Posted by: 3pomjaeger3 | 13 August 2013

13 August: Yea, a Broad-wing

ImageThis immature Ruby-throated Hummingbird dominated the upper feeder on the tower today, even constantly running off two adult male Ruby-throateds!

[All pictures copyright 2013 by Tony Leukering]

Another scorcher at the tower, with some quite-brisk winds from the SSW, again, not so conducive to migration, except, again, for swallows.  Today, I spent less time trying to count swallows, instead making a few short counts and extrapolating.  With the strong winds, the swallows, as is typical for them (at least here), fly into the wind, so the vast majority were flying westerly past the tower, though in the afternoon, many were seemingly crossing the bay after passing the tower (the wind had swung more southerly by then from the earlier SW or WSW).  Apparent swallow diversity was lower, but that may simply have been due to the reduced focus on them; apart from Barn (925 estimated) and Cliff (400 estimated), I counted 34 Purple Martins and one Bank Swallow.

ImageOne of the hordes of Barn Swallows motoring by today, this one easily aged as an immature (this year’s youngster) by its short tail streamers.

Bird of the Day:  After going nearly the whole morning with only vultures representing raptors, I noticed a distant and high speck of a hawk heading southerly.  This juvenile Broad-winged Hawk glided closer and closer, passing a thermal in which (I presume) the three local juvenile Broad-wingeds were riding along with some Black Vultures, so I knew it wasn’t one of those birds.  It kept coming, crossing high over the tower and over the Bay!  Yes!  My first countable non-kite of the season.  For those keeping track, that would also make it just my second countable raptor of the season (Joe Kennedy had a smattering of such on two earlier August days).

Other raptors noted:  The continuing two juvenile Cooper’s Hawks and the adult light-morph Swainson’s Hawk provided the only other respite from ogling vultures today.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher tally: 15

I tallied yet another disembodied Upland Sandpiper voice early this morning, but few other migrants were noted.  I scored just five flocks of White Ibis (each of fewer than 10 birds), one American White Pelican flock, and one Roseate Spoonbill flock (three birds).  However, the Tricolored Heron show continues to impress me, as another seven flew by, most heading S or SW, as they have been doing for three days.

Today’s eBird checklist

At least one of the online weather-forecast systems is projecting northish winds for multiple days later this week.  Perhaps I’ll finally see a Mississippi Kite here this year!

ImageOne of the many juvenile Northern Mockingbirds hanging around the tower.



  1. I feel your pain out there in the heat! You are tougher than most. Wishing you raptors tomorrow.

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