Posted by: jkennedy366 | 27 September 2013

September 25, voice of the hawkwatch, peregrines and anhingas

During the first half of the hawk watch the calls of the upland sandpipers going overhead are feature of most mornings. Wednesday with the first good fog of the fall on days I was at the point, there were uplands on the ground too.

Calling to flying birds

Calling to flying birds

This bird called each time birds went overhead. Much more impressive call when given next to the car. Several were feeding along the road; this bird seemed to have a bill problem as it never closed its beak.

Posing

Posing

Eventually it took off to join its friends above encouraged by a jogger that eventually put all the birds near the road into the air.

Ready to join the birds above

Ready to join the birds above

Several peregrine falcons were up in the blue during the day. There was a surprising amount of water vapor up there which gave many of my pictures a foggy day effect but most were below that.

Dragonflying

Dragonflying

One peregrine was eating dragonflies that were way up there too as seen by this bird and bug.

Adult peregrine

Adult peregrine

Mid day hawks can show good feather details as they fly near the sun. Not traditional but I like the way that all the feathers show.

cooper's hawk in the sun

cooper’s hawk in the sun

Most broad-winged hawks are young of the year birds but there are adults up there including this bird in the mist.

adult broad-winged hawk

adult broad-winged hawk

Besides the black and white storks and pelicans, the anhingas are the other large waterbird kittling and migrating with the hawks. They will get in a thermal with hawks but keep their flock structure even when mixed with the hawks.

Anhinga flock

Anhinga flock

Anhinga flock

Anhinga flock

A real lack of land birds during the day at the tower and out Hawkins Camp Road. Shorebirds were good in the early morning but with the first good numbers of accipiters passing over and next to their feeding and resting grounds they quickly vanished with none around in the afternoon. Robbins Park and the nearby roads can be the best spot to watch cooper’s, sharp-shinned and marsh hawks go by and hunt. Good looks at the plucking of shorebirds too.

The seaside sparrows and clapper rails seem to ignore the hawks but are usually close to cover. The olive-sided flycatchers are still in tree tops and good numbers of purple martins are roosting there.

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Responses

  1. Sent via the Samsung GALAXY S®4, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone

  2. Please let us know if the migration has reached its peak, or is coming close. I would like to pull my daughter from school to see it. This weekend?

    • this weekend looks really great. Smith Point depends on good wind conditions for the most birds although some can be seen on most days but a south wind, heavy clouds or rain etc really hamper things. And most birds arrive in the area from the north and east so if a front does not clear in those directions local birds can pass but no new ones show up.

      My forecast would be that Sunday would be better than Saturday but since I am not very good at picking “best” days Saturday could also be good if the front actually passes on Friday evening and many birds have been grounded within flying distance to get to the point on Saturday instead of Sunday. There is some tendency for fronts to stall along the coast or just south of I10 like the one that came in this weekend that never really provided flight conditions but did bring rain at times. I will probably go both days but am a Saturday volunteer and Sunday will be for enjoyment.


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