Sep 12 2011
Last weekend was a great time to find migrating birds in Pennsylvania.
Reports from across the state on the PABIRDS listserve told of hawks, shorebirds and warblers. Hawk Mountain reported 1,120 broad-winged hawks on September 10, there were American golden plovers and buff-breasted sandpipers in Mercer County, and many of us found mixed flocks of warblers at our local hotspots.
My favorite find was a Cape May warbler yesterday at Moraine State Park. The Sibley Guide says they’re “uncommon and irregular in mature coniferous forests” so we see them only on migration in our deciduous state.
All of this activity is due to what I call “pent up desire.” For two weeks rain plagued Pennsylvania so the birds waited north of here for the weather to break. Day after day their desire to fly south increased. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania’s birders were cooped up indoors wanting to go out. When the rain ended, we had a flood of birds and birders.
I wouldn’t wish two weeks of rain on anyone — except perhaps Texas where they really need it — but it sure makes for good birding.
(Steve Gosser photographed this Cape May warbler in Harrison Hills Park yesterday.)