Northern Waterthrush at Deep Springs

Observers: Chris Howard
Date: 08/22/2008
Time: 06:32 PM -0400

This morning (22 Aug), fall migration was underway at Deep Springs College. Most interesting was a Northern Waterthrush in the cottonwood between the two ponds. I first heard it calling excitedly (harsh chinks), then I saw why: it was harassing a Great-horned Owl. Since it is an early date for a Northern Waterthrush, and Louisiana Waterthrush is a possibility in August (casual in Inyo, 2 records), I was careful to note several characteristics: It had many streaks below that extended up into the throat (unlike Louisiana). The bill was fairly small, not the dagger-like appearance of Louisiana. The off-white supercilium did not flare behind the eye, unlike Louisiana. 

Other warblers included 20 Yellows, 1 Orange-crowned, 1 MacGillivray's, and 8 Common Yellowthroats. Other notable migrants were 6 Willow Flycatchers, 1 Gray Flycatcher, 2 Western Wood-peewees, 10 Lazuli Buntings, dozens of swallows, mostly Violet-green and Northern Rough-winged. Birds that I'm not certain are migrating or local breeders are 1 Red-shouldered Hawk (immature) and 4 American Crows. it seems the most abundant bird were all the immature Black-throated Sparrows, perhaps 50!

Brewer's Sparrow
Cooper's Hawk immature
Northern Rough-winged Swallows