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Fall migration by moonlight

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Old Tuesday 18th September 2018, 15:46   #1
Bear83
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Twin Cities, MN
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Fall migration by moonlight

Hello everyone, curious if anyone else has experienced large night migration of passerines using the moon for observation? Yesterday (9/17) our area in East Central Minnesota saw a line of rain / thunderstorms. Following the storm the bird activity was incredible as a multitude of species fed on insects (warblers, flycatchers, and other passerines). Once things turned dark you could hear a large # of flight calls filling the air. I setup a spotting scope at 30X and started counting birds transecting the moon. At only 55% illumination of the moon, I was getting 15-20 birds per minute. Curious if anyone else has counted birds in a similar fashion and what your results were. In the last year I've started using Birdcast as a supplement to what I experience in the field, and the data bears out the large flight last evening. Neat to experience, have a wonderful Fall migration everyone!
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Old Tuesday 18th September 2018, 17:08   #2
Simon Wates
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I can't remember numbers exactly now as it was quite a few years ago but we only got 2 or 3 birds a minute and thought it was marvelous. This was for transaharian migrants in September leaving the south coast of Portugal. Your 15-20 per min seems to be a very heavy nocturnal migration to me, must have been exciting!
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