Posted by: sphw1 | 19 August 2013

19 August: Lots of Empty Blue Sky

oror-smithpoint-8-19-13-tl-1-cropscreen-lowresOne of many Orchard Orioles around the tower today.  Photograph copyright 19 August 2013 by Tony Leukering.

Today brought just what was expected. A big empty blue sky. With the winds shifting back to the south we weren’t expecting many birds and that is what we got. Around lunch time clouds began to form and we had glimmer of hope that some birds would take advantage and start moving. Finally the first countable raptor came in the 1:00 hour when a spiffy looking male American Kestrel landed on a dead snag just long enough to give us a good look through the scope and then he took off across the bay.  He was followed by two Broad-wings and then another lone Broad-wing about an hour later. And that was it for raptors. We did have a Swainson’s Hawk visit briefly but it took off back up the peninsula and we didn’t see it again. Late in the day a Mississippi Kite soared over the mottes but never made a serious attempt to migrate. It is only August 19th after all. Plenty of time to head south when there is a favorable wind.

In other news, we counted gnatcatchers and came up with a total of around 60. As always they took out across the bay into the headwind seemingly not thinking twice about it. There were a couple hummingbirds and late in the day three Olive-sided Flycatchers sat up nicely for our viewing pleasure. There were many Orchard Orioles flitting about as well. I went to check on the oystercatchers at the shell pile near Robinson Park and found 23 of them sitting on the barge that is anchored at the dock there. Two banded ones – W3 and Y0. Both birds that were banded as chicks in 2011. Not much else to report.

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