Posted by: jkennedy366 | 9 October 2013

October 8 Liftoff hawks and blue sky

The forecast for the day was for a north to northeast wind all day but light which meant that the hawks would go way up high. But as usual, the wind did not read the forecast and was east by midmorning and south by noon. Also, the theory that hawks always appear in large numbers on Tad Tuesday was shown to be an urban myth.

There was an early lift off of some kites and some small kettles of broad-winged hawks that were way off to the north and went way out Hawkins Camp where they gathered before departing by 10am. After that the skies were basically empty except for a couple of spurts that diminished until no birds were around near the end of the day.

22 Mississippi kites kept up the late show for the species. One group may have spent the night out Hawkins camp road and was first seen coming back where they joined another group of 9. One bird later in the day went over the tower.

Single young Mississippi kite over the tower.

Single young Mississippi kite over the tower.

Local birds included 3 crested caracara resting in the northeast motte that later put on a great show over the tower with lots of swooping and diving at each other.

Local Crested Caracara

Local Crested Caracara

Local Crested Caracara

Local Crested Caracara

Usually I do not do too well with birds swooping by the tower but this larger pileated woodpecker cooperated better than the swallows and flycatchers.

pileated woodpecker in front of the tower

pileated woodpecker in front of the tower

pileated woodpecker in front of the tower

pileated woodpecker in front of the tower

It was a good morning for dickcissel 53 for the morning with a few indigo buntings and blue grosbeaks joining them. 63 blue jays continued their migration past the tower.

Flycatchers included a morning vermilion flycatcher down by the water and a very late olive-sided flycatcher up on top of the northeast motte and at least 2 least flycatchers in front of the tower. 6 flickers went by and the water birds started to look a little like winter with 68 double-crested cormorants. White ibis were mostly way out over the bay rather than over the tower and a large flock of anhinga followed the way off hawks going west. 24 Caspian terns in 2 groups appeared to be on the move rather than the adult/young pairs that have been off the beach.

There well could have been hawks up there in the blue cloudless sky during the day but I was unable to find them or even a hint of a hawk although there were lots of dragonflies up there. Later in the morning, most of the dragonflies had also moved on. However the few hummingbirds of the am were building up later in the day with a 3 sip rufous hummingbird and a black-chinned female that stayed. I did have a quick glimpse of what was probably an adult male black-chin but it never returned while I was watching.

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