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8807Re: [nflbirds] St. Marks NWR -- Sunday Morning

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  • Jim Stevenson
    Apr 6, 2014
      Good post, Don.

      I just wanted to mention that every spring (or fall) migration has its peculiarities. Often, birds will tend to bend toward the eastern or western Gulf, depending largely on steering winds. This year, so far, we in Texas are getting our turn. We’ve had huge numbers of eastern migrants, like parulas, Hoodeds and Louisiana Waterthrushes, plus many other birds more typically seen in Florida. However, as the winds change, the pendulum may swing and favor you guys in Florida.

      Today, in my yard, we had an absolutely mind-boggling day for this early, even with Blackburnian, many Tennessees and a Kentucky. It is not uncommon for a great day in Florida to come a day or two later than a bonanza in Texas, given the movement of frontal systems. Hope so.

      Now, to the dictionary to look up Don’s word, “desultory.” Hmmmm...


      From: Don Morrow
      Sent: Sunday, April 06, 2014 7:11 PM
      To: nflbirds@yahoogroups.com
      Cc: robin_will@...
      Subject: [nflbirds] St. Marks NWR -- Sunday Morning

      An epic morning for Common Loon migration at the refuge. Paul Spitzer and I recorded 484 loons headed North. Weather radar showed a strong storm system just across the Georgia line that resulted in 209 returning birds. Loons were streaming in both directions.

      Otherwise, Spring migration is a desultory affair so far. Two Cattle Egrets were sitting on the old pilings at dawn. Least Bitterns are now easily found near the lighthouse, where I also recorded Caspian, Royal, Forster's and Common Tern. High-flying duck flocks numbering in the hundreds were moving along the coast. Over the course of the morning I probably saw 2,000 ducks that all seemed to be scaup, but could have included Redhead flying at about 500 feet. I observed some of them spiraling higher and disappearing to the North. Buffleheads seem to be thinning out, but Red-breasted Mergansers are still much in evidence. Blue-winged Teal are common on several of the refuge ponds.

      Heading back on the entrance road, Black-necked Stilts are more evident, I saw about twenty. Lesser Yellowlegs seem to outnumber Greaters. I did not see the flock of dark ibis that has included up to fifteen White-faced Ibis, recently. Nick Baldwin sent me some great photos of the White-faced Ibis taken last week.

      I had a single Eastern Kingbird along the road and had Black&White Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Parula and Northern Waterthrush at the Double Bridges.

      Good Birding

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