April 4th, 2009, 09:17 PM
For those of you who don't read the blogs, I have posted one about fallouts and the good and bad about them. I know that birders start salivating at the thought of a fallout, but I just wanted to hear what you thought about the repercussions associated with one. For those of you who don't know what a fallout is, it is the chance to see a huge number of birds for an extended period of time during a migration. It is caused by a front coming in and causing a severe headwind to blow against these migrating birds to the point that they are totally exhausted if and when they reach land. There is a huge loss of life associated with these. I believe that the day that I went to birdwatch after a cold front, that the wind was blowing so hard that most of the birds did not survive their migration.
So my point is that some birders hope and pray for a fallout, but don't really look at the whole picture. I want you to understand that I will be there to see the results of a fallout, they will happen whether I am there or not, but I now recognize the cost of these and just wanted to enlighten those of you who didn't know te whole story.
I am trying to bring this to a bigger audience, and would really appreciate your responses in the comment section of that discussion so that others can see a general attitude among birders based upon culture and experience.
Galveston Mini Fallout
April 5th, 2009, 12:51 AM
Called a 'fall' over here. Yes, they're not good for birds, a lot must die at sea before they can reach land. But since there's nothing you can do to change the weather to stop it from happening, I wouldn't worry about it.
The things that can be done are to avoid disturbing exhausted birds, and (if you have any control over the land) make habitat improvements such as planting food-rich trees and shrubs.
April 5th, 2009, 04:11 AM
Hi Dave, looks like you got some nice birds. I particularly like some of the Black-and-white Warbler photos. Between now and the end of the month, some trips out to the coast (esp Sabine and Boy Scouts on High Island) can be pretty good. The conditions can change quickly. Last year, the morning was pretty quiet but some poor weather that arrive after lunch produced terrific results at Sabine with Cerulean amongst many other spectacular warblers. The irony when we're searching for migrants and rarities is that what's good for birders is often bad for the birds.
April 5th, 2009, 09:17 PM
Hey Andy, I was at High Island Friday. It was pretty quiet in terms of people. We saw a pretty good number of bird species but the numbers were not what I expected. I will try to go out there again in a week or two. I will post to my blog the pictures that I can when I get things organized. Some highlights include the amazing thought that a Hooded Warbler is treated like a trash bird right now! Here is an example: "What was that? Oh, just another Hooded Warbler. Oh." Can you imagine? I guess it's like the Cardinal. My daughter came in for the weekend and she said that she wished she could have some of those at her house, all she has are House Finches.
Other new birds for me included Blue Winged Warblers, Worm Eating Warbler, and Ovenbirds.