Monday, January 30, 2017

Nashviles, Harris's, White-Eyed Vireos at Santa Ana

     Lovely morning for a walk at Santa Ana. Our goal was to find the Warbler flock  which the Parulas were hanging with.  But that was not to be but we saw a few.  After searching the parking lot trees we came upon four Harris's Hawks on Willow Trail.  The Warblers  were  few along the trail mostly Orange-crowned and Nashvilles and a White-eyed Vireo.   At Willow Lake  Pintails were square dancing or in a  pre-mating ritual.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Warbler Day at Santa Anna

Our road trip was canceled due to cold and rain but Laura and I were ready for the weather so we met at Santa Anna for the bird walk with Mark and Joanie.  Another couple from Michigan joined us.  Reuben refound the Tropical Parula in the parking before we began the walk.  It was an indicator of warblers to come.

 The cloud cover made it hard to photo but the birds did not mind the wet conditions.  We stuck to the Willow Lake trails following a group of warblers.  The day reminds me of the cold and rainy Warbler Day at Frontera last year with Paul. Today's walk brought Common Yellowthroats, Black and White Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Pine Warbler, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Other birds included Lesser Goldfinch, White-eyed Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Olive Sparrow, Carolina Wren, Bewick Wren, House Wren, and a Northern Beardless Tyrannulent.  The usually birds, hawks, ducks, and woodpeckers were present also. 

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Widgeons and a Coot

  Shoveler Bookends

Nutria an introduced mammal 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Smaller Gems at South Padre Birding Center

 The Solitary Sandpiper greets visitors to the Center.  It is the most consistent bird there because it is always hunting small crustaceans in the bank adjacent to the boardwalk.
  Usually these Sandpipers are at the shore of ponds where they can't be seen so close up.

Soras and Marsh Wrens are heard but seldom seen in ponds throughout North America. 

Common Gallinules breed in Minnesota and are often confused with the American Coot.

A Cool Quiet AM in Estero

Arriving at Estero at 7:20 with hope of seeing the Rose-throated Becard was dashed almost immediately.  No birds were out meaning the hawks were looking for their breakfast.  Even putting out seeds and citrus did not entice the birds. The Becard doesn't show up at the feeders but he doesn't show with a hawks around.  Interesting conversations with birders, the morning sun and a few good birds made the morning a success.   

Mockingbird in Sun

Snowy Egret

Tricolor Heron

                                                                                      Golden Fronted Woodpecker 

                         Vermilion Flycatcher 

Small Day Birding at McAllen Nature Center

Yesterday we didn't arrive at McAllen Nature Center until 10 AM. Obviously all the good birds were already used up. The Audubon Oriole came near but it did not come out in the open when we were there. The Hooded Oriole was no where in sight. Walking the perimeter added a Belted Kingfisher but not the Cactus Wren. The early birder gets the early birds, next time.

Long-bill Thrasher above and Curved-bill Thrasher below

Mockingbird and Kingfisher below

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Great Blue with a Fish at South Padre

        A Great Blue Heron, a Showy Egret and a Tri-colored Egret were all  in sight. The commotion started just a few yards from us.  Wings flapping and then there was a large   fish in the Great Blue's mouth.  The Snowy Egret hardly moved from his hunting spot     while the Great Blue maneuvered to swallow his prey.  The hunt, killing and the swallowing lasted 10 minutes. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Cinnamon and Green-wing Teal at Estero Llando

The Cinnamon Teal was beautiful and ever, as was the Green-wing Teal.  The alligator in the small pond was a surprise for us but the ducks were very aware of it.