Posted by: 3pomjaeger3 | 4 September 2013

4 September: Yowzer, yowzer, yowzer!

ImageLandbirds, particularly passerines, ruled today, such as this flock of 13 Dickcissels approaching the tower from the east.  All photos copyright on 4 September 2013 by Tony Leukering.  Click on image(s) to see larger version(s).

I arrived at the tower at 6:45 this morning to landbirds moving all over the place.  Ron Weeks showed up shortly after sunrise and we thoroughly enjoyed the morning, never knowing which way to look.  Up at the high flock of gnatcatchers or at the three Yellow Warblers or the flock of Eastern Kingbirds or the flock of Dickcissels or the flock of Baltimore Orioles.  Yowzer!

ImageOne of a crazy number of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers to pass by or, in this case, over the tower.

eaki-ad-m-smithpoint-9-04-13-tl-1-cropscreen-lowresEastern Kingbirds, such as this adult female, went by in good numbers.  Note the vague gray chest band, typical of the species.

baor-ad-f-smithpoint-9-04-13-tl-01-cropscreen-lowresSomeone obviously turned on the Baltimore Oriole spigot, as my high count for the season before today was just three.  Here is what is probably an adult female.

rthu-f-smithpoint-9-04-13-tl-1-cropscreen-lowresThough there were a lot (and I mean a lot!) of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds visiting the tower feeders today (they went through a LOT of juice!), I also clicked individuals migrating by heading for the Bay, like this female; I tallied 61 such!

In mid-morning, about when the raptors normally start getting up, we were treated to near constant booming of the various thunderstorms out on the barrier islands and east of us, the latter heading our way.  I left the tower at 10:15 to let one of those pass almost right over us, dropping a chunk of rain on me as it went by; I returned to the top of the tower 30 minutes later.  These storms that delayed the morning uplift of the raptors intending to migrate kept popping up around me, essentially killing whatever flight I was going to get.  The landbird flight, however, made up for that lack, as evidenced by some selected highlights of migrating birds below.

  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 722 ( my record from yesterday was blown away!!)
  • Northern Waterthrush – 1
  • Black-and-white Warbler – 2
  • Yellow Warbler – 41
  • Blue Grosbeak – 40
  • Dickcissel – 165
  • Orchard Oriole – 33
  • Baltimore Oriole – 47

ospr-smithpoint-9-04-13-tl-1-cropscreen-lowresAfter 1 pm, a few raptors deigned to get going, no doubt just to keep me from getting skunked.  These two Ospreys started it off.

Raptors counted:

  • Osprey – 2
  • Broad-winged Hawk – 7
  • Swainson’s Hawk – 1
  • Total – 10 (for a season total of precisely 700)

The most important event of the day happened six minutes before I was to leave the tower when I averted disaster by finally finding an Olive-sided Flycatcher for the day!  Thus, my string of perfection, that is, at least one Olive-sided a day for the season, was kept alive.

Today’s eBird checklist


  1. Love the reporting–how are the Mosquitos? That would be a deciding factor in my traveling for the event–Yvonne Davis

  2. Mozzies are never a problem on the tower during the day, so they should not keep you from visiting. The fields and mottes, well that’s another story entirely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: