Date: 9/2/17 5:59 pm From: Diana Humple <dianahumple...> [northbaybirds] <northbaybirds-noreply...> Subject: [NBB] local interest migration highlights + Black Swifts
A summary of some migrant highlights from the past week, seen by staff and interns from Point Blue's Palomarin Field Station, located at the south end of Point Reyes National Seashore, Bolinas, Marin County.
Friday 9/1 - the biggest highlight was that many of us got to enjoy a spectacular viewing of at least 60 BLACK SWIFTS above Bolinas, first spotted by Point Blue research associate Steve Howell above the Bolinas mesa around mid-day. There were at least 100 VAUX'S SWIFTS in the sky at the same time, mostly foraging separately and occasionally with individuals intermingling for excellent comparisons, especially of size and flight pattern. The Black Swifts persisted for at least an hour but likely a few hours as I saw a flock (kettle?) of them again almost 4 hours later over Mesa Road between Bolinas and the field station (surreal lifer experience = seeing Black Swifts through the windshield of a moving vehicle).
Thursday 8/31 - Palomarin biologist Hilary Allen saw our first-of-season FOX SPARROW in the Palomarin parking lot (a little early but not unprecedented), and banding intern Brittany Panos had a singing first-of-season LINCOLN'S SPARROW at Muddy Hollow, a site near Limantour further north in Point Reyes National Seashore.
Wednesday 8/30 - we saw and heard (first detected by Ryan DiGaudio) a WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH at Palomarin. They are uncommon in West Marin even if relatively common in parts of the county and region.
Tuesday 8/29 - Brittany Panos saw a LARK SPARROW at Palomarin. Have also heard report of at another Lark Sparrow seen in Bolinas yesterday.
Many of these birds (excepting the first-of-seasons) I would guess were trying to escape the heat! But perhaps not succeeding: as an aside, yesterday 9/1 the high at Palomarin hit 38 degrees Celsius / 100 degrees Fahrenheit for the first time ever in our 49-year weather dataset (which was started in 1968, 2 years after the field station was established).