Wednesday, April 22, 2015

South Padre Island, 4/21/15

Another visit to South Padre Island proved very productive yesterday.  Yes I missed both the Golden-winged and Cerulean Warblers but I saw 19 other warbler species along with tanagers, buntings and orioles so it was a very nice day.  I've been trying to decide what I think about my new Canon 100-400 mm IS II lens and it got me some very good photos this time despite cloudy weather.  This Indigo Bunting came out really good.  There had to be well over fifty of them.

Painted Buntings are hard to get close to during the summer but they can be photogenic out on the Island during migration.

My cameras always seem to struggle with exposure on black birds and red birds.  It really had a hard time with this Scarlet Tanager.  This is as close as I could get to the color but it still doesn't seem right to me.

This male Summer Tanager is trying his best to redden up.

And then there were the warblers.  This was my first Magnolia Warbler for the year.

And my first Chestnut sided.

And my first Bay-breasted.  I just could not get a good photo of this bird.  Either it was backlit and underexposed or good lighting but not sharp or properly exposed and sharp but with a poor pose.

Blackpoll Warblers seem early this year.  

Got this decent Worm-eating Warbler shot through a little hole in the vegetation.

Best bird of the day for me was this stunning White-throated Sparrow.  We get very few of them down here and it's unusual to see one in breeding plumage.

We still have a couple more weeks of busy migration before things slow down.  I guess I'd better get outside and see what's going on.  Here's my list.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  2
Mottled Duck  2
Sora  1
Willet  2
Laughing Gull  X
Royal Tern  4
Sandwich Tern  6
Eurasian Collared-Dove  20
Inca Dove 2
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  6
Buff-bellied Hummingbird  1
Acadian Flycatcher 1
Myiarchus sp.  1
Western Kingbird  1
White-eyed Vireo  2
Warbling Vireo  1
Barn Swallow  X
Veery  1
Swainson's Thrush  2
Wood Thrush  1
Gray Catbird 6
Ovenbird  2
Worm-eating Warbler  2
Northern Waterthrush  3
Warbler  1
Black-and-white Warbler  6
Swainson's Warbler  1
Tennessee Warbler 25
Nashville Warbler  1
Kentucky Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  5
Hooded Warbler  5
American Redstart  2
Northern Parula  5
Magnolia Warbler 2
Bay-breasted Warbler  2
Yellow Warbler  3
Warbler  1
Blackpoll Warbler  3
Black-throated Green Warbler  4
Clay-colored Sparrow  1
Lincoln's Sparrow  3
White-throated Sparrow  1
Summer Tanager  4
Scarlet Tanager  1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  6
Blue Grosbeak  3
Indigo Bunting  50
Painted Bunting  6
Dickcissel  2
Blackbird  X
Great-tailed Grackle  X
Orchard Oriole  20
Baltimore Oriole 25
House Sparrow  X


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

South Padre Island, 4/13/15

With more unsettled weather around south Texas and Honey having a day off, we ran out to South Padre Island once again.  It was an average but interesting day.  An Acadian Flycatcher played around the Sheepshead lot all day long.  These are common around the eastern US during the summer but we only see a few each year during spring migration.

During the afternoon a Swainson's Thrush showed well but I only got a brief glimpse of the Wood Thrush.

Yellow-breasted Chats were visible chasing each other around.

Still at Sheepshead, I found two nightjars that got the visiting birders excited.  The first was an easily identifiable Chuck-will's-widow.

The second was gray like most Eastern Whip-poor-wills are but seemed to be the size of a Chuck.

No doubt about this guy's ID.

At the Convention Center things seemed to about the same as a couple of days ago.  The two Prothonotaries popped in now and then.  This Black-throated Green Warbler seemed unusually dark to me.

Both Great Crested Flycatcher and Brown-crested Flycatcher were seen.

Here's the day's list.

South Padre Island, Cameron, US-TX
Apr 13, 2015 11:20 AM - 5:40 PM
Protocol:  Traveling 5.0 mile(s)
Comments:     from entrance to SPI to Convention Center
58 species

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  2
Great Blue Heron 1
Snowy Egret  1
Black-bellied Plover  4
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Willet 5
Whimbrel  2
Marbled Godwit  3
Ruddy Turnstone  1
Stilt Sandpiper 2
Sanderling  5
Dunlin  3
Short-billed Dowitcher  13
Laughing Gull X
Herring Gull  1
Royal Tern  X
Black Skimmer  X
Eurasian Collared-Dove 10
Inca Dove  2
White-winged Dove  2
Mourning Dove  2
Common Nighthawk 1
Chuck-will's-widow  2
Buff-bellied Hummingbird  1
Acadian Flycatcher 1
Great Crested Flycatcher  6
Brown-crested Flycatcher  2
Great Kiskadee 1
White-eyed Vireo  2
Blue-headed Vireo  2
Warbling Vireo  1
Barn Swallow 3
Cave Swallow  8
Swainson's Thrush  1
Wood Thrush  1
Northern Mockingbird 2
Northern Waterthrush  2
Black-and-white Warbler  2
Prothonotary Warbler 2
Nashville Warbler  2
Kentucky Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  2
Warbler  3
Northern Parula  3
Black-throated Green Warbler  2
Chat  8
Savannah Sparrow  2
Lincoln's Sparrow  3
Summer Tanager 2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  1
Indigo Bunting  6
Painted Bunting  1
Blackbird  5
Great-tailed Grackle  X
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
Orchard Oriole 5
Baltimore Oriole  2
House Sparrow  X