Date: 9/2/20 8:56 am From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...> Subject: [texbirds] Smith Point Hawk Watch Saturday: Crows and other migrants
Another non-hawk day at smith point. When I left I had the option of saying we had 10 times the total of hawks for the previous 4 days or 10 hawks in total.
Best birds of the day were both crow species just north of the tower. As you come down to the point there is a large newly cleared field on the right side of the road just before Kelly Road. A fish crow and american crow were near each other in the field but not friendly. Both called when annoyed by the other. Fish crow flew around more.
Not a whole lot of swallows migrating. Early before the hawk watch started a small group on the wires along Hawkins camp road was 1/3 bank swallow and 2/3 barn swallow plus 1 cave and 1 purple martin. Birds passing the tower were about the same but later in the am more were cliff swallows and then numbers of mainly male purple martins.
Flighting ants of a new species to me from next to the parking lot got lots of barn swallows after lunch with a few bank and dragonflies joining in. Both picked ants off plants as well as flying birds. They were sort of fat and tan.
Started with 1 olive-sided flycatcher and slowly more appeared with a high total of 5 birds.
Robbins Park had lots of birds with young of the year seaside sparrows and clapper rails nearby. Terns, skimmers, shorebirds and 2 unbanded american oystercatchers tried to use the space when boaters were not going in or out as the offshore island was packed solid with brown pelicans. Water had been over the road but had receded but was rising again in the pm when I left.
I watched the bay hoping to see odd birds leaving after the storm but had to settle for brown pelicans. After 9 when the sun started thermals, a group of 110 pelicans came up from Trinity bay and eventually got very high and formed 2 vees and set off to the south without a flick of a wing. More straight line soaring than even white pelicans up high. Others left the bay in groups just over the water. Counted about 360 birds all leaving. 11 frigatebirds were roosting on their stakes and a few were up high during the day.
A flock of 15 increasing to 20 eastern kingbirds went back and forth. One dickcissel called. Heard a white-eyed vireo and saw a downy woodpecker. WAter birds included a calling upland sandpiper, 10 spoonbills, 36 white ibis and 2 black-crowned night herons.
Hawks included 4 swallow-tailed and 1 mississippi kite, a few swainson's and broad-winged hawks. 1 cooper's hawk went out of the area as I drove in.
South west and south wind did not help things but vultures got up.
Driving out early in the morning I joined large numbers of people and workers heading east to help and also going home. Lines at all the buc ee's gas pumps. Looking over there on the way home, the parking lot was full and line waiting to get in.
-- Joseph C. Kennedy on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston <Josephkennedy36...>