Heads up, Common Nighthawk migration will be staring soon in New England.
This message is from Henry Norwood, one of the coordinator's of the nighthawk survey. Try and particiate this year, if you have not already done so.
"The 2009 fall migration of nighthawks will soon be upon us and hopefully you will once again lend a hand in our annual survey of these fascinating, but seriously declining, migrants as they pass south through southern NH and northern and central MA. This year’s fall migration will be particularly intriguing since NOAA has recently declared that we have officially entered an El Nino phase and this will be our first opportunity to see how El Nino affects the nighthawk migration across our greatly expanded coverage area.
As in the last two year, the survey area covers the upper two-thirds of Massachusetts and the lower one-third of New Hampshire from the headwaters of the Blackstone River on the south to the Concord (NH) area on the north and from the Merrimack, Concord, and Sudbury Rivers on the east to the Connecticut River on the west.
The survey area encompasses some 3,300 square miles and includes parts of three major river basins (Merrimack, Connecticut and Blackstone) and nine major tributary watersheds (SuAsCo, Contoocook, Nashua, Piscataquog, and Souhegan watersheds in the Merrimack basin; Ashuelot, Chicopee, Cold and Millers watersheds in the Connecticut River basin; and the headwaters of the Blackstone watershed). Further information and maps of these twelve watersheds can be found at "Geographic Area Covered by Survey" on our website home page. (http://www.borobirding.net/nighthawks/).
This year, our survey will begin on Sunday, August 9, and run through Monday, September 10, with the website remaining open through September 30 for late reports and late migrants.
The survey process this year will be the same as in years gone by. That process is based on two key principles: first, that each observer should have the option to decide when, where, and how long to spend looking for nighthawks; and second, that all sighting data should be submitted via our automated website. The website automatically compiles, analyzes, and reports back results to all observers on as near a real time basis as possible. How quickly observation results are in fact available to all observers depends solely on how quickly observers enter their data into the website since our computers can compile, analyze, and report back the results literally in seconds."