Checklist S46117624

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Owner Tom Auer

Traveling
  • 6
  • 0.8 km
Checklist Comments

[current comments by Ian Davies]

Today was the greatest birding day of my life.

Southwest winds overnight had led to high hopes for the morning, compounded by dawn rain in the area. Our first stop had been fruitless, with a handful of warblers moving, but nothing notable. We decided to head for the Tadoussac dunes anyways.

On our arrival (545a), it was raining. A few warblers passed here and there, and we got excited about groups of 5-10 birds. Shortly before 6:30a, there was a break in the showers, and things were never the same.

For the next 9 hours, we counted a nonstop flight of warblers, at times covering the entire visible sky from horizon to horizon. The volume of flight calls was so vast that it often faded into a constant background buzz. There were times where there were so many birds, so close, that naked eyes were better than binoculars to count and identify. Three species of warbler flew between my legs throughout the day (TEWA, MAWA, MYWA).

The flight line(s) varied depending on wind direction and speed. When calm, birds were high, often inland or farther out over the river. High winds (especially from the W, or SW), brought birds down low, sometimes feet from the ground and water. Rain also lowered birds, and the most intimate experiences with migrants occurred during a rain squall and strong wind period. Hundreds of birds stopped to feed and rest on the bare sand, or in the small shrubs.

Counting birds and estimating species composition was the biggest challenge of the day—balancing the need to document what was happening with the desire to just bask in the greatest avian spectacle I’ve ever witnessed. A significant effort was made to estimate call rates throughout the day, and those rates combined with species-specific movement estimates were used for the below totals. See the full checklist for species-specific notes.

Movement rate estimates were made by looking through binoculars at a flight line, and counting the number of individuals passing a vertical line in that field of view, per second. This was repeated multiple times for each bin view, and repeated throughout the sky so that all flight at that moment was accounted for. The average birds/second was then used for that time period, until another rate estimate showed a different volume of movement. Non-warblers were counted separately. I took several attempts at video, and will aim to add these before too long. These were my warbler rate estimates:

6:29-6:43 8s — 6720
6:44-7:02 3s — 3240
7:03-7:14 15s — 9900
7:15-8:02 30s — 84600
8:03-8:27 10s — 14400
8:28-9:12 15s — 48600
9:13-9:31 12s — 12960
9:32-9:48 15s — 14400
9:49-1038 25/s — 73500
10:39-11:03 40/s — 57600 (during and after a rain squall)
11:04-11:52 30/s — 86400
11:53-12:17 20/s — 28800
12:18-12:37 15/s — 17100
12:38-12:48 25/s — 15000
12:49-1:13 50/s — 72000 (winds switch to strong WSW)
1:14-2:36 30/s — 147600
2:37-2:56 20/s — 22800
2:57-3:04 10/s — 4200
3:05-3:14 3/s — 1620
3:15-3:18 1/s — 180
Total number of warblers: 721,620

To our knowledge, the previous warbler high for a single day in the region was around 200,000. Other observers in the area today had multiple hundreds of thousands, so there were likely more than a million warblers moving through the region on 28 May 2018. There’s no place like Tadoussac.

Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.7.4

Observations

  1. Number observed: 230

    Details: flocks moving north throughout day; largest ~60

    Media:
  2. Number observed: 2
  3. Number observed: 34
  4. Number observed: 2
  5. Number observed: 25
  6. Number observed: 450
  7. Number observed: 30
  8. Number observed: 12
  9. Number observed: 250
  10. Number observed: 15
  11. Number observed: 1
    Breeding Code: F Flyover (Observed)
    Media:
  12. Number observed: 20
  13. Number observed: 1
  14. Number observed: 3
  15. Number observed: 2
  16. Number observed: 3
  17. Number observed: 1
  18. Number observed: 1
  19. Number observed: 2
  20. Number observed: 1
  21. Number observed: 2
  22. Number observed: 5
  23. Number observed: 45
  24. Number observed: 40
  25. Number observed: 60
  26. Number observed: 1
  27. Number observed: 20
  28. Number observed: 3
  29. Number observed: 45
    Media:
  30. Number observed: 9
  31. Number observed: 1
  32. Number observed: 2
  33. Number observed: 2
  34. Number observed: 5
  35. Number observed: 1
  36. Number observed: 3
  37. Number observed: 4
  38. Number observed: 5

    Details: **high; all in active movement, 3 overhead and 2 teeing up on spruces before continuing to move SW.

    Media:
  39. Number observed: 250

    Details: *high; almost entirely moving low through the scrub on the dune slope. A few overhead in flight as well.

    Media:
  40. Number observed: 3
  41. Number observed: 400

    Details: *high; almost entirely moving low through the scrub on the dune slope. A fair number (~40) overhead in flight as well.

    Media:
  42. Empidonax sp.

    Number observed: 300

    Details: likely similar LEFL/YBFL breakdown as the full-species reports above

  43. Number observed: 5
  44. Number observed: 50

    Details: most moving through scrub on dune slope

    Media:
  45. Number observed: 80

    Details: almost entirely moving through scrub on dune slope; a few flying at eye level, but none overhead

    Media:
  46. Number observed: 5

    Details: 4 flying at eye level past platform, 1 moving through scrub. None overhead.

  47. Number observed: 5
  48. Number observed: 8
  49. Number observed: 2
  50. Number observed: 9
  51. Number observed: 4
  52. Number observed: 9
  53. Number observed: 1

    Details: moving SW

  54. Number observed: 1
  55. Number observed: 1
  56. Number observed: 5
  57. Number observed: 1
  58. Number observed: 4
  59. Number observed: 1

    Details: Photographed.

    Media:
  60. Number observed: 425

    Details: Mostly moving low through dune scrub; mostly in morning. Usually stayed within 1-2m of ground.

  61. Number observed: 3

    Details: One singing; others moving low along same path as SWTH

  62. Catharus sp.

    Number observed: 100

    Details: Likely mostly SWTH

  63. Number observed: 6
  64. Number observed: 830
  65. Number observed: 24
  66. Number observed: 21
    Media:
  67. Number observed: 11
  68. Number observed: 17
  69. Number observed: 750

    Details: estimate of birds moving overhead throughout count period, in groups from 1-22

  70. Number observed: 18
    Media:
  71. Number observed: 14
  72. Number observed: 4
  73. Number observed: 1

    Details: major difference from the past two days!

  74. Number observed: 7
  75. Number observed: 5
  76. Number observed: 2
  77. Number observed: 1
  78. Number observed: 4

    Details: all calling overhead

  79. Number observed: 5
  80. Number observed: 19
  81. Number observed: 3

    Details: all in overhead flight

  82. Number observed: 3

    Details: one singing; one seen in overhead flight

    Media:
  83. Number observed: 25

    Details: likely more in the masses of 'spuh', but not enough seen to be able to get a reasonable estimate

  84. Number observed: 72200

    Details: ***HIGH; estimated 1 in 10 birds moving overhead was a TEWA.

    Media:
  85. Number observed: 90

    Details: potentially more; these were numbers seen by entire party both in flight and moving through low

  86. Number observed: 500

    Details: ***high; Estimate of birds moving through; mostly low. Not too many seen in overhead flight, where TEWA dominated

    Media:
  87. Number observed: 9

    Details: 4 seen in overhead flight; 5 seen moving through dune scrub. Likely more in the masses of 'spuh', but not enough seen to be able to get a reasonable estimate

  88. Number observed: 4

    Details: moving through dune scrub

  89. Number observed: 50500

    Details: ***HIGH; estimated 1 in ~15 birds (7%) of all overhead birds were AMRE. Not too many moving through low; seemed to almost entirely be overhead.

    Media:
  90. Number observed: 108200

    Details: ***HIGH; incredibly abundant today. Estimated 1 in ~7 (15% of all overhead migrants) At all times you could hear several CMWA calling overhead, and they were abundant from the sand to the highest overhead migrants.

    Media:
  91. Number observed: 3600

    Details: ***HIGH; estimated 1 in every 200 birds. Few females seen for birds that were seen well.

    Media:
  92. Number observed: 108200

    Details: ***HIGH; estimated 1 in ~7 (15% of all birds overhead). In the morning (e.g., through 10a), this species was as much as 30-35% of the movement. By midday, the ratio had dropped much lower, being dominated more by BBWA and CMWA.

    Media:
  93. Number observed: 144300

    Details: ***HIGH; estimated 1 in 5 (20% of all birds overhead). Absolutely indescribable numbers of these birds today. A single scan of the sky could turn up 2-300 at a time. Sometimes the area around the platform held up to a dozen on the sand and in the bushes.

    Media:
  94. Number observed: 28900

    Details: ***HIGH; estimated 1 in 25 (4% of all birds moving). Great numbers mixed into the movement, plus the largest numbers of birds grounded on the sand. At times there were several dozen birds on the dune slope sand and on the wrack line down on the beach.

    Media:
  95. Number observed: 3
  96. Number observed: 1450

    Details: ***high; estimated 1 in 500 (0.2% of all birds moving). Not seen too often, but frequently detected by distinctive flight call. Most of the birds seen were moving low, with not too many noted in overhead flight.

    Media:
  97. Number observed: 950

    Details: ***high; estimated 1 in 750 (0.13% of all birds moving). Very few in the morning (e.g., 50 before 10a), with many more in the flight after the MAWA ratio dropped, and the BBWA ratio increased. Very few females noted.

    Media:
  98. Number observed: 27
    Media:
  99. Number observed: 72200

    Details: ***HIGH; estimated 1 in 10 (10% of all birds moving). As always seems to be the case, MYWA were present in quite large numbers. They were flightier than other species on the ground, and seemed to keep to the air more.

    Media:
  100. Number observed: 1

    Details: *rare; seen overhead in flight. Slimly-built warbler with bright yellow underparts, black streaks on flanks, tail without MAWA tail pattern.

  101. Number observed: 2900

    Details: ***HIGH; estimated 1 in 250 (0.4% of all birds moving). More present in the morning (e.g., before 10a) than in the afternoon.

    Media:
  102. Number observed: 14400

    Details: ***HIGH; estimated 1 in 50 (2% of all birds moving). Incredible numbers of this delightful warbler. Before two days ago, I'd never seen this species in overhead flight before. They tended to keep lower than most of the other warblers, with good numbers moving through the duneside scrub, as well as flying at eye level. Much more abundant in the morning than in the afternoon (probably 75% of numbers today were before 11a).

    Media:
  103. Number observed: 3600

    Details: ***HIGH; estimated 1 in 200 (0.5% of all birds moving. Like Canadas, WIWA tended to keep lower than most of the other warblers, with good numbers moving through the duneside scrub, as well as flying at eye level. Also like Canada, more abundant in the morning than in the afternoon (probably 80% of numbers today were before noon).

    Media:
  104. warbler sp. (Parulidae sp.)

    Number observed: 109500

    Details: ***HIGH; this is the remainder of 'spuhs' that didn't fit into the species that we felt comfortable estimating totals for. Many of the under-counted species likely have hundreds or thousands more individuals here, and the bulk likely fits into the other primary flight species (e.g., BBWA, MAWA, CMWA, MYWA, TEWA, AMRE).

    Media:
  105. Number observed: 3

    Details: all flying SW

    Media:
  106. Number observed: 2

    Details: males

  107. Number observed: 6

    Details: flight calls overhead

Additional species seen by Ian Davies:
  1. Number observed: 1
  2. Number observed: 1
  3. Number observed: 1
  4. Number observed: 1
Additional species seen by Tim Lenz:
  1. Number observed: 50
  2. Number observed: 1
  3. Number observed: 60
  4. Number observed: 9
  5. Number observed: 2
  6. Number observed: 5
  7. Number observed: 3
  8. Number observed: 1
  9. Number observed: 6
  10. Number observed: 11
  11. Number observed: 4
  12. Number observed: 5
  13. Number observed: 2
  14. Number observed: 5
  15. Number observed: 1
  16. Number observed: 19
  17. Number observed: 70000
  18. passerine sp.

    Number observed: 10
  19. bird sp.

    Number observed: 1
Additional species seen by Thierry Grandmont:
  1. Number observed: 1
  2. Number observed: 1
  3. Number observed: 1
Additional species seen by Sarah Dzielski:
  1. Number observed: 1
  2. Number observed: 1
  3. Number observed: 1
Additional species seen by François-Xavier Grandmont:
  1. Number observed: 1
  2. Number observed: 1
  3. Number observed: 1
  4. Number observed: 1
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