Date: 9/10/20 10:41 am From: Joseph Kennedy <josephkennedy36...> Subject: [texbirds] Smith Point Hawk Watch Tuesday: Thunder and Love Bugs
Did the hawk watch at Smith Point on Tuesday. Not many birds but thunder near and far almost all days. When the rain stopped about noon the love bugs discovered the tower was a good place to hang out. When that happens you have to remember to brush them off your chair each time you sit.
When I arrived pre-count, there were storms where the hawks come from and where they might want to go. This lasted most of the day but the area around the tower was almost dead calm and even a little sun after lunch. Got chased down several times by lightning and then rain.
Had 17 hawks for the day and 7 species. Last bird was a swallow-tailed kite and 6 mississippi kites was the high individual count followed by 4 broad-wings. Two adult red-tailed hawks were new with one bird having a very distinctive cream colored tail except for the tip.
A sharp-shinned hawk going by low thought it could catch a hummingbird and followed them into the pond. Later it was perched and perhaps one of the wettest and and most disheveled hawks I have seen.
Lots of hummers at the feeders and all ruby-throated. One had a light pollen-coated head. A few indigo buntings and blue grosbeaks around. One flock of about 75 eastern kingbirds tried to dodge in front of a thunderstorm. Only 2 dickcissels and 1 blue-gray gnatcatcher for the day and only a single olive-sided flycatcher on the favorite tree perch.
Barn and cliff swallows did not migrate but did a lot of sitting on wires. Waterbirds included 8 white ibis and 4 roseate spoonbills. A couple of upland sandpipers went over around noon when the rain stopped and one frigatebird rode a weatherfront overhead with none on the perches in the bay.
Hawkins Camp Road had probably the 2 red-tails and single cooper's and broad-winged hawks from Saturday. At least they were at the same spots as a few days earlier. Birds often hang for a few days until they move on or around. Both the broad-wing and cooper's were walking around catching bugs where they fell under lights during the night.
A few pelicans on the bay plus maybe 10 terns and 10 gulls were the totals all day. They were working on the dirt road to Robbins Park so I did not get there.
For those interested in working the woods for fall migrants note that the good mosquitoes start a foot or so from the parking lot and no paths have been mowed since last winter. And the recent rains really improved the mosquito crop which had been extremely low. Some dragonflies have migrated in so there is hawk food up in the air for another day.
-- Joseph C. Kennedy on Buffalo Bayou in West Houston <Josephkennedy36...>