Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 14 August 2014

More Surprises

Today’s Count: 10

Swallow-tailed Kite-4

Mississippi Kite-1

Broad-winged Hawk-5

Additional Raptors Seen:

Black Vulture-5

Turkey Vulture-3

Cooper’s Hawk-1

Swainson’s Hawk-1

Crested Caracara-1

It was another tough day for raptors.  Normally clouds are your friends when hawk watching as they help with finding birds and describing a location.  However, every once in a while you get the cloud formations that hide birds and they easily disappear into them, like fog.  That’s what it was like today.  While 4 Swallow-tailed Kites certainly was nice, it was just another tease today as the combined viewing for all 4 of them was less than 30 seconds.  It was very gusty for much of the day and for some reason that’s when the Swallow-taileds came-during winds gusting to 18 mph out of the east (among the highest in the air I’ve ever seen Swallow-taileds too).

There wasn’t much other activity for most of the day although once again the mottes in front of the tower had a few empids, a couple Orchard Orioles, a couple Yellow-breasted Chats and…

Prairie Warbler.  While probably annual at Smith Point, this will certainly be one of the passerine highlights of the season.

Prairie Warbler. While probably annual at Smith Point, this will certainly be one of the passerine highlights this season.

The hummingbirds really haven’t been around the tower much this season.  Most days recently there have been 2 Ruby-throats but they only periodically come throughout the day, with no real consistency.  In fact, I’ve seen more hummingbirds go past in the morning flight then at the feeders so far.  However, today had at least 4 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and they showed up fairly regularly at the feeders and chasing each other around.  With the low totals and relatively low visits to the feeders, I was shocked to see this early Rufous/Allen’s Hummingbird:

Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird

Rufous/Allen’s Hummingbird

This Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird definitely wasn't on my radar and sat on this feeder for around 5 minutes.  After that it took off and wasn't seen the rest of the day.

This Rufous/Allen’s Hummingbird definitely wasn’t on my radar and sat on this feeder for around 5 minutes. After that it took off and wasn’t seen the rest of the day.

 

Shorebirds practically disappeared today and there wasn’t anything noteworthy elsewhere at Smith Point.  Tomorrow looks like more variable winds early and then strong winds out of the south.  If it produces birds like these though, that’ll be just fine!

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