Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Summer like day in September and a Connecticut Warbler

Yellow Warbler, Arcadia, Sep 11, 2013
Yellow Warbler, Arcadia, Sep 11, 2013
Arcadia in the fog, Sep 11, 2013
Bobolinks (and a Song Sparrow), Arcadia, Sep 11, 2013
After yesterdays warm front moved through the humidity and temperatures climbed steadily today.  Quite a change from just a couple days ago when the morning low was right around 40.  It really felt like the middle of summer again with a tropical like feel to the day.  The low last night only made it down to 70 so it didn't take long for the sun to warm it into the 90's with high humidity (dew point at 78 is extreme for here).

I began the foggy, warm morning at Arcadia where I walked through several fields and along various edges in the hopes of finding some migrants. I managed to find a few good ones including my first of year Connecticut Warbler that I found along a hedgerow toward South Park Terr (in the same general area I had a CT warbler a few years back). I initially had the bird chipping from an area of ferns and jewel weed. I got a brief glimpse of a chunky yellow bird moving from one spot to another. Despite much effort on my part to coax the little bastard back into view I had no luck. I would have loved a better view and perhaps a photo opportunity but it was not to be. The Connecticut Warbler becomes species #223 for the county this year. I also ran across other notable birds down there including three Yellow Warblers, a Tennessee Warbler (a great fall for this species), a total of ten warbler species, a flyby Greater Yellowlegs, nearly 50 Bobolinks and nine House Wrens among 40 species total. I'm sure with less fog I could have added more but no luck with that.

Despite the fog I decided to make a run through the East Meadows (mainly to check what fields look good for checking on Friday once the heavy rain moves through). Not surprisingly the area was very quiet but many fields look good to produce something decent with a little rain.
Indigo Bunting, Honeypot, Sep 11, 2013

Vesper Sparrow, Honeypot, Sep 11, 2013
Vesper Sparrow, Honeypot, Sep 11, 2013
My next stop found me visiting the honeypot area of Hadley where I once again had some good birds including at least 21 Indigo Buntings, around 30 Bobolinks, three Vesper Sparrows and a Lincoln's Sparrow. A couple Killdeer and a Spotted Sandpiper were the only shorebirds I could find. The swallow show continues over the fields there and I had a group of at least 28 (likely many more) Bank Swallows plus groups of Tree and Barn Swallows plus others too far out to identify. It is quite unusual to have so many Bank Swallows still around here on this date. There is obviously something very productive for them to feed on here. With such a large gathering of swallows this time of year the area could easily turn up a rarity. Perhaps an odd swallow or martin...who knows? I also ran across Keith and Devin while down there and they may have turned up good stuff after I left.
A walk along Jabish Canal with Wilson in the tropical like heat produced a Red shouldered Hawk, a Cooper's Hawk and a few species of warbler including a Blackpoll Warbler.

Yesterday the rain that was not forecast kept bird activity quite low during the morning but it picked once the sun came out and I had a nice selection of species passing through the yard in a mixed flock that contained at least 13 species of warblers including a Tennessee, Blackpoll and two Bay breasted Warblers (my first fall record for this species at the house).  The majority of birds in the flock included Pine and Black throated Green Warblers with several of them singing.  I also had an uptick in the number of Ruby throated Hummingbirds with at least four in view at once.

The tropics finally seem to be coming alive a bit with the formation of the first hurricane of the season (Humberto) and the regeneration of Gabrielle and the possiblity of a new system forming in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche.  None of these system poise any threat to the northeast beyond some higher waves from Gabrielle.   This season ties the record with 2002 for the latest formation of a tropical system reaching hurricane status in the last 50 years.  What the rest of the season holds remains to be seen.

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