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Checklist S46117624

 
Location
Observatoire d'oiseaux de Tadoussac--Dunes, La Haute-Côte-Nord County, Quebec, CA ( Map ) ( Hotspot )
Date and Effort
Mon May 28, 2018 5:45 AM
Protocol:
Traveling
Party Size:
6
Duration:
9 hour(s), 41 minute(s)
Distance:
0.8 kilometer(s)
Observers:
François-Xavier Grandmont List , Ian Davies List , Sarah Dzielski List , Thierry Grandmont List , Tim Lenz List , Tom Auer
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
Species
104 species (+3 other taxa) total
230
Snow Goose

flocks moving north throughout day; largest ~60

ML102939801

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality
ML102939921

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality

Note warblers migrating the other way

ML105544001

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
2
Brant
34
Canada Goose
2
Mallard
25
American Black Duck
450
Common Eider
30
Surf Scoter
12
White-winged Scoter
250
Black Scoter
15
Long-tailed Duck
1
Common Goldeneye
Breeding Code
F Flyover (Observed)
ML105544211

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105544221

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
20
Red-breasted Merganser
3
Common Loon
45
Double-crested Cormorant
ML102934661

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality
9
Great Blue Heron
1
Northern Harrier
2
Sharp-shinned Hawk
2
Bald Eagle
2
Semipalmated Plover
3
Least Sandpiper
1
Short-billed Dowitcher
1
Spotted Sandpiper
2
Solitary Sandpiper
1
Lesser Yellowlegs
2
Black Guillemot
5
Black-legged Kittiwake
45
Bonaparte's Gull
40
Ring-billed Gull
60
Herring Gull
1
Iceland Gull (Iceland)
20
Great Black-backed Gull
1
Mourning Dove
3
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
5
Downy Woodpecker
1
Hairy Woodpecker
3
Northern Flicker
4
Merlin
5
Olive-sided Flycatcher

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

ML102491921

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality
ML105543601

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105543611

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105543621

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
250
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

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

ML102491451

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality
ML102513451

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105543501

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105544451

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105544511

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
3
Alder Flycatcher
400
Least Flycatcher

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

ML102514441

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
300
Empidonax sp.

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

5
Eastern Kingbird
50
Blue-headed Vireo

most moving through scrub on dune slope

ML105543701

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
80
Philadelphia Vireo

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

ML102513621

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105543491

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
5
Red-eyed Vireo

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

5
Blue Jay
8
American Crow
2
Common Raven
4
Tree Swallow
9
Bank Swallow
1
Cliff Swallow

moving SW

9
Black-capped Chickadee
5
Red-breasted Nuthatch
1
Winter Wren
1
Golden-crowned Kinglet
1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
4
Veery
1
Bicknell's Thrush

Photographed.

ML103566511

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML103566521

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
425
Swainson's Thrush

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

3
Hermit Thrush

One singing; others moving low along same path as SWTH

100
Catharus sp.

Likely mostly SWTH

6
American Robin (migratorius Group)
24
American Pipit
830
Cedar Waxwing
3
Ovenbird

all in overhead flight

3
Northern Waterthrush

one singing; one seen in overhead flight

ML105543661

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105544441

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
25
Black-and-white Warbler

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

72200
Tennessee Warbler

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

ML102429371

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102513301

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML102513771

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML102517601

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
90
Orange-crowned Warbler

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

500
Nashville Warbler

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

ML102491221

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality
ML105543631

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
9
Mourning Warbler

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

4
Common Yellowthroat

moving through dune scrub

50500
American Redstart

***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.

ML105543991

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
108200
Cape May Warbler

***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.

ML102514121

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105543571

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105543681

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105543871

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105543881

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
3600
Northern Parula

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

ML102718901

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML105544151

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105544331

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
108200
Magnolia Warbler

***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.

ML102429481

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102429741

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102513351

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML102718951

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102718961

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102940541

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality
ML102943601

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality
ML102995541

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality
144300
Bay-breasted Warbler

***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.

ML102513581

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML102513801

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML102513941

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML102514321

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML102514421

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML102514451

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML102514531

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105544401

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105544601

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105544611

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
28900
Blackburnian Warbler

***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.

ML102429541

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102490951

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality
Age:
Adult
Sex:
Male
ML102492171

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality
ML102514241

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML102719221

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML105544371

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
3
Yellow Warbler
1450
Chestnut-sided Warbler

***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.

ML102429831

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102517691

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102719261

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102935471

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality

#flight

ML105544161

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
950
Blackpoll Warbler

***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.

ML105544351

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
27
Black-throated Blue Warbler
ML102719271

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML105543641

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
72200
Yellow-rumped Warbler

***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.

ML105543911

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
ML105543921

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
1
Prairie Warbler

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

2900
Black-throated Green Warbler

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

ML102491651

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality
ML105543851

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
14400
Canada Warbler

***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).

ML102429891

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102429901

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102719351

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102719361

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102719371

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML102719381

© Ian Davies

Average Quality
ML105543591

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
3600
Wilson's Warbler

***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).

ML105543741

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
109500
warbler sp. (Parulidae sp.)

***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).

ML102627921

© Tom Auer

Average Quality

Non-bird. Screenshot of RADAR at the time of the flight, around 11:20 am. Around the center of the RADAR bioclutter can be seen and was observed moving west in an animation of the RADAR, whereas the blobs of rain were moving northeast.

ML102934191

© Tim Lenz

Average Quality
ML105543711

© Tom Auer

Average Quality

Putative Hermit/Golden-cheeked Warbler.

ML105547071

© Tom Auer

Habitat.

14
Chipping Sparrow
4
Dark-eyed Junco
1
White-crowned Sparrow

major difference from the past two days!

7
White-throated Sparrow
5
Savannah Sparrow
2
Song Sparrow
1
Lincoln's Sparrow
3
Scarlet Tanager

all flying SW

ML105543761

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
Age:
Adult
Sex:
Male
ML105543771

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
Age:
Adult
Sex:
Male
ML105544071

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
Age:
Adult
Sex:
Female
2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

males

6
Indigo Bunting

flight calls overhead

4
Bobolink

all calling overhead

5
Red-winged Blackbird
19
Common Grackle
21
Evening Grosbeak
11
Purple Finch
17
White-winged Crossbill
750
Pine Siskin

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

18
American Goldfinch
ML105544031

© Tom Auer

Average Quality
Additional species seen by Ian Davies:
1
Palm Warbler
1
Dickcissel
1
Baltimore Oriole
1
Rusty Blackbird
Additional species seen by Tim Lenz:
50
Brant (Atlantic)
2
Mallard (Northern)
12
White-winged Scoter (North American)
9
Great Blue Heron (Blue form)
2
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Northern)
1
Solitary Sandpiper (solitaria)
60
Herring Gull (American)
5
Downy Woodpecker (Eastern)
3
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)
1
Horned Lark
6
American Robin
70000
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
4
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)
5
Savannah Sparrow (Savannah)
2
Song Sparrow (melodia/atlantica)
5
Red-winged Blackbird (Red-winged)
1
Rusty Blackbird
19
Common Grackle (Bronzed)
11
Purple Finch (Eastern)
10
passerine sp.
1
bird sp.
Additional species seen by Thierry Grandmont:
1
Dickcissel
1
Baltimore Oriole
1
Rusty Blackbird
Additional species seen by Sarah Dzielski:
1
Palm Warbler
1
Dickcissel
1
Baltimore Oriole
Additional species seen by François-Xavier Grandmont:
1
Palm Warbler
1
Dickcissel
1
Baltimore Oriole
1
Rusty Blackbird
 

Are you submitting a complete checklist of the birds you were able to identify?

Yes