Sunday, April 1, 2007

Santa Ana NWR, 4/1/07

I arrived at the hawk tower at Santa Ana NWR at 8:15 only to be joined a few minutes later by North America's premiere hawk expert, Bill Clark. Most of the morning was uneventful with a few resident Harris', Swainson's and Gray Hawks drifting by and only 25 migrant Broad-winged Hawks. It was educational to listen to Bill's behavoiral observation of a nearby female Harris' Hawk. The man has obviously spent a lot of intimate time with raptors. Bill's expertise really paid off when I spotted a distant dark broad-floppy winged raptor. I told Bill I had a candidate for a Hook-billed Kite and after locating the bird he confirmed my ID. The resident Northern Beardless Tyrannylet made a few territorial singing rounds about the tower to the delight a few visiting birders.

On the way out I stopped by Willow 1 to check out a calling Clay-colored Robin.

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As I approached the levee near the entrance I happened to look up only to see hundreds of Broadwinged Hawks streaming across the sky. These were birds that had spent the night in Mexico on the other side of the stalled cold front. At noon they were just now crossing the Rio Grande in to the USA. The Broad-wings then formed a couple of huge kettles and ascended into the clouds. Magnificent!

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Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 10
Plain Chachalaca 10
Neotropic Cormorant 1
Great Blue Heron 2
Snowy Egret 6
Tricolored Heron 2
Black Vulture 1
Turkey Vulture 25
Osprey 1
Hook-billed Kite 1
White-tailed Kite 2
Northern Harrier 1
Gray Hawk 2
Harris's Hawk 4
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Broad-winged Hawk 1200
Swainson's Hawk 3
White-winged Dove 1
Mourning Dove 8
White-tipped Dove 2
Buff-bellied Hummingbird 1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker 12
Ladder-backed Woodpecker 5
Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 2
Great Kiskadee 8
Couch's Kingbird 20
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 5
Green Jay 2
Tree Swallow 1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 10
Black-crested Titmouse 2
Carolina Wren 1
House Wren 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3
Clay-colored Robin 2
Northern Mockingbird 3
Long-billed Thrasher 3
Olive Sparrow 5
Northern Cardinal 2
Red-winged Blackbird 10
Great-tailed Grackle 20
Bronzed Cowbird 10
Hooded Oriole 1
Altamira Oriole 2
Lesser Goldfinch 1

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