Posted by: 3pomjaeger3 | 31 August 2013

31 August: Another high-blue-sky day

ImageImageAnother great sunrise this morning.  All photographs are copyright 31 August 2013 by Tony Leukering.  Click on image(s) to see larger version(s).

Like yesterday, the early-morning clouds that produced a lovely sunrise, took off for parts elsewhere, leaving a high, blue sky out of which it was difficult to pick migrating raptors.  The Eastern Kingbird flight was a small percentage of yesterday’s, while the warbler flight doubled in size and identified species diversity:  99 Yellows, one immature female Black-and-white Warbler (see below).  It was heart-breaking to not get the hundredth Yellow Warbler, but in the contest, it would not have mattered, as even 100 would have lost to the…

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher tally:  155

The Dickcissel flight was again strong:  69, with many birds putting on a good show perched in the treetops in front.  The Baltimore Oriole count doubled to two, while an Alder Flycatcher and another, unidentified Empidonax continued a good seasonal showing of the genus here.

baww-im-f-smithpoint-8-31-13-tl-1-cropscreen-lowresThis immature female Black-and-white Warbler provided relief from the otherwise monospecific flight of warblers.  One can see the streaked sides/flanks and the white tail spots that are typical of the species, and the lack of black in the throat and the buff wash to the flanks typical of immature females.

With the brutal blue sky and the light south breeze, the number of raptors seen from the tower was probably a small percentage of those that actually flew past.  Two adult White-tailed Hawks way out on the Point and a high-flying Swallow-tailed Kite that evaded being seen by anyone but me were the highlights of a mediocre count.

Raptors counted:

  • Swallow-tailed Kite – 1
  • Mississippi Kite – 6
  • Cooper’s Hawk – 4 (all juveniles)
  • Broad-winged Hawk – 36 (all juveniles)
  • Swainson’s Hawk – 10
  • White-tailed Hawk 2
  • Total – 59

White Ibis and Anhinga flew by in good numbers, 457 of the former and 350 of the latter.  A Common Tern perched on one of the cement bars in the Bay provided the first season record from the tower, while I missed Sandwich Tern for the first time this fall.  Three flocks of migrating Willets flew west over the Bay, while a lovely flock of five Upland Sandpipers flew west in front of the tower.

quiz-smithpoint-8-31-13-tl-2-cropscreen-lowresA while back I posted a picture under the heading of ‘So you wanted to be a waterbird counter.’  I am doing this again today, and I encourage folks to respond with their ID of the birds in the picture.  Don’t be afraid, play the game!

Today’s eBird checklist



  1. I’m not terribly confident of this, but if the photo is from today, I’ll guess these are at least 2 and possibly all 3 of your juvenile Little Blue Herons and the rest Great Egrets. Otherwise, what can they be besides Great Egrets? I’d like a bit more size in the pic to be sure of bill color.

  2. Snowy Egrets.

  3. […] of previous posts, I posted ostensible quiz photos for potential waterbird counters, here and here.  The answers to the quizzes […]

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