[texbirds] Re: GCBO Smith Point HW, 19 Sep

  • From: Clay Taylor <Clay.Taylor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "'greatgrayowl@xxxxxxx'" <greatgrayowl@xxxxxxx>, Texbirds <texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2012 08:10:04 -0400

Can't see the Broadies that you know are flying high overhead?   Use The Force, 
Luke.......oops, wrong galaxy.


Clay Taylor
TOS Life Member
Calallen (Corpus Christi),  TX
Clay.taylor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 



-----Original Message-----
From: texbirds-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:texbirds-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On 
Behalf Of Tony leukering
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 8:39 PM
To: Texbirds
Cc: Tamie Bulow
Subject: [texbirds] GCBO Smith Point HW, 19 Sep

Hi all:

With the surprising (to me, because I'd not seen it here before) early 
appearance of raptors (before 8 am), and the expected (and delivered NE wind), 
I had big hopes for another big flight.  Things started out great, with 184 
migrating raptors between 9 and 10 and then 430 in the next hour.

At that point, though, the birds went up and the sky went blue and that was the 
last that the visitors and I saw of reasonable numbers.  In the next five 
hours, I tallied a mere 150 raptors, and that with squeezing individual speck 
birds out of the stratosphere.  I could feel them going over, but just could 
not see 'em.

Counted raptors:

Osprey 4
Mississippi Kite 153 (incl. 86 in the 9-10 hour) Northern Harrier 1 juv 
Sharp-shinned Hawk 17 (incl. the first adult I've seen here) Cooper's Hawk 33 
Broad-winged Hawk 541 American Kestrel 20 (the first double-digit flight of the 
season) Peregrine Falcon 2 (incl. a speck motoring west found by a visitor, 
David)

Other highlights:

3 female Yellow-headed Blackbirds
A heard-first-then-finally-found-over-the-Bay Whimbrel
1 Upland Sandpiper that sounded close  but which I could not find
153 Wood Storks in 7 flocks
29 Scissor-tailed Flycatchers (the most I've seen here in a day)
1 Pileated Woodpecker

Two phenomena of note:

Because I was searching the blue for raptors so hard, I had no attention for 
the west-bound swallow flight, which went in all day and had to have numbered 
well over 7000 birds, with Cliff again being the most numerous species, and 
included six species (martin, N Rough-winged, Bank, Cliff, Cave, and Barn).

I am much taken with the White Ibis flight here; it is large and steady.  
Interestingly, the number of flocks seen in the past few days has declined, but 
the average flock size has gone way up.  Additionally, the proportion of 
juveniles seems to be much greater in large flocks than in small ones; I may do 
a quick-and-dirty analysis of my numbers to see if that impression is accurate.

Bird of the Day:  Thanks to Andrew for finding the shuttle flying by to the 
west piggy-backed on a jumbo jet and with at least one fighter escort!

The Smith Point Hawwatch is conducted by the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory.

Tony Leukering
Smith Point, TX
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