking at
the referenced radar image, it didn't look that way to me. But I do
appreciate people looking at that and offering alerts or opinions. We might
figure this out. What I looked at on radar this morning suggested there was
movement along the coast. So I figured why not change plans and check that
out. I can't say that what I saw on the ground should have lit up the radar,
but there were a variety of migrants at Jones. Not much unusual other than
the woodpeckers, but 5 Baltimore Orioles in one tree was a sight to see.
Maybe the most interesting bird I came across was an immature Great
Cormorant on a piling outside the boat basin. It doesn't look like a record
late date, but close as far I can see.


So what happened with the migration? It's May 2, there was no flight of note
recently, and winds last night were SW to WSW. There should have been
migrants everywhere. One thing I had been noting and saying to people is
that the trees have barely begun to leaf out - which would also limit insect
hatches. Arboreal birds don't want to be in that. Would that retard the
migration? Wouldn't they actually have to get here to know what the
situation is here? Well, SW again tonight. It can only get better.



Steve Walter

Bayside, NY    


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