Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park, 2/9/16

An Audubon's Oriole was found a few days ago at Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park. Though easy to see up at Salineno in Starr County and uncommon in the brush country north of the RGV, they are rare in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties.  It took a bit of waiting but the young Audubon's finally showed up at feeding station #10 in the Acacia Loop.  It was only the second one I have seen in Hidalgo County.



A White-throated Thrush has been reported from this feeding station also and at other locations in the park. All I could see was a friendly Clay-colored thrush.


Walking in from the parking lot I saw another uncommon in winter oriole, a male Hooded.  There's been a pair hanging around the visitor's center at Bentsen.


The Altimira Orioles were easy to see as usual.  The feeding stations at Bentsen is probably the best place to find one in the RGV.


By the parking lot a small flock of Lark Sparrows fed on the seemingly unpalatable grass burrs.


This Pyrrhuloxia looks a little out of place at a feeder with the more expected American Goldfinches.  This is a good winter for Pyrrhuloxias all across the Valley.


Normally Broad-winged Hawk is rare in the Valley but there seems to be one at most birding locations this winter.  This one was surveying the feeding station by the park entrance. 


Every feeding stations seemed to have a Lincoln's Sparrow or two sculking around the edges.


Here's the list for the morning.

Plain Chachalaca 20
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Black Vulture 18
Turkey Vulture 5
Cooper's Hawk 2
White-tailed Hawk 1
Gray Hawk 2
Red-shouldered Hawk 1
Broad-winged Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Coot 2
Killdeer 5
Caspian Tern 1
Inca Dove 4
White-tipped Dove 4
Mourning Dove 15
Ringed Kingfisher 1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker 4
Crested Caracara 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Vermilion Flycatcher 1
Great Kiskadee 30
White-eyed Vireo 1
Green Jay 25
Tree Swallow 5
Black-crested Titmouse 2
Verdin 2
House Wren 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Eastern Bluebird 2
Clay-colored Thrush 2
Long-billed Thrasher 2
Northern Mockingbird 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 6
Chipping Sparrow 8
Lark Sparrow 4
Lincoln's Sparrow 5
Northern Cardinal 15
Pyrrhuloxia 1
Red-winged Blackbird 20
Western Meadowlark 1
Great-tailed Grackle 17
Hooded Oriole 1
Altamira Oriole 6
Audubon's Oriole 1
American Goldfinch 15







Sunday, February 7, 2016

A couple of good RGV birds, 2/7/15

The good birds just keep a coming in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas.  We've been hosting a Crimson-collared Grosbeak at the Frontera Audubon thicket in Weslaco while Santa Ana NWR has had a Northern Jacana.  Now add to that a White-throated Thrush at Estero Llano Grande State Park.  Last year they also had one, but that one was really difficult to photograph.  This one, the seventh I've seen in the Valley, is pretty friendly as it feeds on brush holly berries.





Meanwhile Frontera has attracted a sharp male Blue Bunting.  It is proving hard to see and even tougher to photograph.



So what's up next?  I have a feeling we're not done yet.  I guess I'd better get out and start beating the bushes.