From: Rex Rowan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Alachua County birding report
This weekend’s cold front brought us a bunch of good birds. Mike Manetz told me that 20 species were seen by different birders here and there in the county. Most surprising was the huge influx of Blackburnian Warblers. They were the most abundant warbler species in Alachua County on Saturday and Sunday, reported from 16 different locations according to eBird. Adam Kent had 10 in his SE Gainesville yard on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. Sam Ewing had 9 in his NW Gainesville yard on Saturday and 12 on Sunday. Our Bolen Bluff field trip on Sunday morning, though challenging (flooded trail, mosquitoes, fast-moving treetop birds), managed to tally seven or eight. Matt O’Sullivan got a photo of one: https://www.flickr.com/photos/118053703@N02/21200795339/in/dateposted/
For a normally-uncommon warbler to be so abundant relative to other species is unusual but not unprecendented. Fifty Magnolia Warblers were tallied on an Audubon field trip to Bolen Bluff a few years ago, and there were a few days one October when Bay-breasted Warblers were the most common warbler in the woods.
Blackburnians weren’t the only good birds that the front brought us on Sunday. Tennessee Warblers, the fall’s first, were observed in several locations. Sam Ewing saw one Cerulean Warbler in his yard and Adam Zions saw another at San Felasco Hammock. Golden-winged Warblers were reported in three locations, by Craig Faulhaber and Ryan Butryn at Bolen Bluff, by John Hintermister at Palm Point, and by Frank Goodwin at Lake Wauberg. Frank got a picture of his bird prying open a dead sweetgum leaf with its bill: https://www.flickr.com/photos/74215662@N04/20834057223/in/dateposted-public/
And the excitement wasn’t restricted to Gainesville. Scott Flamand and John Killian saw a Canada Warbler at Cedar Key.
It’s the time of year when you can hear the calls of migrating birds as they fly over during the night. If you wake up before dawn, step out the back door and listen for a few minutes. Andy Kratter did this on the 7th and heard “about 10 Swainson’s Thrushes pass in 5 or so minutes, giving their spring-peeper-like call notes.” And on the morning of the 14th Mike Manetz reported, “I sat out from 5 to 6 this morning and had a lot of birds going over, mostly Veerys (330 flight calls) but also Swainson’s Thrushes (5 calls), Bobolinks (2 calls), Green Herons! (7 calls from probably 4 birds), and best of all, a Dickcissel called 3 times directly overhead and relatively low!” If you’re entering a nocturnal flight call count into eBird, remember to read this first: http://help.ebird.org/customer/portal/articles/1010492-entering-nocturnal-flight-call-counts
And speaking of vocalizations, have you noticed that Northern Mockingbirds are singing again? I’ve been hearing them almost daily. In my experience they’ll keep it up till November, and then fall silent again until February.
Is anyone still seeing Mississippi Kites?
This would have given me a nervous breakdown, but it would have been worth it (“this day’s total was well-beyond every past YEAR total”): http://cmboviewfromthefield.blogspot.com/2015/09/morning-flight-14-september-2015.html
In case you’ve only been birding around here for a year or two, here’s a Flickr photo gallery of rare birds from Alachua County: https://www.flickr.com/photos/30736692@N00/albums/72157594281975202
Bob Carroll is ready to get the Third Thursday group going again: “I’ve been looking forward to this for a couple of months! It’s time to do some birding when everyone else is at work. Our first Third Thursday stop will be at Bolen Bluff at 8:30 AM on Thursday, September 17. As far as lunch is concerned, I haven’t picked a spot yet. I’m torn between something safe (like Peach Valley – I think you guys liked it last year), something new (like Blaze Pizza in Gainesville – I’ve heard it’s really good but have never been there) or something with a wider appeal like BJ’s near the Oaks Mall. I’m open to suggestion! If you have a lunch suggestion – including any of the three I mentioned – let me know. If you’re going to join us for lunch once I make a decision – let me know! I hope to see you on Thursday. I’m really looking forward to getting the group together again!”
Would you like to be on the county’s Environmental Protection Advisory Committee? They’re looking for applicants: http://www.alachuacounty.us/Depts/Communications/Pages/Detail.aspx?itemID=9140