Thursday, October 11, 2018

Stormy Weather

Thursday October 11th

Hurricane Michael has been quite a powerful storm and bad news for residents of the Florida Panhandle. Luckily we were spared from Michael.  Just a bit of rain and wind.  We certainly did not want a repeat from what Hurricane Erma did to us a year ago. But any tropical storms during migration can effect the movement of birds such as pushing pelagics toward shore or creating a fall out.

White Ibis

Today I opted to head to Bunche Beach to take advantage of a low tide and to see if any interesting had been blown in. My most unexpected sighting happened before I had reached the shore. While passing through Cape Coral I was able to add a Coopers Hawk sitting along a busy road. But later, while I was waiting for the light to change at a busy intersection on Colonial Parkway in Ft Myers, I spotted the very long tail of a bird resting on the wires. Was pleasantly shocked to see that it was a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Managed to pull over to try get better looks and noticed that the flycatcher was in the company of a trio of Gray Kingbirds and an Eastern Kingbird. They didn't hang around long enough for photography. I assume that the winds from Hurricane Michael had altered the movements of this small flock of flycatchers. Cha Ching! I also added a pair of Nanday Parakeets a few blocks over on Tufts Ave.

American Avocets at Bunche Beach

Red Knot
Got to Bunche Beach at low tide and had a nice visit.  Saw no evidence of the effects of red tide. No dead sea life on the beach. Lots of birds though.

Best sightings were a large number of Red Knots and American Avocets. Wading birds were missing though. Only a few White Ibis and a Yellow Crowned Night Heron. Missed on any Reddish Egrets. Suspect the algae blooms may have affected them.

Red Knot

Nice to see a Caspian Tern and a Forster's Tern sitting with a few Laughing Gulls, Brown 

Short-billed Dowitcher

Pelicans, Royal and Sandwich Terns. Other shorebirds busy on the shore and rooting through the wrack line included Piping, Black-bellied, Wilson's and Semipalmated Plovers, Sanderlings, Willets, Ruddy Turnstones, Least and Western Sandpipers and Short-billed Dowitchers. Besides missing on the reddish egrets, I also missed on any spotted or snowy sandpipers.

Was a good day!!

Semi-palmate Plover

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Catbirds have Returned

Monday October 8th

Erect Dayflower
These warblers and other small birds can be very difficult  
for my photography skills. But wildflowers can be encouraged to pose

Finally, having a little fun with the Fall Migration as we move into October.

Numbers of migrants passing through on their way South have increased and many of our wintering visitors are showing.

 Heard my first of the season House Wren today and growing numbers of  Gray Catbirds have  arrived. Won't be long and our wintering Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers will everywhere. Along with Eastern Phoebes, American Kestrels, Blue headed Vireos and Savannah Sparrows.

The annual Sanibel Lighthouse Hawk Watch is scheduled for Sunday the 14th. Some years can be awesome, some have been a dud. I'm expecting good things this years with lots of Kestrels, Merlins, Peregrine Falcons and maybe some Broad-winged Hawks or Sharp-shinned Hawks.  Sadly, due to my work schedule I wont be able to attend.

American Redstarts, as well as, Black-and-White Warblers
 have been frequently seen migrants

Yellow-throated Warbler seen at Rotary Park

Some recent personal firsts for the season included Tennessee Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, Bay Breasted and Chestnut sided Warblers, Eastern Wood-pewee, Summer Tanagers, Least Flycatcher, Acadian Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Vireo and Yellow billed Cuckoo.  Still lots of holes in my Fall Migration wish list like  a Blackburnian or a Canada Warbler.