Date: 9/10/19 10:12 am
From: Mark and Brenda Steuer <steuers...>
Subject: [texbirds] Re: Smith Point hawk watch saturday, high blue sky and flycatchers
Joseph Kennedy,
I believe your Tyrant Flycatcher (which clearly is the samebird in both frames) is a worn juvenile Western Kingbird. Feather wear is very evident in the frame showing the spread tail.Many WEKI moultscontinue into early October. Worn birds, particularly juveniles, often do not display the white outer-tail feathers. On my screen, the breast color of your bird appears a very pale yellowish. Additionally, the contrast between lightand dark areas of the bird is not as pronounced as would be consistent with EasternKingbird. Wrt Cassin’s Kingbird, the throat and breast are too light on your bird. Finally,the whitish area of this bird’s throat does not extend back far enough under theauricular for EAKI.
Thanks for sending these interesting bird studies out to the broader audience. They are very instructive.
Mark SteuerHouston
On Monday, September 9, 2019, 07:22:22 PM CDT, justin.bosler <justin.bosler...> wrote:

What a difference a week makes. I was estimating hundreds of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers last week. They were sneakily passing by through the trees. Frustratingly, not in obvious flight mode where they could be more easily counted.  
Also, that is a backlist Eastern Kingbird in your photos. At least the one at the first link I clicked on.
Best birding!
Justin BoslerAustin, Texas

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
-------- Original message --------From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...> Date: 9/9/19 2:37 PM (GMT-06:00) To: 4 Texbirds Maillist <texbirds...> Subject: [texbirds] Smith Point hawk watch saturday, high blue sky and flycatchers
Did the smith point hawk watch Saturday and while we had a hundred or so hawks, the closest one was behind the northeast motte or up where you need binoculars to see a turkey vulture. A few clouds early but then the last little puff vanished with about the last of the birds for the day. Winds were odd with a southwest wind for the first half of the day (the worst for migration and the point) switching to southeast later. Over at texas city the stacks sometimes showed north, northeast and east and the same time.
Before the count, I had a single migrating cooper's hawk out hawkins camp road and a non-moving white-tailed kite. 8 crested caracara there and nearby on the road coming down to the point. A few dickcissels overhead and orchard orioles.
At the tower there was a quick spurt of eastern kingbirds and scissor-tailed flycatchers along with more orchard orioles and dickcissels. Heard my first upland sandpiper of the fall.
Local birds included great crested flycatcher, a single alder type empidonax in a rattlebox, and a grand total of 3 blue-gray gnatcatchers for the day.
During the morning a kingbird perched up east of the tower for about 10 minutes. I called it a couch's but it was in line with the sun against a pearly white background which bleached out any color. Later it perched in the east motte on a favorite olive-sided flycatcher perch. And in mid-afternoon, a kingbird called twice with a couch's call note.
But looking at my pictures the bird is ambivalent and has some attributes of a western kingbird. But the tail has a real good notch.
https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/169741037
And when spread, there is no hint of white
https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/169741040
However, the bill looks much smaller than what I saw in the field and the bird might be a young of the year western kingbird without a full grown tail? or a couch's?. But it is a kingbird
A few more pictures are in
https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/2019_hawk_watch
One olive-sided flycatcher perched up all day, a second bird arrived about 2pm and then a 3rd at 2:45 for a poor day for that species at the point.
Did take pictures of hummingbirds as it was their best day of the fall.
https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/169741045
Lots of good fights but up to 6 did manage a feeder at a time. Many adult males
https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/169741044
And others
https://pbase.com/joseph_kennedy_36/image/169741044
First hawk of the day was a single northern harrier than went behind the trees and then an american kestrel behind the tower. Had up to 3 cooper's hawks up high fighting in the morning and late in the afternoon 2 were still fighting or starting a new fight. It may be a carryover from the fight of a week ago as they do not appear to be migrating.
A few broad-winged hawks and mississippi kites. Bob had 3 swallow-tailed kites way up there in pure blue that passed some broad-winged hawks while he was counting them. A single young red-tailed hawk was new and has a distinctive tail pattern for future reference.
3 magnificent frigatebirds were spotted when their shadow went across the tower. One flock of 19 white ibis made up the water bird count of the day.
Swallows were interesting and put on a good show in the morning but totalled 1 bird in the pm. The morning birds came in spurts. I started to do a count early and the flight ended. Most of the birds for the day were cliff swallows and I had no cave swallows. One 30 second count had 120 cliff swallows. At times there were good numbers of barn swallows and I had a couple of bank swallows and a single rough-winged swallow for my first of the fall.
When hawks are scarce, there are usually lots of swallow to watch.
--
Joseph C. Kennedy
on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston
<Josephkennedy36...>
 
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