Oystercatcher Diaries 2020: Field Week 1

By Susan Heath It’s that time again! Welcome to the Oystercatcher Diaries 2020. We did our first official oystercatcher survey on Tuesday and things are starting to happen. As is the case every year Struve Luci in West Galveston Bay has the early nesters. On January 31, we stopped by to do a check on them while out doing other … Read More

Smith Point Hawk Watch 11/30/19 (2 raptors)

Bob reports one migrating Peregrine Falcon and one migrating Sharp-shinned Hawk today. Today is the official end of the season at Smith Point! Marvin Masters and Sara Harrison helped out today. I’d like to acknowledge all of our volunteers though. Thank you Craig Geoffroy, Jim Peterson, Joe Kennedy, John Whittle, Justin Bosler, Linda Hoffman, Lynn Wright, Marcy Brown, Mark Swanson, … Read More

Smith Point Hawk Watch 11/28/19 (2 raptors)

Bob reports 2 migrating Northern Harriers today and that is all! 3100 cormorants fly by though. That’s a lot of cormorants! Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Only two days left although Bob says he may do part of Sunday since he and Sue aren’t leaving until Monday.

Smith Point Hawk Watch 11/27/19 (79 raptors)

Bob reports 79 migrating raptors today. Broad-winged Hawk 2 Red-tailed Hawk 27 White-tailed Hawk 2 Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 Cooper’s Hawk 1 Turkey Vulture 28 Black Vulture 9 Northern Harrier 5 Bald Eagle 1 Golden Eagle 2 (both young birds) Finally a Golden Eagle! Was expecting them any day now. They always come late in the season on a nice north … Read More

Smith Point Hawk Watch 11/26/19 (8 raptors)

Tad reports 8 migrating raptors today. Red-tailed Hawk 1 American Kestrel 1 Northern Harrier 1 Turkey Vulture 5 Strong southerly winds with overcast skies and potential for rain may have kept the birds away. A flock of 60 white pelicans was about the only thing else seen other than periodic flyby passerines and lots of swallows.

Smith Point Hawk Watch 11/24/19 (333 raptors)

Bob reports 333 migrating raptors today. Red-tailed Hawk 5 Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 Turkey Vulture 291 Black Vulture 25 Northern Harrier 7 Bald Eagle 3 (1 ad, 2 juv) White-tailed Kite 1 American White Pelicans were coming by all day with an estimated 1,000 total. Regina Tippett and Dave and Jan Hanson helped out today.

Smith Point Hawk Watch 11/23/19 (563 raptors)

Bob reports 563 migrating raptors today. Broad-winged Hawk 11 Red-tailed Hawk 17 Sharp-shinned Hawk 8 Cooper’s Hawk 14 Turkey Vulture 480 Black Vulture 21 American Kestrel 1 Peregrine Falcon 1 Merlin 1 Northern Harrier 9 An intermediate morph Red-tailed Hawk entertained for a while but the highlight was a total of 226 Sandhill Cranes that came over calling in several … Read More

Smith Point Hawk Watch 11/22/19 (3 raptors)

Bob reports only 3 migrating raptors today before he had to give it up because of rain. Merlin 1 Peregrine Falcon 2 There was some excitement though! The Merlin swooped down behind one of the houses and nailed a Killdeer. It flew over to post and began to chow down when a kestrel flew in and attempted to steal the … Read More

Smith Point Hawk Watch 11/21/19 (2 raptors)

Bob reports on two migrating raptors today. Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 Northern Harrier 1 The only other entertainment was a large flock of Tree Swallows milling about. Bob is hopeful for the weekend though as there’s a cold front passing the coast tomorrow.

Smith Point Hawk Watch 11/20/19 (13 raptors)

Bob reports 13 migrating raptors today. Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 Turkey Vulture 8 Northern Harrier 3 The wind was out of the southeast most of the day. Birds of the day was a flock of 2,500 cormorants with some white pelicans mixed in.