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Golden Triangle audubon Bird Alert Update -- April 11, 2010

Yesterday's birds at Sabine Woods did not stay in great numbers but there were enough to keep birders reasonably happy today (April 11).  At least one of the Palm Warblers was still around, and there were several Summer Tanagers and Wood Thrushes, but only very few Swainson's Thrushes. We have few reports from late in the day (blame the Ruff that showed up at Anahuac NWR for that!) but it appears today's flight was not heavy.


There were a dozen Northern Gannets offshore from McFaddin Beach, fairly close to shore, but they apparently moved on quite quickly.  The various small patches of shorebird habitat along Highway 87 south of the Intracoastal Canal all have Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs and ,most have Dowitchers.  A Short-eared Owl was seen just south of the Intracoastal bridge Saturday evening.


The surface winds at Merida this evening are ENE at 14 mph, very much the same as yesterday, but there are significant areas of cloudiness, heaviest in the Gulf about 100 miles NW of Merida.  There are some smaller broken cells stretching from it to the Yucatan Coast.  It is not clear how significant this weather might be to birds waiting to leave tonight, but Merida is showing a broken layer at 6,000 ft.  The satellite image does suggest some rain imbedded in the clouds to the northeast.  The first of several disturbances/low pressure areas is gathering just west of Brownsville (and the forecast is for a steady succession of these moving due east from Brownsville through Friday.)  This could potentially cause any migrants to head west into the Lower Coast.  The wind flow at the surface and at 3000 ft over the Gulf is basically easterly. 


The next chance of disturbed weather on the Upper Texas Coast appears to be Saturday and Sunday, but that is too far in the future to place much confidence in the forecasts.


With thanks to Rose Ann and Harrison Jordan, Sally and Chuck Moffet and Sherrie Roden for reports.


John A. Whittle


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