Golden Triangle Audubon Bird Alert, October 23, 2010
The Field Trip to Sabine Woods today (Sat Oct 23) was very successful, with 14 warbler species being seen. Most "out of season" were a very brightly marked male Canada Warbler and both male and female Hooded Warblers, which. however, were much less cooperative. Other species included Yellow-throated Warbler, Northern Parula, American Redstart, Tennessee, Black-thraoted Green, Black-and-white and Magnolia. In addition, there were Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers. But Palm Warblers were absolutely everywhere, probably 30 present, and Nashville were also numerous. A good showing of raptors included a pair of Crested Caracaras, which, like last weekend, perched in the dead trees in the northwest corner. Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawk were both present, as was a Merlin. Sparrows seen included Vesper, Lincoln's. Swamp and White-crowned. Late were a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and a female Baltimore Oriole. The strong south wind will likely dissuade any migrants from attempting a southbound Gulf crossing tonight.
Swallows were migrating, and Tree and Northern Rough-winged were seen. A few Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were a little west of Sabine Woods.
Sea Rim was interesting. More than 40 Snowy Plovers were along the west beach, along with 11 Piping Plovers (one color-banded). An unusual gull about half-way along the west beach seems to best fit a very bleached 1st cycle California Gull, based on its overall long-winged look, bill shape and pattern, but it was exceptionally white for that species at that stage of development. The Gambusia Trail had a good number of shorebirds, including six Marbled Godwits, and a large number of calling Long-billed Dowitchers. One expects Dowitchers just next to the beach to be Short-billed, but these were calling (contact call and alarm call) and were clearly at least mostly Long-billed.
The flock of gulls just south of the privately owned boat ramp south of the Keith Lake cut contained one Franklin's Gull.
John A. Whittle