May 20 2011

Overnight

Published by at 7:09 am under Migration,Songbirds


Last night I woke up at 2:30am and could not get back to sleep.  I lay there thinking of everything and nothing.  At one point I heard sirens in the distance and wondered where they were so I opened the window a crack to listen.

The siren noise was very faint, nowhere near my home, but soon I heard a more interesting sound:  a “peep” like the single note of a spring peeper frog.  And another and another and another for more than 20 minutes.

Now I was happy to be awake.  Swainson’s thrushes were flying over my house at night, on their way to Canada. 

The upper sky was clear, the moon was bright and the wind calm.  It was a good night for migration.

Today, somewhere north of here, birders will see the Swainson’s thrushes that flew over Pittsburgh last night.  I wonder how far north “my” birds will be.

(photo by Matt Reinbold, Bismark, North Dakota, Creative Commons license, Wikimedia Commons.  Click on the photo to see the original.)

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Overnight”

  1. Stephenon 20 May 2011 at 8:49 am

    Saw three of them up at Presque Isle last Saturday!

  2. Heatheron 20 May 2011 at 12:47 pm

    In Castle Shannon at 5:30am, I observed a large heron or crane-like bird flying overhead. Long legs, long neck. To me, it looked more robust than a heron. Quite a sight. I’m not experienced enough to be sure of an ID. The sun also wasn’t up yet.

    Also, on the way to visit my parents in Perry County, north of Harrisburg, I observed this huge, huge bird. I saw it in a flash between trees, and initial impression was “too big to be a hawk, not right shape/color for a vulture.” We slowed down and it flew into a tree. Gorgeous view. It was a Golden Eagle.

    I wonder if the creeks being flooded in the area have anything to do with this sighting or if it was just passing through.

  3. Cris Hamiltonon 20 May 2011 at 1:14 pm

    We saw several Swainson’s thrushes at Magee Marsh last week. Going up just for the day tomorrow. We’ll see if they are still there.

  4. Marianneon 20 May 2011 at 6:05 pm

    This blog entry is perfect for today! Yesterday evening at dusk, I was outside and heard what sounded similar to a Veery, but the pitch went up instead of descending. I was baffled.

    After reading this article, going to the link and listening to its song, I realized that what I heard was really a Swainson’s thrush, which is a new yard bird for me! :-) Yay!

    Btw, I live about 100 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, so the Swainson’s thrush migration may be widespread.

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