Posted by: 3pomjaeger3 | 5 October 2013

5 October: More Peregrines!

blja-smithpoint-10-05-13-tl-1-cropscreen-lowresBlue Jays were moving early in flocks heading west past the tower.  All photos copyright 5 October 2013 by Tony Leukering.  Click on image(s) to see larger version(s).

Well, we did not get a third consecutive four-digit hawk flight, but today’s flight was still fun. The first of 14 Peregrines — a big juvenile female — went screaming west right over the tower, to the enjoyment of all. The past three days have seen a spectacular Peregrine total of 44! I also officially counted the first Red-tailed Hawk migrant of the fall: a juvenile waaaay up in a Broad-winged kettle (along with three Swainson’s Hawks). Today also saw the best seasonal tally of Cooper’s hawks so far, with 54. The seemingly comparatively low count of 71 Sharp-shinned Hawks is readily explained. Hawks got up very high, today, and Sharpies can disappear from sight at altitudes as low as 750 feet; Cooper’s being larger birds, are more readily findable on sky-high flights.

pefa-juv-f-smithpoint-10-05-13-tl-01-cropscreen-lowres pefa-juv-f-smithpoint-10-05-13-tl-03-cropscreen-lowresTwo views of a lovely juvenile female Peregrine that stole the show during her not-too-brief appearance directly overhead!

Raptors counted:
Osprey – 6 (season’s high count)
Mississippi Kite – 41
Northern Harrier – 7 (incl. an ad. male)
Sharp-shinned Hawk – 71
Cooper’s Hawk – 54
Broad-winged Hawk – 413
Swainson’s Hawk – 6
Red-tailed Hawk – 1
American Kestrel – 8
Merlin – 1
Peregrine Falcon – 14
Total – 622

If it weren’t for Blue Jays, the morning flight of passerines would have been pretty pathetic. But, 81 Blue Jays in nine flocks headed west past the tower, accounting for the largest flight this fall in what may turn out to be an excellent flight year for the species. A late Olive-sided and a briefly-seen Empidonax were the only flycatchers tallied.

nrws-smithpoint-10-05-13-tl-01-cropscreen-lowresNumbers of Northern Rough-winged Swallows continue to climb and if they’re not (quite) the commonest swallow here now, they will be very shortly!

White Ibis moved in big numbers today, with 2700 counted in 43 flocks. I HATE it when I count stuff by ones and have totals like this! The total included six flocks of >100 birds; the largest flock, of 370, I had to photograph and count on my computer screen.

Today’s eBird checklist

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