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Subject: LEON COUNTY SUMMER BIRD HAPPENINGS
From: Keith MacVicar <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Fri, 6 Sep 2002 12:26:46 EDT
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THE NIMROD, VOL l, NO. 6 (SEPTEMBER 2002)

THE NIMROD is a publication devoted to Leon County Ornithology as well as
other avian matters deemed appropriate.

During August the Tram Road Water Treatment Facility (TRWTF or Southeast
Farm) yielded some notable bird finds.  On 22 AUG your editor and Jim
Cavanagh found there a Lark Sparrow and on 29 AUG a party of five birders
studied TWO such individuals at the same site.  On the latter date, countless
Yellow Warblers were a dominant species as a wave of migrants paraded
throughout the environs, mostly Blue Grosbeaks, several Prairie Warblers, at
least one Northern Waterthrush, et al.

Best find was a small flock of UPLAND SANDPIPERS which were instantly
identified by their "whip - whip - whip" alarm calls when repeatedly flushed
from tall grasses.  Although a pre-discussed target species for the day, the
four birders present (Dottie and Keith MacVicar, Ed Woodruff and your editor)
were nonetheless surprised to encounter this locally rare species, especially
SEVEN in number as said bird is traditionally not a flocking one.

An American Kestrel pointed out to your editor by Rob Lengacher at TRWTF on 8
AUG was an unusually early bird county-wise as was one at Tyson Road on 16
AUG.

Records at the Springhill Road Sewage Treatment Facility (SRSTF) included a
Glossy Ibis on 23 AUG, a first known August record for the county.  "Glossys"
have now been recorded in all but two months - February and December.  Five
individuals were recorded, however, at Lake Jackson on 1 JAN 2000 and it
seems likely they were present there the previous day, 31 December.  February
thus remains a "period of demarcation".  Two American Avocets at SRSTF on 23
AUG were only a second County August occurrence, Howard Horne having earlier
reported an individual at SRSTF on 12 AUG 2000.

Two "calicoed" Ruddy Turnstones added a welcome touch of color on 17 AUG and
by 28 AUG, 11 Short-billed Dowitchers had congregated there (alarm notes
heard repeatedly).

The Caspian Tern continued to be seen not only at SRSTF but also at the
retention pond behind good old Church's Chicken on Lake Bradford Road, also
once at Lake Jackson's Crowder Landing.  As of 28 AUG, the species had been
reported frequently during a span of 79 days, unprecedented county-wise.
Indeed, there was a time when such records were prized rarities for the Leon
County bird "aficionado".

A Bank Swallow at SRSTF on 23 AUG may have been the first fall report
locally; at least two more were at TRWTF on 29 AUG.

OTHER BIRD HAPPENINGS:  On 27 AUG a vocal pair of LEAST BITTERNS was at Lake
Jackson's Rhoden Cove, still another site in Leon County where the species
has been so readily encountered this year.  SWALLOW-TAILED KITES put on a
show over Tallahassee well into August, one individual gliding down within a
stone's throw of your editor's pad on 31 JUL, while other birders remarked
having seen them in the Big Bend area as late as the third week of August.
An AMERICAN WOODCOCK at Lake Jackson's Crowder Landing during 14-24 AUG (four
observers) complemented that exciting occurrence of an individual in Harry
Hooper's back yard at Widgeon Drive on 9 JUL.  HUMMINGBIRDS - At least 20
migrating individuals have been sighted at various sites other than
Tallahassee backyard feeders as of 12 JUL.

Speaking of Hummingbirds, one little Armenian girl-nimrod (fide William
Saroyan) has observed long ago that said bird "goes this way all of a sudden,
then stops, drinks a little more perfume, and all of a sudden he's off - as
if something had scared him, but nothing has, and all he does is stop again
and drink from another blossom.  Why doesn't he take one by one where they
are instead of jumping this way and then the other? ... He must have
reasons".  {Editor:  Natural selection?}

LEON COUNTY WARBLER PARADE 2002:  This fall your editor has again gathered
warbler species reports from Leon County, many of which have been gleaned
from e-mail postings on nflbirds and FLORIDABIRDS-L, also via "snail mail"
(2725 Peachtree Drive, Tallahassee  FL  32304).  Leon County birders
interested in so contributing should cite numbers of EVERY warbler species
seen or heard, sex/age of individuals when discernible and exact dates
encountered with location (residence, park or other descriptive location in
Leon County).

Monthly running accounts are being published in THE NIMROD beginning with
this September issue.  Currently, the editor will gladly accept reports
dating back to 1 SEPTEMBER through 31 OCTOBER.

Cumulative counts as of 31 August are listed below.  Dates in parentheses
cite first arrival dates of transient neotropicals that breed north of
Florida, and dates in brackets those enigmatic species which are known to
breed rarely in Leon County but are just as likely to be transients from
Georgia or points farther north.  Also listed is the Black-and-white Warbler,
a species which breeds north of Florida but also winters locally.

Yellow Warbler                                       (28 JUL)            132

Northern Parula
 29

Black-and-white Warbler - As of 27 JUL                              15

Pine Warbler
  14

Prairie Warbler                                       { 3 AUG}
9

Hooded Warbler
  8

Northern Waterthrush                              (25 AUG)               4

Yellow-throated Warbler
3
Prothonotary Warbler
 3

Cerulean Warbler                                    ( 2 AUG)                2
American Redstart                                  (27 JUL)                 2
Lousiana Waterthrush                             {21 JUN)                 2
Kentucky Warbler                                   {13 AUG}                2
Common Yellowthroat
2
Worm-eating Warbler                              ( 6 AUG)                 2

Magnolia Warbler                                   (25 AUG)                 1

First report of the Louisiana Waterthrush was at Brookforest Drive (Fran
Rutkovsky),  the American Redstart at Black Swamp Nature Preserve (Marvin
Collins), Black-and-white Warbler at A J Henry Park (Michael Evans), Yellow
Warbler at Lake Jackson's Miller Landing (Sally and Dean Jue), Cerulean
Warbler at Brookforest Drive (Fran Rutkovsky), Prairie Warbler at Lake
Jackson's Faulk Drive Landing (Marvin Collins), Kentucky Warbler at Lake
Talquin State Park (Michael Evans, GEM), Worm-eating Warbler at Dorchester
Center (Sally and Dean Jue), Magnolia Warbler and Northern Waterthrush at
Robert White Williams Birding Trail (GEM).

The reader will note that August Yellow Warbler numbers far-out total all
other warblers combined (132 to 95 - an approximate 3:2 ratio).

Your editor wishes to thank the 16 county birders who have contributed
reports.

ONWARD, ye nimrods, and don't forget to look UPWARD.
Gail E. Menk
Editor


Keith MacVicar
Tallahassee  FL
[log in to unmask]

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