What is a fallout? In birding terms, fallout refers to a weather system that grounds migratory birds and/or forces seabirds to land. A recent example is the frenetic birding on the east coast as a result of Hurricane Irene which merited its own blog. You can also read a nice summary of the hurricane birding to be found here. White-tailed Tropicbirds and South Polar Skuas are fantastic birds for New England (or anywhere?) but there were also some remarkable science stories that emerged from this storm. I was particularly struck by this tale of a radio-tagged Whimbrel, which flew more or less straight through the hurricane and emerged unscathed.
While our recent wet weather was considerably less dramatic than a Category 3 hurricane, the resulting clouds of warblers and vireos delighted local birders. A particularly nice spot to catch migrating songbirds is an area of shrubby wetland in Confederation Park (click on the link at the top of this post for a map). One observer reported eleven species of warbler on his morning commute around this location while another added Chestnut-sided Warbler to the list on the same day. This area has the added bonus of being my "local patch" - a short walk from work and home.
|Can you find 11 species of warbler in this photo? (Photo taken with smartphone)|
Not bad for a half-hour of neighbourhood birding and whenever there is poor weather bringing the potential of fallout, I will remember to get out and investigate.