Posted by: 3pomjaeger3 | 15 August 2013

14 August: Looking forward to tomorrow

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The NNE winds forecast for tomorrow should make for a nice flight.  Of course, that is a relative term; there will NOT be a flight like there would be with similar conditions on, say, 25 September!  With a correct forecast, we’ll have winds with an ‘N’ in them during daytime hours through Sunday, a lovely change from the brisk and hot southwesterlies that the swallows have been enjoying.

Yes, ’twas another swallow flight day, with birds beating west into the wind from early in the morning.  My estimated totals for theday for unidentified swallow, Barn Swallow, and Cliff Swallow were, respectively, 951, 854. and 848.   The most interesting aspect of bird flight today at the tower was in early afternoon when the wind swung around to a bit N of W, the clouds mostly cleared, and the thermal elevators began working, the swallow show either lifted off the deck or nearly terminated, as there were few to be seen to the naked eye.  But, the big waterbirds took immediate advantage, with a few flocks of Wood Storks and American White Pelicans (see above) — of which, I’d seen none until this wind change — heading west, along with a smattering of White Ibis;  some soaring Magnificent Frigatebirds were also nice to see.

Raptors, too, joined the vultures in the thermals, with the three continuing juvenile Broad-winged Hawks up there along with the continuing adult and juvenile Swainson’s Hawks. A second adult Swainson’s came in from the north during this time, but hung around for quite a while, so did not get counted.  Count-wise, the day saw another skunk.

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The continuing juvenile and adult light-morph Swainson’s Hawks.  Note that the adult is in wing molt and that the juvenile doesn’t have as crisp a pattern below as does the adult.

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Note, too, that the adult Cooper’s Hawk is molting.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher tally:7

Bird of the Day:  The flock of five Buff-breasted Sandpipers heading W not very far out from the tower in late morning beat out the flock of three Upland Sandpipers heading S early in the AM.

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Two of the 11 Tricolored Herons winging their way west (for the most part) on the 14th.  No other heron species is so obviously migrating at this time.

Today’s eBird checklist

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