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Golden Triangle Bird Alert Update -- April 10, 2010

There were many migrants in Sabine Woods this morning, as many birds which arrived Friday evening apparently stayed.  Birding was good until the middle of the day, when a weather disturbance with rain and some thunder passed through moving east.  The strong south wind that prevailed after the rain cleared died down somewhat in the late afternoon.  There were still good numbers of birds in the afternoon, but today's trans-Gulf flight may not have been very heavy (assuming it arrived before 6:00 p.m.).


The larger birds were more prominent, including large numbers of Wood and Swainson's Thrushes, and many male Summer Tanagers.  At least two male Scarlet Tanagers were there, and a first of season male Rose-breasted Grosbeak appeared late in the day.  Indigo Buntings remained numerous, and there were several male Blue Grosbeaks.  Two Baltimore Orioles were outnumber by Orchards, and almost all the Orioles were males. 


There were about 18 warbler species reported.  These included another Prairie, and one each of the Eastern and Western Palm Warblers.  Other than the numerous Yellow-rumped, Prothonotary Warblers were the most common warbler, with Northern Parula and Hooded next.  There were at least two Kentucky, and two of each waterthrush species.


Yellow-throated Vireos were again present in numbers, as were both Red-eyed and White-eyed.  Flycatchers were few, with two or three Eastern Wood-Pewees, and one report of a Great-crested Flycatcher.


There were a large number of Green Herons working round the ponds, and two Yellow-crowned Night-Herons stopped in. There were a large number of Least Terns on McFaddin Beach.


The winds over the Yucatan and the Gulf appear to be mostly easterly, with southerly winds near shore on the Upper Texas Coast.  Birds may well leave the Yucatan tonight (Merida is reporting east winds at 14 m.p.h.) and if anything, there may be some drift to the west, with birds heading for the Louisiana (and Mississippi coasts) arriving instead on the Upper Texas Coast.  The long range forecast models do not show any fronts approaching the UTC over the next week or so, but do show a couple of significant disturbances with rain moving eastward from the Texas/Mexico border near Brownsville through the central and south-central Gulf Monday through Friday.


With thanks for oral reports from John Haynes, Jana Whittle, Rose Ann and Harrison Jordan, and Terry Ferguson and others.


We thank Howard Davis for brushhogging the main trail round the woods and round the new trees in the east.


John A. Whittle


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