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Early Fall Migration (Gail Menk)

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  • Fran Rutkovsky
    RE: THE EARLY FALL MIGRATION, 2008 After mid-August, other than Yellow warblers, I did not encounter or learn of warbler species in any numbers locally until
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2008
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      After mid-August, other than Yellow warblers, I did not encounter or
      learn of warbler species in any numbers locally until 19 SEP when I
      listed 2 Yellows, 2 Yellowthroats, a Pine, and 2 Prairie at south Lake
      Jackson. On 22 SEP I experienced a mini-fallout at Black Swamp Nature
      Preserve (BSNP)--5 Yellowthroats, 4 Redstarts, 1 (male) Blackburnian,
      and a Pine plus another one at my residence later that day. On 23 SEP
      I tallied 2 Redstarts and a Magnolia at San Luis Mission Park (Lake
      Esther). As 'of above said date' , this year's Leon County Fall
      Warbler Parade reads: 31+ Yellows, 12 Yellowthroats, 8 Redstarts, 4
      Prairies, 3 Pines, 2 Worm-eating, 1 Blackburnian, 1 Parula, 1
      Magnolia, 1 Cerulean,
      1 Louisiana Waterthrush, and 1 Hooded.

      With the exception of the overdue Black-and-White, Chestnut-sided,
      uncommon Blue-winged and unpredictable Kentucky, reports of warblers
      were pretty much in line with their status cited in H.M. Stevenson's
      'Field Card of Tallahassee Birds'. Another more recent supporting
      document is WARBLER SIGHTINGS IN OUR YARD, a charting of autumnal
      warblers, August through Oct by Sally and Dean Jue during 1977-2004 at
      their residence on Dorchester Court.

      A Pied-billed Grebe at the Springhill Road Sewage Treatment Facility
      (SRSTF) on 13 AUG and a Blue-winged Teal there on 2 SEP were
      considered early fall arrivals. Differentiating Pied-bills from
      sedentary nesting individuals during August is presumedly best
      determined by presence of the former in unlikely nesting sites such as
      SRSTF. My earliest-ever date locally is of one listed there on the
      first day of August, 1995.

      On 19 SEP, 2 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were in the retention pond
      on Edison Drive (off Hartsfield Road); this recently established
      county resident seems to “sample” every pond or lake in these parts.

      Eight Glossy Ibis lingered at the pond on Rhoden Cove Road on 8 AUG,
      remnant of the 20-or-morerecord-known number of said species ever
      recorded county-wise (during the previous spring/summer period).

      SHOREBIRDS, TERNS: Uncommon were a Sanderling at SRSTF (M. Forehand)
      and another there on 11 SEP along with a comparatively rare Ruddy
      Turnstone (GEM). Most surprising, however, was 2nd appearance there
      this fall of a WILLET on 26 AUG (M. Forehand, M.Collins, GEM) –-to
      date there are only about a dozen records of the species county-wise.
      As of 14 AUG small numbers of migrating Forster's Terns appeared at
      SRSTF and TRWTF and after a single Black Tern was listed at SRSTF on
      29 JULY (GEM, M. Collins), dozens of the species showed up at the 2
      sites as well as elsewhere in the county. Noteworthy were Caspian
      Terns, one each, at SRSTF on 25 AUG (Jim Cavanagh), another at Lake
      Jackson's Faulk Drive Landing (FDL) on 12 SEP (GEM), the latter only
      a 2nd known inland September record for the Big Bend.

      I saw a Veery at San Luis Mission Park on 5 SEP, also heard 3-4 Yellow-
      throated Vireos; as in past years, Yellow-throateds sing well into
      September―also heard one singing there on 17 SEP. Yellow Warblers
      continued to be tallied at several sites locally, and 2 of those
      confusing “little transient brown jobs” (fall-plumaged Indigo
      Buntings) were at the Robert White Williams Birding Trail (RWW) on 2

      CERTAIN LATE NEOTROPICALS included 2 Eastern Kingbirds at RWW on 30
      AUG, another one at Crowder Landing on 5 SEP. And on 29 AUG I last
      heard at least 3 Great Crested Flycatchers call loud and clear near my
      residence at daybreak.

      OTHER FAUNA: A black-legged fox and an otter continue to appear at
      RWW, and on 11 SEP
      I saw a white squirrel chasing another near the intersection of
      Eisenhower and Ridgeway streets--recalls the famed colony I visisted
      at Olney, Illinois, many years ago (post cards included).

      (Mr. ) Gail E. Menk


      Fran Rutkovsky
      Tallahassee, FL

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