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Golden Triangle Audubon Bird Alert -- 02 April 2012

For those interested in migration, today saw a very unusual passage of migrants through Sabine Woods.


At the Woods, the rain ceased about noon.  At this time there were relatively few migrants present, 7-8 Brown Thrashers, perhaps a couple of Hooded Warblers and two or three calling Northern Parulas. Also evident were increasing numbers of Green Herons, perhaps totaling 20 at the peak. At about 1:30 p.m. activity increased, principally warblers.  Activity continued for about an hour and then almost all the birds were gone.  About 3:30 p.m. another wave of birds arrived, including large numbers (40-50) of Orchard Orioles, male and female, as well as other larger species.  By about 4:30 p.m., the Woods were virtually completely devoid of migrants save for one or two Hooded Warblers.  It appears that two waves of birds each stopped very briefly to feed  for a short time and then pressed on.


Altogether, 14 species of warbler were detected. Orange-crowned (10), Nashville (at least 2), Northern Parula (not many), Yellow-rumped (2 – migrants not winter residents), Black-throated Green (2 males, 1 female),Yellow-throated (1), Palm (2 or 3 in the second wave), Black-and-white (2+ females in the first wave), Worm-eating (at least two in first wave), Swainson's Warbler (one in the first wave, seen remarkably well), Louisiana Waterthrush (heard only). Common Yellowthroat (hear only), Hooded Warbler (4+) and Yellow-breasted Chat (1 in second wave).  Vireos included White-eyed (two or three in the first wave), Yellow-throated (two or three in the second wave), a probable Red-eyed and a probable Warbling (both in the second wave).  The second wave was dominated by Orchard Orioles, but included at least 2 male Baltimore Orioles, 2-3 male Summer Tanagers, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and a Blue Grosbeak.  Several Indigo Buntings were also present.  Other species seen included Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and a female (presumably Ruby-throated) Hummingbird and a Gray Catbird.  A Green-tailed Towhee was fairly active.


The GFS weather model shows the rain from the next frontal passage situated over the local coast line mid-day on Wednesday (a little later that most local TV forecasters are quoting, but agreeing with the NWS forecast of frontal positions).  The winds over the Gulf at the surface and 3000 ft continue to be forecast to be quite low for the time of year, especially at lift off time tomorrow evening (Tuesday) continuing through Wednesday morning.  If these forecasts hold up, Wednesday's arrivals will not be early!


With thanks for reports from John Haynes and Ty and Ida Boumaan.


John A. Whittle


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