Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/21/17 (0 raptors)

Where are the birds! Bob reports no migrants but 2 local Cooper’s Hawks, 2 local Broad-winged Hawks, and one local Swainson’s Hawk. Also four Black-necked Stilts, no a usual visitor to the tower fly by and also four Upland Sandpipers passing overhead. The day was saved by 19 frigatebirds and of course the eclipse!

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/20/17 (15 raptors)

Hello all, Bob reports 15 birds today. Broad-winged Hawk 4 Red-tailed Hawk 1 Swainson’s Hawk 4 Swallow-tailed Kite 6 Great thermals, lots of swallows, Anhingas, White Ibis, and Wood Storks.

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/19/17 (35 raptors)

Things are looking up! 35 birds today. Broad-winged Hawk 11 Swainson’s Hawk 8 Red-shouldered Hawk 1 Cooper’s Hawk 1 Mississippi Kite 1 Swallow-tailed Kite 5 Also 5 Olive-sided Flycatchers in view at once, Upland Sandpipers and Dickcissels put in an appearance. It will only get better from here on out!

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/18/17 (5 raptors)

Bob reports six migrating birds today. Broad-winged Hawk 3 Swainson’s Hawk 1 Cooper’s Hawk 1 White-tailed Kite 1 14 Wood Storks was a nice distraction and the good folks from the Kleb Woods Senior Bird Club showed up to entertain Bob for a while. Sorry we didn’t have more birds for you folks!

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/16/17 (1 raptor)

Bob reports only one migrating raptor today – a single Swallow-tailed Kite. Go away south wind! Winnie Burkett was at the site early and spotted 46 frigatebirds which is pretty cool! Swallows are still moving through. It will pick up soon I promise!

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/15/17 (0 raptors)

Bob reports no migrating raptors today. Strong south winds again. Even the swallows shut down today! There were a few frigatebirds to entertain the troops. Things have to pick up soon!

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/14/17 (6 raptors)

Bob reports 6 Swallow-tailed Kites. Lots of Cliff Swallows still with some Barn Swallows mixed in. Strong south winds again. One of these days we’ll get some north winds!

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/12/17 (10 raptors)

Joe Kennedy manned the hawk watch today. He reported 1 Broad-winged Hawk and 9 Swallow-tailed Kites migrating. Local hawks included a Red-tail, Cooper’s and Osprey. Hot southwest winds kept the birds way out there making id difficult! Joe also counted 152 White-winged Doves, 16 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, 1 Yellow Warbler, 26 Upland Sandpipers, 2 Solitary Sandpipers, 6 Greater Yellowlegs, 1 Olive-sided … Read More

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/11/17 (2 raptors)

Bob reports 2 Swainson’s Hawk migrating today. Nice thermals in the morning with lots of frigatebirds and Wood Storks. Swallows have started moving through and the first Olive-sided Flycatcher arrived today.

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/10/17 (5 raptors)

Bob reports 3 Swainson’s Hawks and 2 Swallow-tailed Kites migrating today. Local birds included one Cooper’s Hawk and one White-tailed Hawk. South winds hampered the flight again.

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/9/17 (1 raptor)

Bob reports only one migrating hawk today, a Swainson’s Hawk. Local birds included a White-tailed Hawk and a Cooper’s Hawk. Persistent south winds with some rain retarded the flight again today.

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/7/17 (2 raptors)

Bob reports 2 Swallow-tailed Kites as the only migrants today. The birds of the day were five Black Terns that cruised by early in the morning. Strong south winds retarded the flight again today.

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/5/17 (1 raptor)

Joe manned the count today and reports one migrating raptor – a female American Kestrel which beat the early record by a week. Locals included 1 Swainson’s Hawk, 1 Osprey and 1 immature Red-shouldered Hawk. There were good numbers of white ibis and the gnatcatcher show began with a few passing by the tower. About 25 frigatebirds came by along … Read More

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/4/17 (3 raptors)

Bob reports 3 migrating raptors today. Broad-winged Hawk 1 Swainson’s Hakw 1 Mississippi Kite 1 Also a cool Pileated Woodpecker and a beautiful adult White-tailed Hawk and a juvenile White-tailed Hawk for comparison.

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/3/17 (17 raptors)

Bob reports a good day with multiple migrants! Swainson’s Hawk 2 Cooper’s Hawk 1 Swallow-tailed Kite 14 (nice!) Also a group of 13 Roseate Spoonbills and 31 Wood Storks. Come on out to the point and check things out!

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/2/17 (1 raptor)

Bob reports 1 migrating Peregrine Falcon today. He also had a single Purple Martin. The best news is that he got to go see the Jabiru that has been on Pear Orchard Road near Anahuac NWR. Now he awaits it’s passage by Smith Point!

Smith Point Hawk Watch 8/1/17 (1 raptor)

It’s time folks! The hawk watch is up and running as of today. Bob is back because he just can’t get enough of the Texas heat (and the frigatebirds and the broad-wings and the… well you get the drift). Just one migrant today, a single Red-shouldered Hawk but Bob was entertained by 16 Magnificent Frigatebirds at once and some local … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2017: Field Week 16

By Susan Heath I finally made it back out to East Matagorda Bay on Monday. The weather was not optimal with many rain storms in the area and ordinarily I would have passed on the trip but this was the only day it was possible. Since I’ve missed so many trips out there and my volunteers were game, we decided … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2017: Field Week 15

By Susan Heath I wasn’t able to make it out to East Matagorda Bay last week due to boat issues and weather. This week because of the impending arrival of Tropical Storm Cindy we had to get out to West Galveston Bay on Monday to band some chicks and the Fish & Wildlife boat was not available on Tuesday so … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2017: Field Week 14

By Susan Heath Once again we had to scrap our trip to East Matagorda Bay because of weather. I sure hope I can get out there next week. On Thursday, I checked out West Galveston Bay and Swan Lake with John Wright, Alan Wilde, and Amanda Hackney. Our goal was to head up to the Swan Lake area and get … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2017: Field Week 13

By Susan Heath On Tuesday, John Wright, Alan Wilde, and I went to check on the birds in West Galveston Bay. The wind was all over the place and we weren’t sure how much we’d be able to get done so we focused on the two chicks that needed to be banded first. Alan and I had a tough time … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2017: Field Week 12

By Susan Heath I had planned to go to East Matagorda Bay on Monday and West Galveston Bay on Tuesday but the wind got me again. Tuesday was forecast to have winds 17 to 19 mph and that is too high to be out on the water trying to get work done. Since there were chicks that needed to be … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2017: Field Week 11

By Susan Heath I had to cancel my trip to East Matagorda Bay on Tuesday because the wind was too high, but on Wednesday I was able to make it out to Bastrop and Drum Bays with Texas Mid-coast NWR Complex biologist Jennifer Wilson. She wanted to check out the colonial waterbird islands there and I haven’t been out there … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2017: Field Week 10

By Susan Heath I was able to get out East Matagorda Bay on Monday for the first time in a month. The last time I’d been out, one pair had two chicks and three pairs had nests, but the tide was really high and I feared the worst. I was joined by Jennifer Wilson, Texas Mid-Coast NWR biologist, and Woody … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2017: Field Week 9

By Susan Heath I was unable to monitor any oystercatchers last week due to illness. Fortunately this week John and Alan were on the ball and alerted me that Monday was the only viable boat day for West Galveston Bay so we changed our field day from Wednesday to Monday. Stennie Meadours, one of the steadfast volunteers that monitors birds … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2017: Field Week 8

By Susan Heath On Thursday I went out to Tres Palacios Bay with Bob and Ruth Fredrichs to band chicks. There were three pairs there with chicks old enough to band and I wanted to check on the nanotags I put out there as well. We headed out from the Palacios boat ramp about 8:00 and went over to the … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2017: Field Week 7

By Susan Heath On Monday I headed out to East Matagorda Bay with Martin Hagne and Oron Atkins. It was really calm for a change and beautiful on the bay. Unfortunately that was not to last but we enjoyed it while it did! We found ER incubating his nest. KN & unbanded, the pair we used the noose carpets on … Read More

Oystercatcher Diaries 2017: Field Week 6

By Susan Heath On Monday I headed out to East Matagorda Bay with our new Executive Director, Martin Hagne, and jack of all trades volunteer, Oron Atkins. There wasn’t much wind for a welcome change and we enjoyed relatively calm waters for most of the day. We found that ER & unbanded had a new nest with two eggs. photo … Read More