I started my automated recording station for the season here in Maine on Thursday night, April 1st. Although there were few calls each of the last three nights, the numbers increased a little each night from about 10 the night of the 1st to about 30 last night. You might recall I posted last spring about night migration, with a link to a TV interview I did discussing the subject with the show’s anchor.
There were a few Hermit Thrushes the first night, 6 the 2nd and 12 the night of the 3rd. There were a few Killdeer each night, a Wood Duck, and 4-10 sparrows each night with Song and White-throat plus a couple that may be American Tree Sparrow and a junco or two. A few other items of interest:
-several nights had Herring Gull calls in the middle of the night that I assume are night migrating birds;
-several nights had the squeal flight calls of American Robins around midnight. Although I sometimes have what I assume to be local on-the-ground robins sing and give ground alarm calls in the middle of the night, they don’t give the squeal calls. The acoustics of the recorded squeal calls also seem more like birds overhead. I suspect that, as unlikely as it seems, that these were night-flying robins when by all accounts the species is only a diurnal migrant;
-one night I had what sounded like a bit of song of a night-flying Hermit Thrush. I typically get some night-flying birds in May that break out in song or partial song while flying overhead but I had never picked that up for Hermit Thrush.
Here are a couple short audio clips I recorded from some of the birds I heard flying overhead (you may need to turn up volume):
I didn’t take these images but included them for visual appeal. Photo credit, in chronological order, is: Rod Planck/Photo Researchers, Inc.; Rob Curtis/The Early Birder; Fred Bruemmer; and Kevin T. Karlson.