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Golden Triangle Audubon Bird Alert Update -- April 4, 2010

Bird Alert – Update Sunday April 4, 2009


This update is being sent by email to only a smaller list of the most active local birders. If you want to receive frequent updates by email during the next month or so, please let me know.  These updates are being posted here promptly.  If you have something to share with the group, please email it to me and I will forward and post and/or send a full blown alert to everyone.


On Sunday, relatively few migrants were in Sabine Woods.  Thirteen Warbler species were reliably reported, almost all in small numbers.  First of season sightings were a Prairie Warbler (a weakly marked male) seen in the early morning only, a male Blackburnian (all day) and an Ovenbird. The Northern Waterthrush was in the same location as Friday and Saturday, and there was a Louisiana Waterthrush around.  A male Prothonotary was in the NW pond early, and one (same one?) was seen in the main pond later.  An Eastern Palm Warbler was also seen.  Apart from Yellow-rumped, Parula was the most numerous Warbler.  One or two White-eyed and Red-eyed Vireos were seen/heard. 


Eastern Kingbirds were present later in the day, but not as numerous as on Saturday.  Only one Orchard Oriole was reported.  A first of season Yellow-billed Cuckoo was seen in the afternoon.  The only flycatcher was an Eastern Wood-Pewee.  There were a half dozen or more Ruby-throated Hummingbirds early, but they were not as obvious later in the day. A Wood Thrush was found.


On Saturday evening, the shorebirds on the pond between Highway 87 and the Sabine-Neches Waterway just south of the bridge over the Intracoastal included a Solitary Sandpiper.


The next front is due in on Wednesday. The two most reliable computer models currently agree on the timing of this front at about 10 p.m. Wednesday evening. (This is about 12 hours off from the timing that would induce migrants to descend at the coast in large numbers. Twelve hours earlier and Wednesday could be good birding; 12 hours later and Thursday would be the day.) The current forecast is for winds with a strong northerly component in Beaumont on Thursday and Friday.  The front is forecast to move all the way across the Gulf reaching the Yucatan coast Friday or early Saturday.  Surface wind forecasts for Merida after tonight show mostly eastern winds, fairly light, until Friday, when generally north winds will prevail for about one day.  The current (8 p.m. Sunday) Merida surface winds are still from the north, but only 7 mph, half as strong as last night.  But, we will need to check the more accurate forecasts that will be available in 24 to 48 hours! Tomorrows flight might be a little heavier than today's, with the diminished winds in the Yucatan.  The current strong south wind in SE Texas will certainly not hold back any of the migrants already here from continuing north.


From reports by Steve Mayes, Gerald Duhon and John Whittle.


John A. Whittle


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