Sunday, February 28, 2016

Where Is the Crimson-collared Grosbeak?

It was another "sit in" at Frontera Audubon in Weslaco, Texas. Our target bird this morning was the Crimson-collared Grosbeak, but we  first went to see the Blue Bunting. Luckily both our three-legged stools were delivered, so we were ready.  After settling in and getting our cameras ready for the Blue Bunting a Black-throated Green Warbler came to the drip for a bath. The stools worked perfectly for the low water dish. I stopped a couple and asked them if they were looking for the Bunting and convinced them to stay and wait and even sit on my stool. Sure enough in a few moments the Blue Beauty came in view and to the drip.  Gunnar got his great shot and I had a beautiful look. 

Black-throated Green Warbler

           Next a  Ruby-crowned Kinglet came moving from the left like the Blue Bunting.
 Finally    . . .    Blue Bunting  (Gunnar's)

Next came the sit at the main feeder. We were lucky to be the only humans there.
The usual suspects came searching for food but not the Crimson. Another day. 
 Altimira Oriole


Clay-colored Thrush

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

 Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Long-billed Thrasher

Plain Chachalaca with a little red under his chin

Long-billed Thrashers and Ovenbirds

Thrashers and Ovenbirds are scavengers of the forest floor, so they are hard to see.  But today again the Long-billed Thrasher was out in the open. The Ovenbird was skiddish as usual and move away from us rather than closer. I am determined to get a great photo. I will return to Frontera until have a great photo. 

                 Long-billed and Curved-billed Thrashers live in mostly Texas and Mexico.
Brown Thrashers are in TX in migration and are range East of the Rockies to Florida.
Brown Thrashers are backyard birds for us in MiN.  All are twice the size of Ovenbirds.

Ovenbirds are small (7 inches) Woodland Warblers that migrate to Minnesota and North. There coloring are similiar to the Thrashers but have a stripey crown and a white eyering. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Frontera's Feeders On a Cloudy Afternoon 2/27

Most woodland birds are hard to see, either in the treetops, brush or on the ground. But feeders are easy pickings for these birds. The feeders attract both birds and birders. Usually the Long-billed Thrasher is thrashing in the undergrowth turning the litter over looking for food. So it seems secretive. This Thrasher came to the feeder at Frontera many times.  In the first photo the Long-billed pretended that we really were not watching for him posed with our cameras.  We were also trying to ignore the distracting photographers.

Nashville Warblers are usually seen high in the treetops.  
A few rusty brown feathers are starting to show on the crown of this male. 

Clay-colored Thrush

              Altamira Oriole - Immature

                         Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Black-headed Grosbeak with Northern Cardinal (both females)

Black-headed Grosbeak (very uncommon here)

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Pintail Lakes Walk at Santa Ana 2/27

It was a day without sun, a nice change of pace.  The Santa Ana bird walk was lead by Laura and Steve Paulson who are excellent birders.  She identifies birds by their sounds and Steve in an "eagle eye".  There were many experienced SRG birders and a few from as far away as Newfoundland and Northwest Territories but majority were from Wisconsin. Very exciting to see the Jacana so close to the walkway and to get a photo of it flying was my surprise later reviewing the photos. The lemon yellow under wings are quite a show. The most memorial moment was when the Kestrel flew over the pond and scattered all the Dowichers.  A Sora popped out of the reeds right in front of us but no Kingfishers today.

 Northern Jacana

 Long-billed Dowitchers and Blue-winged Teal
 Sora, seldom seen but often heard. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Birding at Edinburg and Frontera

        Birding most morning here in the Valley because afternoons belong to the butterflies. 

Tropical Parula - Frontera
Carolina Wren - Frontera

Black and White Warbler - Edinburgh

Inca Doves - Frontera

Blue-headed Vireo

Blue Bunting - Frontera
Painted Bunting female - Frontera
Black-headed Grosbeak female - Frontera 

Long-billed Thrasher - Edinburgh
Altimara immature - Frontera

Gray Catbird - Frontera

Long-billed Thrasher - Frontera
Curved-billed Thrasher - Edinburgh

Nashville Warbler - Frontera
Olive Sparrow - Frontera

Buff-belly Hummingbird