Posted by: 3pomjaeger3 | 20 September 2013

20 September: Rain, more rain, and frigatebirds!

mafr-smithpoint-9-20-13-tl-01-cropscreen-lowresFifteen of a flock of about 40 Magnificent Frigatebirds slowly drifting west down the East Bay shore right past the tower; a group that never got out of sight and returned to hang over the East Motte shore for quite some time.  All photos copyright 20 September 2013 by Tony Leukering.  Click on image(s) to see larger version(s).

The hawk count was, essentially, a washout today, as it rained off and on — much more on than off — all day.  I had to refill the hummer feeders early, so went to the tower a bit after 7:30 to find a herd of 22 Magnificent Frigatebirds hanging over the East Motte in the whipping south wind.  What a great start to a gray day.  However,  I spent the morning running errands in town and doing computer work at my cozy trailer.  When it stopped raining shortly after noon, I headed to the tower to see what I could see.  There were still 22 frigatebirds there, but shortly after my arrival, the flock began accreting, gathering birds off East Bay, initially.  Then, frigatebirds started coming from Trinity Bay, either over land (such as in the lower two photos, below) from the direction of the buildings visible from the tower, or coming east up the north shore of East Bay.  At 1:30 pm when the wind had climbed to 37 mph from the south, with gusts to 45 mph, I decided that southward raptor migration probably was not going to happen, so spent much of the rest of the afternoon counting frigatebirds.  See my message to Texbirds for further details.

today’s (abbreviated) eBird checklist

mafr-smithpoint-9-20-13-tl-01-cropscreen-lowres mafr-smithpoint-9-20-13-tl-04-cropscreen-lowres mafr-smithpoint-9-20-13-tl-05-cropscreen-lowres

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