Posted by: 3pomjaeger3 | 18 September 2013

18 September: Tad’s dregs

miki-smithpoint-9-18-13-tl-01-cropscreen-lowresThe morning started well, with gobs of Mississippi Kites (such as above) before 10 am and 200+ Broad-winged Hawks by 11 am.  However, someone turned the spigot off and I wound up with just over 25% of Tad’s total from yesterday.  All photos copyright 18 September 2013, except where noted.  Click on image(s) to see larger version(s).

I realize that I am behind on the blog, but an interruption in Internet access at Arecelia’s (the restaurant in Smith Point at which I write the blog most days), the venue being closed on Sunday, and efforts to get my programs done for the upcoming hawk-ID workshop have been the causes.  I decided to start with today’s results and catch up with the previous days’ efforts as soon as I can.

I knew that it was going to happen, yesterday on my day off Tad got not only the first count >1000 for the season, but the first one >2000!  Today, I got Tad’s dregs.  The landbird story here is still grim, with essentially no movement.  As example, today’s only flycatchers were single individuals each of Olive-sided, Great Crested, and Scissor-tailed.  No kingbirds.  I found one Dickcissel, six Baltimorioles [I think that that redundant ‘or’ syllable should be excised  :-)], and no warblers.  At least two Purple Martins went by this afternoon, though the species is approaching being late.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher tally:  34

ruhu-rthu-smithpoint-9-18-13-tl-01-cropscreen-lowresThis Rufous Hummingbird put on a one-time show at the close feeder late this morning.  I managed quite a few photos of it, but none showed any of the definitive bits (shapes of tail feathers), though one picture of the tail at an oblique angle suggested that the relevant feathers were fairly wide, ruling out Allen’s.  Here, the pleasant little Rufous is feeding calmly while all about others are being manic.  That did not last all that long.

ruhu-rthu-ad-m-smithpoint-9-18-13-cropscreen-lowresThis big bully kicked it off its perch and I never saw it again.

ruhu-smithpoint-9-17-13-tl-1-cropscreen-lowresInterestingly, I uploaded my photos from yesterday afternoon today with today’s photos, and I noticed this picture of a bird that I did NOT notice when I was taking the picture.  Or, pictures, as I have seven of ’em including this bird!  In my defense, I was photographing one of the Ruby-throateds — the middle bird on the feeder.  So, today’s Rufous may well have been yesterday’s Rufous, and yesterday’s Rufous is obviously a Rufous, not an Allen’s, as discerned by the very wide outermost rectrix.  Photo copyright 17 September 2013 by Tony Leukering.

Though the large-waterbird flight was nothing at all to write home about, it was better than it has been in quite some time, at least as far as diversity:  I saw all four of the early-season migrant/migrating waterbird species, White Ibis, Wood Stork, Anhinga, and American White Pelican, the last of which I haven’t seen from the tower in well over a week.

Raptors counted:

  • Mississippi Kite – 233
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – 3 (juveniles)
  • Cooper’s Hawk – 7 (juveniles)
  • Broad-winged Hawk – 295 (most or all juveniles)
  • Total – 538

Today’s eBird checklist

cwwi-smithpoint-9-18-13-tl-01-cropscreen-lowresMid-morning, I noticed a bird heading toward the tower from the East Motte that I thought was going to be a Common Nighthawk.  Since it was on a line to bring it quite close to the tower, I jumped up with the camera and announced to Greg and Margaret that a probable nighthawk was coming.  I got the bird in the viewfinder and shouted “Chuck-will’s-widow!”  Like the previous occurrence of the species flying by during the day, it just came sauntering by, dropping into one of the back-row oaks out front, but not before providing me my best-ever pix of the species.  Thus, I name it The Bird of the Day!

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