Oct 13 2013
It's October and the Falcons have arrived!
Were the PGs passing off shore all day, and just came to the barrier beach on the southerly winds? Or were they held up by the rain in Cape Cod, started south when the rain cleared at dawn, and arrived at Fire Island between 1pm and 3 pm?
**Then came the Merlins. They waited until the 8th.**
A well defined cold front was traveling our way on the 7th, passed us during the night and was offshore by dawn on the 8th. Islip reported strong, gusty northerly winds, but they were NE to E at Fire Island. And the Merlins came - 242 of them!
Although it was a pleasure to see all those MLs (new record for the date!) it is not entirely good news. As with most hawks the young-of-the-year (YOY) migrate first and we should have counted the young before 10/8. It is likely that many/most of these MLs were adults, migrating earlier than normal because they did not have many young to raise. We did see a number of adult males. If this is true, the Merlins will not make up their deficit and will likely end up below average. If, however, the YOY were late off the nest and late migrating we'll end the year with a bumper crop..... There is only one way to find out - "Keep on Counting!"
There was also a huge number of Yellow-rumped Warblers on the beach that day, all trying to dodge the ML talons (some didn't make it)!