Friday, August 22, 2008

August Cape Island Big Day run...Hot & Humid but birdy

Sorry for the delay in getting this list out but things have been busy at the Northwood Center which has comanded much of my time.  That's good as well as it means that birders are coiming down to see some of the great migration taht has been ahppening of late.

So, Laura and I set off on Monday the 18th for our August Cape Island Big Day attempt.  While it was not the best weather for expecting migrants (Sunday was a whole lot better but we were not here) we only had one day off that could be devoted to a big day attempt.

I guess what supprised me the most was the fact that we hit 100 before 12 noon!  I really was not worried about hitting 100 in August but was not expecting to be at 102 by noon.  The funny part (and par for the course on big days) was that we spent about 6 more hours to find 10 more species.  But, we were both pleased with our 112 for the day.  By the way, the list below states 114 but that it because we had a Traill's Flycatcher and a Brewester's Warbler, which count in the eBird tally list but not for the day.  Of course.

Some of the top finds for the day were a Long-billed Dowitcher which took flight with some short-billeds at the Meadows, calling as it flew.  In the same area (near the platform) of the Meadows was a young Common Moorhen.  We were able to hear the Northern Bobwhite call just a couple times at the TNC's Cape Island Preserve at about sun rise.  Loads of robins and egrets flying over in the morning here as well.  It would be very interesting to sit there in the morning and do a count of birds flying over.

We swept the swallows (except for cave of course) which was nice.  The Cliff Swallow was playing  a bit of hide and seek with us at the State Park.  I kept seeing brief glimpses just before it flew out of sight in the tree line, but good enough looks to identify the bird.  It just took a few tries to be sure.  I thought I was pretty hot when I found a Blue-wined Teal at the State Park tucked back feeding with a few Mallards.  That is until we had about 6 more at the Meadows.

All in all, even though the day was quite hot it ended up being migrant filled.  It's funny how you have to approach each big day differently.  For this run I knew that if we rushed through Higbee in the morning (especially with the little migration that seems to have happened) that we would severely inhibit our chances at 100 for the day.  And, I think I was right.  We ended up not being able to hit the Beanery in the day but spending the extra time at Higbee help us to find a number of species that we could have easily missed.  Beside, on a day like we had if I was going to cut any location of of the route it would be the Beanery.  I suppose we might have run into a prothonotary or bluebird but some time you just have to make your best judgments and run with it.

So now on to thinking about the best plan of attack for September.  Well, maybe I'll think about that after this store databese trasnsition and inventory are over!  Given the handfull of days that we can actually make an attempt (meaning mostly only days off) you are always hoping for great weather and migration.  But you don't always get it of course.  Now the question is do we hit the middle of the month or push it till toward the end....Only time and weather will tell I guess.

As usual the list form the days birding is below.

Location:     Cape Island
Observation date:     8/18/08
Notes:     August Cape Island Big Day  24378 steps = approx. 15.9 miles
Number of species:     114

Canada Goose     150
Mute Swan     25
Wood Duck     1
Gadwall     4
American Black Duck     1
Mallard     65
Blue-winged Teal     7
Northern Bobwhite     1
Double-crested Cormorant     25
Great Blue Heron     1
Great Egret     35
Snowy Egret     50
Little Blue Heron     5
Green Heron     9
Black-crowned Night-Heron     4
Glossy Ibis     X
Black Vulture     X
Turkey Vulture     X
Osprey     X
Cooper's Hawk     1
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Peregrine Falcon     2
Common Moorhen     1
Black-bellied Plover     3
Semipalmated Plover     125
Killdeer     X
American Oystercatcher     2
Spotted Sandpiper     4
Solitary Sandpiper     12
Greater Yellowlegs     30
Lesser Yellowlegs     55
Ruddy Turnstone     3
Sanderling     100
Semipalmated Sandpiper     1000
Least Sandpiper     250
White-rumped Sandpiper     1
Pectoral Sandpiper     16
Stilt Sandpiper     3
Short-billed Dowitcher     10
Long-billed Dowitcher     1
Laughing Gull     X
Ring-billed Gull     2
Herring Gull     X
Lesser Black-backed Gull     X
Great Black-backed Gull     X
Least Tern     100
Common Tern     X
Forster's Tern     X
Royal Tern     2
Black Skimmer     135
Rock Pigeon     X
Mourning Dove     X
Yellow-billed Cuckoo     2
Eastern Screech-Owl     1
Barred Owl     1
Chimney Swift     6
Ruby-throated Hummingbird     16
Belted Kingfisher     4
Red-bellied Woodpecker     2
Downy Woodpecker     3
Eastern Wood-Pewee     3
Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill's)     1
Least Flycatcher     3
Great Crested Flycatcher     4
Eastern Kingbird     250
White-eyed Vireo     X
Red-eyed Vireo     2
Blue Jay     X
American Crow     X
Fish Crow     X
Purple Martin     X
Tree Swallow     1000
Northern Rough-winged Swallow     5
Bank Swallow     3
Cliff Swallow     1
Barn Swallow     200
Carolina Chickadee     X
Tufted Titmouse     X
Carolina Wren     25
House Wren     2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher     30
American Robin     300
Gray Catbird     X
Northern Mockingbird     X
Brown Thrasher     2
European Starling     X
Cedar Waxwing     X
Blue-winged Warbler     8
Brewster's Warbler (hybrid)     1
Yellow Warbler     20
Pine Warbler     3
Black-and-white Warbler     15
American Redstart     45
Worm-eating Warbler     10
Ovenbird     3
Northern Waterthrush     2
Common Yellowthroat     X
Canada Warbler     2
Eastern Towhee     1
Field Sparrow     8
Song Sparrow     2
Northern Cardinal     X
Blue Grosbeak     8
Indigo Bunting     30
Bobolink     35
Red-winged Blackbird     X
Common Grackle     X
Boat-tailed Grackle     1
Brown-headed Cowbird     X
Orchard Oriole     3
Baltimore Oriole     5
House Finch     X
American Goldfinch     X
House Sparrow     X

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

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