Friday, October 16, 2009

Tufted Titmouse
Highlights: Tufted Titmouse, Northern Shrike

Despite the fact that east winds have really slowed the songbird activity down the last few days the Point's first ever Tufted Titmouse was found today. It made several appearances near the waterbird shack before disappearing during the last few hours of the count. Northern Shrikes have been making some brief appearances the last few days. While overall activity has been down, there has been large numbers of Downy Woodpeckers, decent numbers of Hairies, and a few Black-backed Woodpeckers. The trees near the waterbird shack can be crawling with woodpeckers at times and the Downies have occasionally been landing on the shack, our tripods, and our scopes (photo below). We also continue seeing White-breasted Nuthatch and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. The Evening Grosbeak numbers continue to grow slightly and they are being seen at the feeders fairly regularly.

The Merlin has regularly been observed catching the Downies. It's hard to see in the photo but a Downy is tucked onto the left side of the driftwood in the above photo. The Merlin had been chasing it along the bayshore, but it made it to the safety of the driftwood where it remained for about 1/2 hour after the Merlin left.

Perhaps most entertaining was Tom repeatedly holding up a stick when a wave of Downies and Hairies flew out towards us in hopes of having one land on it. No takers yet, but there's always tomorrow buddy.

Chris Neri

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