Posted by: 3pomjaeger3 | 21 October 2013

21 October: Rain, rain, and then… hmm, would you believe more rain?

bwha-juv-smithpoint-10-21-13-tl-1-cropscreen-lowresDespite the very late start to the flying day, these six — and many more — Broad-winged Hawks decided to go a-flyin’ once the rain stopped and some blue sky peeked out.  All photos copyright 21 October 2013 by Tony Leukering.  Click on image(s) to see larger version(s).

I woke at 7:30 to the expected and appreciated rain.  ‘Expected’ because, of course the weather gods wouldn’t have been wrong about bad weather for raptor migration.  ‘Appreciated’ because I could grab some extra sleep, have a bit of a lie-in, get some writing/data work done, and have a nice lunch at the town’s remaining restaurant.  A bit after 1 pm, the rain stopped for good (well, until the next system, of course), so I got myself together and mounted the tower by 1:45, expecting very little.  I was pleasantly surprised!

Firstly, I was surprised by the fact that after Eastern Phoebe, the second species of flycatcher was not of the genus Tyrannus, but of Contopus.  The second surprise was that I found four species of warbler in quite quick succession:  Nashville and Magnolia (FOS) warblers and Common Yellowthroat and Yellow-breasted Chat.  The last spent quite a bit of time preening the rain out of its plumage in an oak right in front.  The third surprise was my first non-Lark Sparrow sparrow of the season, and it was not Savannah (which had been photographed near the south side of the parking lot on Saturday by a visitor).  ‘Twas two Lincoln’s Sparrows.

eawp-smithpoint-10-21-13-tl-1-cropscreen-lowres ybch-smithpoint-10-21-13-tl-1-cropscreen-lowres

Finally, I was surprised by the 62 Broad-winged Hawks, including one dark morph, that got up for a bit of flying.  They didn’t go anywhere, but I did count some actual raptor migrants.

Raptors counted:

  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – 5
  • Cooper’s Hawk – 5
  • American Kestrel – 2
  • Total – 12

Today’s eBird checklist

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