The skies at night certainly are big and bright on the radar screen, and not just in Texas. Last night's radar, Friday, September 04, was simply hopping here in NY.
Above is the radar from about 10:00 PM (EDT), which shows some intense dark blue across the north side of Lake Ontario and into the Adirondack mountains. The western sides of Massachusetts and Connecticut are also showing some serious airborne activity.
The time I spent outside, intermittent periods between 9:00 PM and midnight, were not throbbing with avian sound as I hoped. A few calls here and there, mostly warblers and sparrows but a couple of Swainson's Thrush mixed in, and they fought to be heard through the din of insects and my neighbor's affection for .38 Special.
Moon watching, on the other hand, was spectacular, at least in my limited experience. All told it averaged about a bird per minute, all small, all transiting the moon to the south. At least two bats danced independently in seemingly random directions. It's not like they were waltzing with one another, they'd appear from below, slow and graceful, and seem to hover. A few beats of the wings would take them higher, into the Sea of Tranquility, past the Sea of Crisis, and out past the edge of the moon. Or towards the crater Copernicus, through the Ocean of Storms and back into invisibility. By now you may be guessing I dug out my college astronomy text. Busted - you're right.
The cold front that prompted these birds to take flight will hopefully open another door of migration tonight. I'll be out again, listening and watching.
What are you seeing/hearing in your neck of the woods?
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