Posted by: jkennedy366 | 5 October 2013

October 5 Hawks and Ibis day

One of the questions commonly asked as hawks and other birds go back and then forth in front of the tower is how the counters tell if they are the same or different birds. If a group of 11 broad-wings go east, then west and then back east, it is easy especially if they are seen to turn around out over the bay. Other times it helps to have an oddly marked hawk among the group. This can be unusual or out of season colors, missing feathers or an injury

Missing wing feathers

Missing wing feathers on a Broad-winged Hawk

Or even a single missing wing feather. When up near the sun the missing feather really stood out

One missing wing feather

One missing wing feather

There were many peregrine falcons during the day and a couple lingered a bit before heading off across the bay or to the west for a crossing there

Peregrine falcon

Peregrine Falcon

The waterbirds of the day were the several thousand white ibis with most heading west to cross the bay out near Robbins Park. There were several very large flocks including a couple who kettled nearby for altitude.

Kettling white ibis

Kettling White Ibis

Other flocks kept going. The flocks can be led by either adults or young or whoever is gullible enough to go first.

White ibis in a hurry

White Ibis in a hurry

Early in the day, the tide was very high and the road to Robbins Park was under water over a foot deep at both entrances. A single golden plover was near the shell mounds and flew out to the parking lot where it was inaccessible.

Land birds included a couple of first of the fall house wrens chattering near the tower. A single purple martin went past the tower early in the day for my laters ever. And an olive-sided flycatcher tried to use its regular perch except that the local and hunting merlin also used the same perches. Later in the day the olive-sided was seen heading toward the northwest motte and was not around on Sunday.

Lots of hummingbirds were around early in the day but thinned out as the day went on. I was able to watch several birds finish feeding, go high up and head across the bay.

For a change, all of the days showers missed the tower and it was sunny most of the time. The rain was as close as White Heron estates both on my arrival and departure. About a thousand hawks for the day and I had 15 species of hawk and vulture.

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