Posted by: 3pomjaeger3 | 22 August 2013

22 August: Hummer haven

wwdo-smithpoint-8-22-13-tl-02-cropscreen-lowresYou know that person that always has closed eyes in the group picture?  Pictures copyright 22 August 2013 by Tony Leukering.

Andy Dietrich joined me for most of hot and variably cloudy (and spitting rain a couple of times) day, in which shorebird diversity was okay, hummer diversity was good, and raptor diversity was poor.  Olive-sided Flycatchers continue to hold the fort on various high, bare perches, with one sharing neighboring perches with an Eastern Kingbird today.  An Alder Flycatcher called nearly incessantly early this morning in front of the tower, but then I neither heard nor saw it again; it had shut up by the time that Andy got there.  The immature Yellow-billed Cuckoo put in its fourth appearance in five days in front of the tower, but that pretty well runs me out of landbird highlights.  Well, at least until I get to discussing hummers.

bwha-juv-smithpoint-8-22-13-tl-01-cropscreen-lowresThis juvenile Broad-winged Hawk nicely flew right by the tower on its way down the point; it obviously wanted to be counted.  Unfortunately, it accounted for half of the counted birds today, the other being a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk.

The swallow show was interesting, if not a flight of large magnitude.  There was only a minor directional westbound flight, but another flight of very small insects had them cavorting in front of the tower this afternoon, along with a smattering of Common Nighthawks.  Once again, I could not find the wee insects, except in a picture or two (see below).  And, again, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers joined the aerial insectivore guild, with various birds making a long flight from the trees up into the action, and then cavorting with the swallows.

ImageNo, there is nothing wrong with your set; the picture is right-side up!  The contortions that Purple Martins sometimes go through for a light snack!

ImageOf course, some Purple Martins can manage the task without looking silly.

ImageThough this wasn’t one of the aerial-insectivore Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, it made for one of the

Blue-gray Gnatacher tally of  119.

ImageThe first of the interesting hummingbirds was present early in the morning at the upper feeder.  It is an obvious Archilochus, but was not obviously a Ruby-throated.  The dull upperparts coloration and long, droop-tipped bill suggest Black-chinned, but, as of this writing, the photos appear not to be definitive, as this was the only angle that I could get on it (it was skittish).ImageThe second interesting hummingbird of the day was a bit more cooperative, as I managed to get a photo showing a definitive feature, the indicated indentation on the edge of the r2 ( second rectrix).  Rectrices — tail feathers — are counted from the inside to the outside on each side of the tail.  Hummingbirds have ten rectrices, so they have two each, right side and left side, of r1, r2, r3, r4, and r5.  The shape of this bird’s r2 eliminates Allen’s Hummingbird from consideration.  From what I understand, had it not shown that indentation so well, that would not have made for a definite Allen’s. ImageHere is an in-focus picture of the same bird, but one that does not provide any definitive identification points.  This is an immature male Rufous Hummingbird, as discerned by the green back and the single red gorget feather (not visible here) and is the Bird of the Day.

Today’s eBird checklist


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