Wednesday, August 18, 2010

South winds are not my friend

Second day on the job and I'm already complaining about something, bad sign for November. The winds today came out of the south/southwest all morning long at speeds up to 20-25 MPH making the movement of birds to the south all the more challenging, although they seemed to be better at moving against the wind than the few Monarchs that were attempting to move south today. The weather man says a shift to western and then northern winds tonight though so maybe that will re-open the floodgates.

As expected Red-necked Grebes still led the count with close to 300 birds (or 1700 less than yesterday) passing by while White-winged Scoter and Blue-winged Teal held the #2 and #3 positions respectively. Seasonal firsts included 2 Surf Scoters mixed in with the White-wingeds and 3 Horned Grebes mixed in with the Red-neckeds while the Common Loon numbers held steady at 15 for the day and a Black Tern floated past around 11 a.m.

Counting shorebirds was made all the more difficult as the incessant hunting by Northern Harriers, then Northern Goshawks, and then Merlins left the birds a wee bit wary as the day wore on. Still the flock contained a Black-bellied Plover, a Lesser Yellowlegs, up to 8 Sanderlings, and up to 29 Baird's Sandpipers at different points throughout the day.

Other birds noted throughout the day included an ever increasing flock of swallows over the point itself comprised mainly of Cliff but also containing Tree, Bank, and Barn, that grew into the low hundreds by the afternoon, a number of raptors (most of which were chasing the shorebirds), and a few chips from the forest along the walk out that materialized into Tennessee, Nashville, Yellow-rumped, Palm, and Canada Warblers.

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