Posted by: jkennedy366 | 12 November 2013

November 10, another broad-wing day, big hawks still missing

The hawk got started a little late on Sunday and there were as many of them as the weather warranted. The November flight of swainson’s hawks is still missing and the red-tailed flight has not arrived either but a few red-tails are straggling through.

As usual the bird of the day was the dark broad-winged hawk that made several passes in front of and over the tower. This bird would be a seasonful in most years.

Dark bird overhead

Dark bird overhead

Maybe the last dark broad-wing

Maybe the last dark broad-wing

The “normal” broad-wings also vary greatly in their markings. This bird is maybe is one of the commonest patterns

Some markings

Some markings

This bird is almost unmarked, perhaps a kriders of broad-wings

Almost no markings

Almost no markings

And a heavily marked bird

Heavy markings

Heavy markings

And the heaviest markings for the day

Heaviest markings

Heaviest markings

And then there are the birds that bank just over the tower. Early in the am, a thermal tried to form over the parking lot that brought everyone in close

Just overhead

Just overhead

 

There were red-tailed hawks around including this ragged bird

Ragged red-tail

Ragged red-tail

And one with neater feathers

Hunting bird got a goody near the tower

Hunting bird got a goody near the tower

Most cooper’s hawks over the tower were adults but the 3 birds hunting sparrows out in the marsh later in the day were all young of the year. The got wet diving into the marsh grass requiring a lot of preening after eating

Trying to dry a little

Trying to dry a little

But gave good looks at the tail

Hunting marsh sparrows

Hunting marsh sparrows

Sedge wrens are the voice of the scrubby areas around the tower but are avoiding the tower so far this season. But with a big amplifier they could be heard just up the road

A flock along hawkin's camp

A flock along hawkin’s camp

The voice of the scrub

The voice of the scrub

The metropolitan smith point sewage ponds that can be seen from the tower become more attractive each year to the swallows that pass over in millions each fall. The growth of cattails in the ponds has resulted in large numbers roosting there as well as feeding on emerging midges and mosquitoes from among the goodies. Early in the day and again later, they perch on wires and fences on any of the 3 roads depending on the sun and wind. They are a great spot for late season lingering birds and included 23 barn, 5 cave, 5 rough-winged, and this cliff swallow among more than 200 tree swallows

Late bird roosting at the sewage ponds

Late bird roosting at the sewage ponds

The area also is great for sparrows, western meadowlarks and lingering flycatchers, phoebes and other birds attracted to the more barren dirt mounds, water and bugs.

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