Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Red-headed Woodpecker at SPI, 4/15/14

A very strong cold front blew in last night and South Padre island was crawling with birders looking for a big fallout.  Honey and I were out there too and though the birders outnumbered the birds, it was still a great day.  Best bird goes to Brad McKinney's beautiful Red-headed Woodpecker in the Australian Pines at the Sheepshead lot.  He and I chased it down and got some fair photos on the next street to the north.  It was my 375th Cameron County bird.



Second best bird was the Townsend's Warbler that has been present the past few days at the Convention Center.  We get get one on the Island about every year but this was my best photo by far.


Another good bird was this very early Canada Warbler.  Canadas are one of the later migrant warblers and I have seen them well into June in the Valley.


My first Chestnut-sided Warbler for the year was extremely cooperative.


Black-throated Green Warbler can also be very photogenic.  There were quite a few on the Island today.


Everyone was excited about the Blue-winged Warblers.


I heard my FOS Acadian Flycatcher well before I saw it.  The loud "speet" call made in migration is very similar to the call of the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.  The field guides do not describe this call well.



A huge flock of Franklin's Gulls were grounded behind the Convention Center.  I estimated 3000, but it may have been several times that.  This photo is about a quarter of the flock.


They would come in groups of a couple hundred for a drink in the marsh.  I like this shot. It reminds me of some of the wild plates in the Crossley guide.  It's a nice resource but Nat Geo or Sibley should be your main guide.


Plenty of Cattle Egrets were on the move in handsome breeding plumage.



So even though we missed the reported Cape May and Cerulean Warblers, we enjoyed another great spring migration day in the RGV.  Here's the list.

South Padre Island, Cameron, US-TX
Apr 15, 2014 11:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
5.0 mile(s)
Comments:     Sheepshead, Campeche, Atol, Oleander and Convention Center
51 species

Red-breasted Merganser  10
Great Egret  1
Snowy Egret  1
Cattle Egret  100
Osprey  1
Black-bellied Plover  1
Semipalmated Plover  8
Piping Plover  1
Willet  2
Dunlin  10
Pectoral Sandpiper  1
Short-billed Dowitcher  1
Laughing Gull  X
Franklin's Gull  3000
Ring-billed Gull  1
Royal Tern  X
Sandwich Tern  X
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove  10
Mourning Dove  2
Inca Dove  2
Red-headed Woodpecker  1
Acadian Flycatcher  1
Western Kingbird  3
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher  2
Warbling Vireo  3
Barn Swallow  X
Northern Mockingbird  1
Northern Waterthrush  2
Blue-winged Warbler  3
Black-and-white Warbler  2
Tennessee Warbler  4
Common Yellowthroat  12
Hooded Warbler  2
Northern Parula  8
Yellow Warbler  2
Chestnut-sided Warbler  1
Townsend's Warbler  1
Black-throated Green Warbler  10
Canada Warbler  1
Lincoln's Sparrow  2
Summer Tanager  1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  2
Blue Grosbeak  1
Indigo Bunting  2
Painted Bunting  1
Red-winged Blackbird  X
Great-tailed Grackle  X
Orchard Oriole  15
Baltimore Oriole  8
House Sparrow  X








Thursday, April 10, 2014

More on the SPI Oriole of 4/7/14

Well, not so fast kids.  Sharp-eyed Mary Gustafson noted this oriole has some chesnut flecks on it.  And the greated coverts are quite worn so there may have been pale feather edgings at one time.  So why isn't it an Orchard Oriole?  I mean the thing even has a chestnut-colored ....uhm......personal area.