Date: 9/30/17 12:15 pm
From: Nate Dias (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Santee NWR - Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Brown Creeper, Peregrine
It was an comparatively slow morning at Santee NWR but we still
enjoyed good birding.

At the Bluff Unit, we had a flock of Swainson's Thrushes and warblers
at the Visitor's Center. And an early Peregrine Falcon flying back
in forth right in front of us at Fort Watson in pursuit of a Belted
Kingfisher. We picked at the warblers at the big vine tangle and Ft.
Watson and on the service road we had regular Scarlet Tanager
sightings among scattered migrants. At one point we had a flock of 5
Scarlet Tanagers in the same tree. Other highlights at the Bluff Unit
included Painted Bunting, a Bald Eagle chasing an Osprey back and
forth, a kettle of 20+ Anhinga, good looks at multiple Magnolia
Warblers and Black-and-white Warblers and other common birds. We had
multiple UFO empids.

At Pine Island, we had great looks at a close Yellow-bellied
Flycatcher in decent light that obligingly flipped back and forth on
its perch to give us front and back views. It was a small
green-backed empid with a large head (rounded not peaked), complete
eye ring that seemed fairly uniform, pale yellow wingbars, moderate
primary projection and very short tail The bill was large in
proportion to the bird's size, uniformly orange below, with no dark
tip, and rounded edges. The bird had a yellowish wash underneath
from the vent to the bill, including throat and CHIN. There was a
dirty grayish wash overlaid on the yellow breast.

We judged it to be a fall juvenile from the fresh, not faded, plumage.
We had a couple of more UFO empids - one was likely an Acadian
Flycatcher.

Steve Rhodes' friend Ben from New York was visiting, and we got him
his target Brown-headed Nuthatches. We also had a Brown Creeper that
only a few of us got on before it flew and we lost track of it. More
common warblers like Prairie and Magnolia lined the edge of the field
complex and we enjoyed non-bird sightings of Rough Green Snake, Ground
Skink and Zebra Heliconian butterfly. When he parted with us before
Pine Island, Dennis Forsythe said we would see good birds and leps and
he was right.

The next Santee NWR bird walk is on Saturday October 14 - meet at the
Visitor's Center at 7:30am.

Nathan Dias - Charleston, SC
 
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