[TN-Bird] Purple Martins still abundant in Nashville

  • From: "Scott Somershoe" <Scott.Somershoe@xxxxxx>
  • To: <tn-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 21:18:01 -0500

After tonight's bike races at LP Field in Nashville, about 7pm, the martins 
were assembling in one of the most impressive flocks of birds I've ever seen.  
There was one "tornado/flock," kind of far to the north, that had to be at 
least 8,000 individuals (how does one guess a huge flock like that anyway?).  I 
did not have my binocs, but it could be seen with the naked eye at quite a 
distance.  It was quite impressive.  At the same time, there were several other 
large gatherings of 1000-5000 birds.  All told, my estimate from 2 weeks ago of 
upwards of 30,000 martins is still quite reasonable in my mind.  

Also had 2 Common Nighthawks cruising around.  One Coopers Hawk made a pass 
about 6:15, before my race and before the martins started gathering.  Chimney 
swifts are present, but generally I only hear and see a couple individuals.

I still don't know where the martins roost.  They are in big groups until it is 
almost too dark to see them and then they just vanish.

Great birding!
Scott Somershoe 

State Ornithologist
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
P.O. Box 40747
Nashville, TN 37204
615-781-6653 (o)
601-868-0101 (cell)
615-781-6654 (fax)

"Keeping the rubber side down." -SGS
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  • » [TN-Bird] Purple Martins still abundant in Nashville - Scott Somershoe