Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sabine Woods, Sunday, 9/19/10

Last Sunday (9/19/10) I went back to Sabine Woods.  There were still plenty of flycatchers and warblers, but this time, no deer flies!  I can handle the mosquitoes, but the flies are not deterred by repellant, and can make birding miserable.  It was nice to be able to observe birds without being under constant attack.
I had a total of 18 warbler species - Tennessee, Nashville, Northern Parula, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Yellow-throated, Black-and-white, American Redstart, Prothonotary (see dazzling golden male above), Northern Waterthrush, Mourning, Hooded, Wilson's, Canada, and Yellow-breasted Chat. I managed to get this decent (only partially obstructed) photo of a chat, which is always difficult because of their shyness and skulking habits:
While walking through the woods I repeatedly flushed Chuck-will's-Widows, and a couple of times they flew only short distances and perched within view.  I figure I probably scared up 3-5.  Other goodies included an Olive-sided Flycatcher, Blue Grosbeaks, Indigo and Painted Buntings, Dickcissel, Clay-colored Sparrow, and Baltimore and Orchard Orioles

Empids are frustrating, and identifications are often uncertain to say the least.  Speaking of which, based on calls, plumage, and structure, these were identified as Least Flycatchers:  

This Eastern Wood-Pewee was also very cooperative:

Just as life re-emerged from the ashes of Krakatoa or Mt. St. Helens, Sabine Woods has been recovering from the devestation wrought by Hurricane Ike.  During the storm the woods and surrounding marshes were deluged with saltwater, and I would assume most of the terrestrial wildlife to have been killed by the storm surge.  So it's encouraging to see the return of some of those creatures, such as the Armadillos foraging in the leaf litter, and the swarms of tiny Gulf Coast Toads on the margins of the ponds:

Back at home that afternoon I saw a flock of White Ibis fly over our backyard, got warbler species #19 for the day (Pine Warbler), and had a brief glimpse of a waterthrush at the pond. 


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