From: Rex Rowan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Alachua County birding report
Adam Zions found a female Vermilion Flycatcher at the Chapmans Pond parking lot on the morning of the 9th, “observed in close proximity for at least 10-15 minutes as it was actively hawking and sallying after insects.” This is the earliest Vermilion ever recorded in Alachua County.
The Western Kingbird discovered at the soccer field in front of Norman Hall by Ben Ewing on the 5th is present for its fifth day in a row. On the morning of the 9th Bob Simons wrote, “I found the Western Kingbird this morning on a light pole at Norman Hall field and got a few bad photos.” You can check out Bob’s “bad” photo here, as well as Matt O’Sullivan’s photo of the same bird, taken on the 8th, here. A late Eastern Kingbird was keeping the Western company through at least the 8th.
The American Redstart migration is pretty heavy right now. On the morning of the 8th Mike Manetz counted 14 at Bolen Bluff while I had 12 at Palm Point, and on the 9th Andy Kratter counted 21 (“probably an undercount”) at Bolen Bluff. Other migrant species are being seen in smaller numbers, but diversity has improved at least a little bit. On his aforementioned walk Mike had 13 warbler species, including a Black-throated Green, a Blue-winged, a Blackburnian, a Magnolia, a Chestnut-sided, and a Worm-eating, as well as a Swainson’s Thrush; while Andy had only eight species, Magnolia being the only notable migrant. At Chapmans Pond this morning Adam Zions recorded ten warbler species, a Tennessee being the best, as well as a female Painted Bunting and a rather late Northern Rough-winged Swallow. Birders have been hearing plenty of thrushes flying over in the pre-dawn hours – Sam Ewing counted 350 Swainson’s and 46 Gray-cheeked between 5:40 and 7:00 on the morning of the 8th – but in the woods they’re being seen only in ones and twos.
Yellow-billed Cuckoos were few and far between during the last part of September. Though five were tallied on the September 19th migration count, only two were seen during the subsequent week, and none at all in the week after that. However it seems likely that bad weather in the mid-Atlantic states simply held up their migration for a little while, because beginning on October 4th reports once more began to show up on eBird. Usually cuckoos – including Black-billed, which is rare in Florida – pass through in their highest numbers during mid-October. We’ll have to see if that holds true this year.
Winter arrivals so far: Lloyd Davis saw the winter’s first Wilson’s Snipe at Sweetwater Wetlands Park on September 5th, the winter’s first Northern Harrier at La Chua on September 16th, and the winter’s first Marsh Wren at Sweetwater Wetlands Park on September 27th. The first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the season was seen by Andy Kratter at his SE Gainesville home on October 1st; Geoff Parks saw the first Savannah Sparrow at Sweetwater on the 2nd, tying the early record for the county; the first Eastern Phoebe was seen by Mike Manetz on the 3rd at the Hague Dairy; Chip Deutsch saw two Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, the season’s first, at Palm Point on the 4th; and John Hintermister saw the winter’s first Blue-headed Vireo at San Felasco on the 8th.
The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has just posted this map of bear sightings. Interesting how many are in the northeast quadrant of the peninsula: http://ocean.floridamarine.org/WildlifeSightings/BlackBear/
In case you didn’t see it, here’s video of a hummingbird snoring: https://www.facebook.com/BBCOne/videos/899631583390594/?fref=nf