Posted by: jkennedy366 | 15 September 2013

September 14, specks and motes, hummers and dickcissels

The day provided the best hawk watching of the season but most of the birds were way up high. The visitors for the day were able to discuss the difference between specks and motes but many of the birds were too high to really show how to distinguish between the various species. The first bald eagle of the season was an exception but it is hard for an eagle to be a speck even though it was way up and out there.

A couple of swallow-tailed kites went by and in the late afternoon Mississippi kites showed up in numbers along with a few broad-winged hawks. Sites up north are just now getting the first numbers of broad-winged so they still can come by and peak over the next 3 weeks. A peregrine, caracara, and frigatebird joined the up high contingent. The resident red-shouldered, cooper’s and broad-wings gave closer views. Several ospreys did go over high but one bird was perched to the east for a bit and then vanished.

Driving down to the point, several red-tailed hawks were new arrivals but I saw no other hawks. Oystercatcher W3 was out at the point with another 20 birds waiting for handouts along with the usual scavengers. My first young of the year black-bellied plovers were much tamer than the adults. One can tell that there are no numbers of hawks migrating as the shorebirds were still there in the pm.

The pond in town by the abandoned restaurant had no shorebirds early but over a dozen black-crowned night herons and 2 spoonbills early and then in the pm a Wilson’s phalarope, 3 stilt sandpipers, a flock of western sandpipers and single least and semipalmated sandpipers.

The best landbird for the day were the dickcissels. Many were just getting up along Hawkins camp and their buzz was overhead until later in the morning. A flock of 38 stopped in an oak by the tower. The olive-sided flycatchers are still around but yellow warbler and oriole numbers were down at the tower although good numbers of orioles were going out the point at sunrise. Several eastern kingbirds and a scissor-tail went by the tower.

Hummingbirds made the day interesting as usual.
During the morning a rufous type bird was a 2 sip wonder.
In the pm a more rufous bird was photographed by Tony and confirmed as a rufous
I put a bird down on my list as a broad-tailed hummingbird but a short lived visit made for a lack of details. It generally looked like a female ruby-throat but had rufous at the base of several tail feathers. The call was distinctive being high pitched and sharper than the rufous.
A white-tailed hummingbird appeared in the pm. It had white or perhaps uncolored outer tail feathers which I only saw on its first visit.

Between the tower and park, I had about 80 species for the day so all remained well in the world.

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