Posts Tagged ‘bluff point’

16th September- CALL MY BLUFF!

September 17, 2012

Observers ready to be humbled by the Bluff Point morning flight spectacle

Mid-september, Bluff Point, CT, the day after a cold-front is a perfect recipe to witness the spectacle of morning flight of passerines, predominantly wood-warblers as they funnel through the so-named “hot corner”. This phenomenon of concentrated visible diurnal migration was first discovered in the late 90s by Dave Provencher, and astute and sharp local observer. Standing at the edge of the railroad tracks at the northern end of Bluff Point State Park, thousands of birds pour out at daybreak offering would be gladiators the challenge of identifying these projectiles in flight.

A longtime birding friend of mine, Patrick Baglee, visiting from the UK had his retinas well and truly wrecked by his first-ever morning flight spectacle.

Today was a c.5000 bird day, involving a combined total of 26 species of warbler! The most interesting were a Prothonotary Warbler and 2 Connecticut Warblers.

Nick Bonomo and I positioned ourselves to the north of the tracks to try to get a better vantage point to identify them in flight and to attempt some “fun flight” photography. There were some surprises least of all a Connecticut Warbler. Nick was far better on the draw with this one and his photographs of the bird in flight make mine look silly!See here:

How nearly all of my images turned out of warblers in flight!!

Red-eyed Vireo, one of the more numerous birds of the flight.

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Apparent Blue-headed Vireo migrating with prey


Swainson’s Thrush – no problems iding this baby!

Surprise Yellow-throated Vireo!


My sub-par Connecticut Warbler shot!

Here is a run down of some the species seen (in some instances numbers are conservative estimates):

Northern Flicker (60-70)

Eastern Wood-Pewee (10)

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (1)

Eastern Phoebe (3)

Great Crested Flycatcher (4)

Yellow-throated Vireo (2)

Blue-headed Vireo (4)

Philadelphia Vireo (3)

Red-eyed Vireo (25)

Red-breasted Nuthatch (20)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (15)

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (5)

Veery (2)

Swainson’s Thrush (15)

Cathurus thrush sp (20+

Cedar Waxwing (100+)

Blue-winged Warbler (2

Tennessee Warbler (7)

Nashville Warbler (3

Northern Parula (200+)

Yellow Warbler (3)

Chestnut-sided Warbler (10)

Magnolia Warbler (20+)

Black-throated Blue Warbler (15) surprisingly low number

Yellow-rumped Warbler (10)

Black-throated Green Warbler (200+)

Blackburnian Warbler (10+)

Pine Warbler (1)

Prairie Warbler (4)

Palm Warbler (4)

Bay-breasted Warbler (1)

Blackpoll Warbler (100+)

“Baypoll” Warbler (400+)

Black-and-white Warbler (50+)

American Redstart (400+)


Ovenbird (2)

Northern Waterthrush (1)


Oporonis species (1)

Common Yellowthroat (10)

Wilson’s Warbler (2)

Canada Warbler (2)

Unidentified Warblers (approx 3,000 to 3,500)

Scarlet Tanager (15)

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (15)

Indigo Bunting (1)

Baltimore Oriole (1)

Purple Finch (75+)