[Mnbird] Migration musing Winona MN 9/19/22

carol schumacher birdminn at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 19 06:11:34 CDT 2022




4 AM
Who can sleep knowing 8.5 million birds are/have so far passed over Winona county during this night?  Source: Migration dashboard (Birdcast.info) 9/18-19. 7:10PM-4 AM.

On the screen porch. 
Dense fog over the Mississippi River valley is our natural version of lights out for bird safety.  A faint moon outline confirms that 600* feet above the valley is fogged. The only sound is my fountain waterfall. Fog=silence but for a train horn from the Wisconsin side. 4AM in flight 600,000 and   4:30 AM 3330,000 aloft.

5AM
8.8 million
Above the fog level now the cleared sky reveals Capricorn with the sharp migrant sky playing its part for birds. Fog/clouds dance slowly in and out contrasting /blurring. 

The Birdcast live migration map shows intensity….aka over the top here. Even if one can’t hear or see them they stream over.  Like the river flows to the sea.  Just heard an “irritated” Ruby-throated Hummingbird from a branch close in.  

The migration fascination grows and grows. First my penciled field notes August 1989 were based on what was seen. (later transposed to detailed seasonal reports). Sound recognition of calls and songs supplemented the visual pallet.
A broken clavicle may prevent lifting binoculars for a few weeks but no longer do I need to see every bird because my mind’s eye can. Including the tink pitched Northern Waterthrush calls in the bottomland forest yesterday. (Thinner, slightly higher pitched than it’s stronger but as persistent  spring migration call.)

5:23AM 
8.9 million crossed Winona County this night 

5:34
9 million
56 degrees. Coffee cup is cold. inside I go.  Only to wonder what birds will migrate during daylight hours. Living the migration dream on the wide river woven with slower sloughs and island bottomlands.
Where imagination is required to incorporate how many birds must be migrating out there unseen!

6:10 AM
159000 in flight, 1200’ over Winona

Carol Schumacher
Winona, MN on the Mississippi


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