Morning Flight, AG


Brad Schram
 

This morning's migrant flight over Deer Canyon, Arroyo Grande, will not be counted among the "best" spring morning flights of years past, but at least there was visible movement.  I was on the terrace with bins and 'scope from 6:15-8:45.  Visibility was nearly unlimited, even with some onshore moisture creating a bit of haze in the air.  Windy.com said the breeze from NE was 2 knots when I started, confirmed by only the slightest movement in the tips of fresh Ironwood leaves.  In other words, little headwind forcing migrants lower into the canyon(s) close to the coast. 

The breeze picked up a bit by 7am after which time migrants were more commonly seen.  Between 6:15 and 7 the migrant list only included a flock of 12 CEDAR WAXWINGS a lone VAUX'S SWIFT, and a couple distant unidentified passerines.  Activity had almost ceased by 8:15 with only a few migrants seen in the last half hour of my watch.

Unlike West Cuesta Ridge, where birds move upslope, and commonly through the trees on the ridge, most of the migrants moving over the canyons just north of AG Village stay aloft without stopping in the trees, with occasional exceptions.

This morning's migrant list included:

GREAT EGRET 3
MOURNING DOVE 27 (two compact flocks on identical northerly course as other migrants, behavior not seen the rest of the year here--therefore I assume migrants)
BAND-TAILED PIGEON 14 (one flock)
VAUX'S SWIFT 11 (usually singles)
WESTERN KINGBIRD 2
CEDAR WAXWING 34 (three flocks)
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER 1 (brief stop in trees)
NASHVILLE WARBLER 1 (brief stop in trees)
YELLOW WARBLER 2
BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER 1
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER 1
WILSON'S WARBLER 1
unidentified warblers in flight 22
WESTERN TANAGER 3
LAZULI BUNTING 2
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE 1
unidentified non-swallow passerines in flight--tanager size and smaller--44

Morning total, including local breeding birds, 47 species.

Brad Schram
Arroyo Grande