I HAVE A NOON SCHEDULED POST FOR SATURDAY [october 31st] ON I'd Rather B Birdin' with much more information and photos. If you're interested, stop by again to see what I witnessed. I took, and will share DOZENS of photos at that time...on my bird photo blog. Just follow the link.
The sky was a cobalt blue, the wooded area of Pollywog Ponds was dense with a bit of Autumn Colors showing up for the season...
The small clump of sunflowers was found at the entrance to the nature sanctuary. With last week's flooding storms, and predicted scattered showers this coming weekend, it's been, and will be, a bit of a mix-up for the bird migration. By that I mean, instead of the usual thermals that are used for flight patterns for the migratory birds found much farther northwest of our city, some of the larger kettles usually found away from us...they have been seen MUCH CLOSER to us by only a few miles instead of having to drive to see it all. [did that make any sense? I guess I shoulda stated that the migratory paths for the day or two after the storms were closer to the city in proximity There, that's better.] Tuesday was a morning out and about for me. And I witnessed thousands of turkey vultures in one area!! It was an experience that truly humbled me, knowing I was just one person on the planet...and all these birds that blackened the sky made me feel quite small. In all the years I have been birding, I have never EVER seen such a scene. I can't describe the feeling that came over me as I stood and watched this.
Just a few miles from where I stood -Pollywog Ponds-, there is a hawkwatch platform. In a park, in Calallen, Texas. There, from August 1st to November 15th each year there is a daily watch and count of migrating hawks and other kettles and raptors recorded migrating to the south. On Tuesday, according to the official count that day:
- The official tally of migrating Turkey Vultures at Hazel Bazemore County Park on October 27, 2015 was an amazing 83,994!!!! This single day count was enough to eclipse EVERY previous SEASON TOTAL for Turkey Vultures at the Corpus Christi Hawk Watch! The previous TV Season Record was 78,684 in 2013.
What did I see at Pollywog Ponds? My guess-timation would be anywhere from 2500 to 5000 in the few minutes I stood watching. After taking photos of the peppered with vultures sky, I hopped back in the car and headed to Bazemore Park where the hawkwatch platform is. The birdwatchers ON the platform, with their scopes, binoculars and tallying triggered counters were very busy....counting. I'm sure by the end of the day, at sunset when all birds roost, the trained volunteers' necks were very sore.
Just minutes ago, I had seen this phenomenon of nature so I stayed away from the crowds and walked around the park, drove around the park's paved lanes along th river and ponds. Looking for other birds....egrets, herons, ducks, avocets, sparrows, cardinals, scissortail flycatchers, woodpeckers, shrikes, stilts and more were seen by me. For some reason, tho I did take photos, what I saw after the migratory mass of turkey vultures...they didn't impress me much today. Not that I didn't enjoy it...on the contrary....but, I was still on cloud 9 from what I had witnessed earlier. I needed to get home anyway, so after taking a few photos, I left.
Cardinal, House Sparrows, Scissortail Flycatcher, Wigeons, Avocets, Shrike, Egret and Heron.