Friday, October 7

Nocturnal migrants early October 2011

The following recordings are of birds calling over my house in Elkins Park, PA during the first week of October. Dominant thrushes during that time were Swainson's and Gray-cheeked, in about a 3:1 ratio, with a few Wood Thrushes and a one or two Hermit Thrushes and Veeries. Warblers were less frequent than in September with Common Yellowthroat and Blackpoll-type calls most common. Among the sparrows, White-throated was the most frequently heard. The highlight was a single American Bittern call. Some gray-cheeked thrush calls approached those of Bicknell's Thrush, and comments on the identification of these recordings would be welcomed.

All calls are presumptively identified as no birds were seen.

Gray-cheeked Thrush, typical calls, 4.45am

Buzzy variant, 5.10am

Gray-cheeked and Swainson's Thrush calls, 5.29am

Lower and higher calls, 4.56am

In this cut the gray-cheeked call is consistent with the appearance of Bicknell's, 11.53pm

A Swainson's Thrush variant "doubled" call, the bird using both syrinxes to create the sound, 9.43pm

A late Veery, 3.03am

An early Hermit Thrush, 2.45am

This strongly modulated call is similar in appearance to the buzzy Rose-breasted Grosbeak call as described on the Flight Calls DVD by Evans and O'Brien, 9.21pm

Another presumed Rose-breasted Grosbeak buzz, 10.59pm

The flight call of the Scarlet Tanager is a clear chu-wee, and seems to be less frequently heard at night than those of the thrushes,11.06pm

White-throated Sparrows began arriving in earnest in early October, 1.46am

Chipping Sparrow, 1.48am

Green Heron, 3.22am

American Bittern, 2.46am

This single owl wail may be an Eastern Screech-Owl, or possibly a Northern Saw-whet Owl; the call closely matches that on Cornell's Voices of North American Owls, Disc 2, cut 64.

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