Monday, January 7, 2019

Estero Llano Grande State Park, 1/7/18

Decided to run over to Esterto today to fill in a few holes on my new year list.  Even though it's only about five miles away I don't get over there too often.  With the warm winter we have been enjoying, the place was crawling with wintering migrants including some uncommon ones.  Best was this Wood Thrush at the drip in the Tropical Zone.  Usually they are a few hundred miles farther south this time of year.

Also present at the drip was an Ovenbird and a Gray Catbird.  Both are uncommon but regular here during winter.

Summer Tanager is also an uncommon wintering bird.  This young male was grabbing honey bees at a hummingbird feeder at the new Indigo Blind.

My goal today was to see the Topical Parula but I had to settle for Northern Parula.

Two Pine Warblers were a nice surprise.

Nashville Warblers seem to be around in higher than usual numbers.

I had heard reports of a presumed hybrid Curve-billed X Long-billed Thrasher and I guess this is it.  It certainly shows traits of each species.

A few days ago I spent a couple of hours at the Roselawn Cemetery in McAllen in an attempt to get my annual Western Tanager for Hidalgo County.  I could not find one but was happy to get the Plumbeous Vireo that has been present since early November.

Don't know how serious I'm going to be with the county list this year but it's nice to take advantage of the beautiful weather and birds that are around now.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Golden-crowned Warbler at Frontera Audubon, 1/3/19

I had to run an errand today in Weslaco so I thought why not stop at Frontera Audubon and see the long-staying Golden-crowned Warbler.  I've seen at least seven of these once very rare Mexican Warblers but not this one that has been present since early November.  It took a while but eventually I had a very close encounter with the little beauty.  In fact it was feeding within three feet of me.  Wish my camera had performed a little better.  I've got about a half million exposures on it and it seems to be slowing down a little.

The Golden-crowned Warbler is Basileuterus culicivorus.  The genus Basileuterus has some pretty cool members in Mexico and farther south.  The other one that shows up in the US is the Rufous-capped Warbler which has become a local breeder in SE Arizona and shows up rarely on the edge of the Edwards Plateau in Texas.  Don't know why we don't get a few down here as they breed not too far away in Mexico.