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Southeast Farallon Island Report: 6 September

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  • Matt Brady
    Hello all. So, it has been a quiet two weeks since my last update. Howling Northwesterlies, coupled with an ever-present low fog bank or crystal-clear
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 6, 2009
      Hello all. So, it has been a quiet two weeks since my last update. Howling Northwesterlies, coupled with an ever-present low fog bank or crystal-clear conditions have limited the ability of passing migrants to find the Island, so arrivals have been few and far between. Highlights have been limited, but among them have been a Manx Shearwater, an Eastern Kingbird, a Tennessee Warbler, a Virginia's Warbler and a Bobolink. Western migrants that are notable on the immediate coast, such as Townsend's Solitaire, Bank Swallow, and Ash-throated Flycatcher, are often much less common out here than are some of the eastern vagrants that are recorded. So, we were excited to find two uncommon Empids: a Dusky Flycatcher at the end of August, and a Hammond's Flycatcher at the beginning of this month. A Eurasian Collared-Dove in late August was the first fall record for that species, and a smattering of usual migrants (Yellow and Townsend's Warblers, Warbling
      Vireo, Western Wood-Pewee, Willow Flyctacher, etc) rounded out our landbird arrivals.

      Since my last update, we've played around with our webcam <http://www.calacademy.org/webcams/farallones/> a bit more, and have learned that not only is it useful for seeing how extensive the fog layer is, or what the Sea Lions in Fisherman's Bay are up to, but we can also spot birds with it. In fact, we were able to see and identify the Hammond's Flycatcher as it flitted about the top of the Lighthouse, and we had our first Webcam-only bird, a Pacific Loon off the east side of the Island. Since those first revelations, we have inducted a new catagory onto the Faralist (the master list of Farallon birds, as well as personal checklists for all the Fall biologists, going back to the days of Rich Stallcup and Dave DeSante): the Webcam list! This will be a checklist of all the species ever seen from the Webcam. We're currently up to 15 species: Brant, Pacific Loon, Brown Pelican, Brandt's, Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants, Black Oystercatcher,
      Wandering Tattler, Red-necked Phalarope, California Gull, Western Gull, Pigeon Guillemont, Tufted Puffin, and Hammond's Flycatcher. Obviously, this list needs a little help. Since we will be busy most days conducting surveys, banding birds, or repairing the facilities on the Island, we, the Fall Season crew, would like to invite you to help us build the Farallon Webcam list. All you have to do is watch the Webcam, then, if you happen to spot a bird in the webcam, take a screen shot and send it to either myself (podoces@...) or the Island email address (sefi@...). We're looking forward to building this list!

      Good birding,

      Matt Brady
      Southeast Farallon Island

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