Birdwalk Highlights for 10/3: Sandy Point Beach.

For the third birdwalk in a row, we implemented the "Sandy Morning Sandy Point Protocol" as Jeannette met the group at the store and delivered the caravan to me on Cousin's Island.

Despite only a moderate flight overhead this morning, there were still plenty of birds by the time the group arrived. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS continued to wing past overhead, with more tarrying in the brush. WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were quite abundant, with at least 40-60 encountered as we strolled about.

While the hopes of relocating yesterday's Red-headed Woodpecker that I found kept us motivated, our casual searching paid off when the YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO that I spotted from the bridge earlier this morning was relocated in Camp Soci. Many of us had pretty good looks of a bird that was occasionally pausing in the relative open. This was my 7th-ever record for the Morning Flight.

Between birds overhead, in the brush, and among several nice mixed-species foraging flocks we encountered on our walk, our migrant list for the morning also included: 8 SAVANNAH SPARROWS, 6 HERMUT THRUSHES, 6 EASTERN PHOEBES, 6 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, 4 SWAINSON'S THRUSHES (including some exceptionally good views), 2 spiffy LINCOLN'S SPARROWS, 2 RED-EYED VIREOS, 2 CHIPPING SPARROWS, and one each of BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, and BLACKPOLL WARBLER.

Additionally, we had a good raptor show with one each of COOPER'S HAWK, SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, BALD EAGLE, MERLIN, and a late-ish OSPREY.

Plenty of resident species, too, like a good look at a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, and observed the behavior and natural history between the resident BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES verses the flock of migrants - same species; different movements (or lack there of).

So another fun day of Fall Migration at the world-famous Sandy Point Morning Flight!


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