Morning Flight – 1 September 2014

We welcomed September with a similar summery feel that also characterized yesterday. The Morning Flight Project collected little data but was struck with some good birding nonetheless. While a local-breeding White-eyed Vireo sounded off below around the Morning Flight platform, an Alder Flycatcher sneaked in its own song phrase, "reeBEEa"at the tail end. For a while we thought what sounded like an extension to the vireo song was in fact a vireo exhibiting its excellent skills at mimicry. A few minutes later the two songs came from different locations and at different times, and "Eureka" out pops the Alder to be enjoyed through our Swarovski scope while it perched in the open. Most singing of neotropical songbirds subsides during the fall but can still occur, such as the case with this neat Alder Flycatcher. Empidonax flycatchers are more vocal than just the occasional song in the fall. Study up on and listen for their other calls to detect more during the next few weeks.

       Weather and time: sunny and humid; 75–79 ºF; winds SW at 23-7 mph; 90% cloud cover; very good visibility; 0628 sunrise; 2.25 hours.
       Morning Flight Count totals

American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  2
Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca)  1
Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica)  1
Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)  2

Today's full list can be viewed at:

Notice the little yellowish gape on this juvenile Prairie Warbler. This is one member of the local clan than lurks below the top of the dike every day so far this year.

Our friend from a more boreal world, this Wilson's Warbler loves the Baccharis as much as the Prairie Warblers do.

Flyby Black-bellied Plover in the glare

Caspian Tern in the prettier light
Check out the shadow effects on these egrets. The lighting in early morning is quite dramatic (Photos by: Glen Davis).

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