Thursday, July 01, 2010

Early, earliest, late, latest-ever

Blackpoll Warbler -- Photo by DAVID SPEISER

Two response to yesterday's post about early Cicadas: First, from Tom Fiore:

Hi Marie,

Among insects it is not only cicadas that have emerged earlier than ever this spring, and now early summer. Many butterflies have done the same this spring with new earliest records established for some species in our local area, such as the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and others. The records may not have come from Central Park or even the city proper but have been within 30 miles of the city or less. There also have been some reports of early moths and a number of other insects. There also may be ending dates of some insect's adult flight periods that are among the earliest that have been recorded, in this area.

Meanwhile, a few birds are lingering very late indeed. A Blackpoll Warbler, a typically-later arriving May migrant which is not so unusual to be able to find in Central Park into the first few days of June has continued on, or perhaps another has been around, at the north end of the Park, through today (Wednesday) and is my own latest- ever record of that species in the period well before "fall" migration. Most Blackpoll Warblers don't even begin to migrate south from their northern nesting areas until late August through September.

In the next few weeks some more warblers and other migrant birds may start to appear in Central and other city parks. It is known but not all that well-observed that a large number and fair variety of warblers, in particular, are moving south in the weeks before mid-August, by which time a wider variety of birds have begun to migrate south. For some species, it is actually expected that a lot will have gone south before September. One of the earliest to begin to go south - among the species that are regular in the Park - is Louisiana Waterthrush, not unusual to be found in the first half of July as a migrant in our area.


Then, from Indianapolis, Bill Trankle writes:

Marie, I heard my first cicada around the first of June here in Indianapolis, and while I only heard one and only heard it once, that is the earliest I've ever heard them out here. They're in full throat right now, and even that is earlier than normal (usually mid-July is when you hear lots of them singing).

. We had a warm, early Spring, which is probably the cause, since I'm guessing they emerge based on ground temperature. Bill Trankle Indianapolis, IN

PS From Marie: On Friday Rebekah heard a single cicada. This morning Jack Meyer and I heard quite a number of them emitting their the loud mechanical song near the Pool and the Loch in the North Woods.