Lesser Black-backs, Parastic Jaeger and smattering of migrants -19 Sep 2010

Unfortunately, there were no re-sightings of either Western Kingbird on Sunday. There also seemed to be less visible migration with the notable exception of small groups of Double-crested Cormorants passing west high overhead and a steady stream of Tree Swallows flitting across the ponds.

Visiting the vegetated field behind the SoFo Museum Luke Ormand found a LESSER YELLOWLEGS and SOLITARY SANDPIPER on one of the pools and photographed six BLUE-WINGED TEAL as they flew in.

I checked Sag Pond and Mecox Bay Inlet first thing on Sunday morning. No sign of the Caspian Terns and reduced numbers of Forster's Terns. Highlights at Sagg Mains were two LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS, 1st and 3rd cy. birds, with other gulls on the sand at the now closed cut. An errant dog did its best to spook most of the remaining shorebirds and terns. Two juvenile LEAST TERNS continue.

At Mecox the story was similar with someone walking their dog out through the shallow water and onto the remaining sandbars, again seeming intent on flushing everything. An immature YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON walked out on the main spit and then disappeared back into the dense phragmites fringing the west side. A 2nd-yr LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL was rooting in inch deep water with other gulls until the canine intrusion. The FORSTER'S TERN flock had dropped from more than 100 on Saturday to only 45 on Sunday. Also present were 4 lingering COMMON TERNS and 3 LEAST TERNS (1 adult and 2 juveniles). One has to wonder if these birds, especially the adults, are healthy since the vast majority have moved offshore.

On Saturday (18 Sep) Vicki Bustamante noted a LESSER YELLOWLEGS on Rusty's field in Deep Hollow along with the previously reported plovers. She also spotted the adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL ('Freddy') on the beach at Fort Pond Bay. Two BLUE-WINGED TEAL were on Rita's Pond and multiple RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES visited her yard above East Lake Drive.

Whilst fishing about 2 miles east of the inlet and about a mile offshore, John Shemilt noted a PARASITIC JAEGER harass a Laughing Gull.

A RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH seems to have settled in at my house in the Clearwater Beach section of Springs and was joined by an OVENBIRD which marched back and forth across the lawn and through the flower beds before unexpectedly deciding to dash itself against a window. Fortunately it seemed stunned but unharmed and after a pause in a bush continued its trek. At dusk six COMMON NIGHTHAWKS were hawking overhead.

Back on Saturday 11 Sep, Hugh McGuinness led a SOFO Sponsored bird walk to the Montauk Point areas. Highlights included 2 LEAST FLYCATCHER at the Point and a nice selection of neotropical migrants along the Seal Haulout Trail (2 YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO, 6 VEERY, 2 SWAINSON'S THRUSH, 1 BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, and 1 WILSON'S WARBLER). At Third House (Teddy Roosevelt County Park) the group found a TURKEY VULTURE, 3 INDIGO BUNTINGS and 8 BOBOLINK.

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