Friday, April 3, 2009

Higbee in the Fog: Gnatcatcher, Pine Warbler, Phoebes, Raptors

It was raining like crazy when I left home, but by the time I got to Higbee the precipitation had diminished enough for it to be birdable. Not surprisingly, no participants appeared for CMBO's Friday Higbee walk, which is a shame, because Karl Lukens, Steve Weis and I did the walk anyway and had some pretty good birding.

A female Blue-gray Gnatcatcher fed low and quietly back by the pond, and a Pine Warbler put in an appearance in the second field. Osprey, 2nd year Bald Eagle and Cooper's Hawk combined for a pretty good raptor list in such weather, all three offering great looks as they emerged from the fog at close range. Eastern Phoebes were common - the fields, mowed last fall, are perfect for them with lots of short sticks for perches - and Song Sparrows were everywhere, with up to 10 in a single binocular field at one point and at least 40 for the morning. The full list is below.

Location: Higbee Beach
Observation date: 4/3/09
Notes: CMBO's Friday Higbee walk, very foggy, occasional rain
Number of species: 32
Canada Goose 2
Osprey 1
Bald Eagle 1
Cooper's Hawk 1
Laughing Gull 1
Herring Gull 1
Mourning Dove 8
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 6
Eastern Phoebe 12
Blue Jay 1
Fish Crow 1
Carolina Chickadee 10
Tufted Titmouse 5
Carolina Wren 15
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Hermit Thrush 1
American Robin 10
Northern Mockingbird 1
Brown Thrasher 5
European Starling 10
Yellow-rumped Warbler 5
Pine Warbler 1
Eastern Towhee 5
Field Sparrow 8
Song Sparrow 40
White-throated Sparrow 20
Northern Cardinal 15
Red-winged Blackbird 10
Common Grackle 5
Brown-headed Cowbird 20

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