Golden Triangle Audubon Bird Alert, September 2, 2011
Friday (September 2) at Sabine Woods, there were a good number of migrants. Although the number of Empidonax flycatchers was much lower than late last week, there were still a number. Least Flycatchers seemed to be the most numerous, but there was at least one probable Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, several Traill's type, and two probable Acadian Flycatchers, but only one Eastern Wood-Pewee. There were still a few Great Crested Flycatchers around, but nowhere near the numbers of ten days ago.
There was also a good collection of warblers – ten species were seen -- even if the increasingly windy conditions made it somewhat difficult to find them. At least three Northern Waterthrushes were very vocal. One female plumaged Mourning Warbler was seen, but calls suggested there were at least three others. Perhaps most surprising were three male Prothonotary Warblers in one binocular view in the eastern section of the woods, along with one female. There were still a few Yellow Warblers (at least four female/immature and one male). Other species seen were Black-and-white (two females), Hooded (one male), Canada Warbler (two, perhaps three females), an Ovenbird, two or three female/immature Common Yellowthroats and a Yellow-breasted Chat.
There were relatively few of the larger species, only two Red-eyed Vireos, but no orioles of any kind, no tanagers, no cuckoos, no grosbeaks. There were many Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and three or four immature Painted Buntings. One Great Horned Owl and a Cooper's Hawk probably were causing many birds to stay in thick cover.
While no hummingbirds were seen at Sabine Woods, there are many around flowers and feeders in Nederland, mostly male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Note, however, that the Smith Point Hawk Watch has documented a Black-chinned and a Rufous.
If you venture out to bird Sabine Woods tomorrow, please recognize that the Woods have not experienced strong winds at all or much rain in the last few months, and there are numerous dead trees and branches that have the potential to fall if they become waterlogged and/or are subject to strong winds.
John A. Whittle