Posted by: jasonbojczyk | 23 August 2014

Repeat of Yesterday

Today’s Count: 16

Osprey-1

Sharp-shinned Hawk-1

Cooper’s Hawk-5

Broad-winged Hawk-6

Swainson’s Hawk-2

Unknown Falcon-1

Additional Raptors Seen:

Black Vulture-15

Turkey Vulture-11

White-tailed Kite-1

Osprey-1

Cooper’s Hawk-1-2

White-tailed Hawk-1

Red-tailed Hawk-1

Today was very similar to yesterday in all aspects.  The winds were very light, or non-existent, temperatures hot, and similar migration of raptors and non-raptors. We had our best diversity of raptors this season, with 11 species recorded. For 7 of the 8 hours there were raptors in view and at least a few, besides the vultures, in view the whole day. The highlight was a White-tailed Kite that spent a few minutes in the area, providing nice binocular views.

White-tailed Kite 'kiting'

White-tailed Kite ‘kiting’

White-tailed Kite starting stoop

White-tailed Kite starting stoop

This White-tailed Kite dove down quickly after kiting for a minute or so but never caught anything

This White-tailed Kite dove down quickly after kiting for a minute or so but never caught anything

One of two Osprey today

One of two Osprey today

Aside from Gnatcatchers and swallows, there wasn’t too much in the morning flight today. A few Dickcissels, Kingbirds, Hummingbirds, Yellow Warblers, Lesser Yellowlegs, and some White-winged Doves were the noteworthy species.

Two of today's 6 Lesser Yellowlegs

Two of today’s 6 Lesser Yellowlegs

Other non-raptor highlights today included over 325 White Ibis, 18 Wood Storks, a Chimney Swift, an Olive-sided Flycatcher, at least 4 empids and possibly the first Yellow-bellied Flycatcher of the season, 26 Kingbirds for the day, a Painted Bunting, and 12 Orchard Orioles.

Common Nighthawks made some pretty close passes today

Common Nighthawks made some pretty close passes today

 

So a repeat of yesterday wouldn’t be complete without gnatcatchers.  Today even topped yesterday! I had 1,893 from the tower when I arrived and Joe had over 120 before I got there, making today’s count over 2,000 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers!!! While the morning was pretty good for them, they were pretty much around the whole day, peaking between 9:30 and 11:30, and in the early afternoon. This time there weren’t many big groups and it was mostly just a stream in various places and pretty hard to count, mainly due to the temperature and no clouds. I literally had to stop counting them at times briefly because the 100+ degree heat index was an absolute killer and there wasn’t any way to count from the shade. Another amazing show though and I hope these days continue!

Well, we’ve finally arrived at Sunday and the 2 main weather websites have winds in opposite directions for the next 2 days. Tomorrow and Monday can apparently be north or south winds, at least for the morning. Given that the more reliable one is the one with north winds for tomorrow, it looks like it’ll be a sunrise start for me and perhaps the first passerine push (besides the species that have already been going in big numbers), along with another decent day of countable raptors if it is indeed north winds. Unfortunately, if true, it appears the wind will start switching towards the south by 8 am.

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