Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sugar House Pond, 8/25/14

I checked out the Sugar House Pond this morning hoping to find some good Hidalgo County stuff.  The pond is a 40 acre impoundment for the effluent from the sugar refinery located on FM 1425 north of FM 107, and is just north of the railroad tracts.  It is located on the left but is not visible from the highway.  You have to climb the grassy berm and then this lies before you.

I estimated 4000 Wilson's Phalaropes but there may have been twice that many.

Nothing too exciting among the fifteen species of shorebirds present.  With the recent Collared Plover, I've been a bit plover-sensitive lately.  I tried to turn a distant one into a Lesser Sand-Plover but the closer it got, the more it looked a like a Wilson's Plover.  This is the first I've seen at this site.

Sugar House Pond (FM1425), Hidalgo, US-TX
Aug 25, 2014 8:10 AM - 10:30 AM
Protocol: Stationary
38 species

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  200
Fulvous Whistling-Duck  20
Mottled Duck  1
Blue-winged Teal  50
Northern Pintail  1
Ruddy Duck  6
Great Blue Heron  4
Great Egret  1
Snowy Egret  2
Little Blue Heron  2
Cattle Egret  2
White Ibis  12
Roseate Spoonbill  4
American Coot  4
Black-necked Stilt  490
American Avocet  140
Snowy Plover  2
Wilson's Plover  1
Semipalmated Plover  2
Killdeer  6
Willet  5
Lesser Yellowlegs  80
Stilt Sandpiper  500
Baird's Sandpiper  5
Least Sandpiper  800
Buff-breasted Sandpiper  1
Semipalmated Sandpiper  5
Western Sandpiper  80
Long-billed Dowitcher  160
Wilson's Phalarope  4000
Laughing Gull  1
Black Tern  20
Mourning Dove  6
Bank Swallow  2
Barn Swallow  6
Cave Swallow  4
Dickcissel  2
Great-tailed Grackle  X

Santa Ana NWR, 8/26/14

A warm walk around the Pintail Lakes area of Santa Ana NWR turned up quite a few birds.  After being hard to had most of the year, 82 Least Grebes on the far southeast lake was an exceptionally high total.  The rest of the Pintail Lakes were dry.

Warblers are on their way south.  I think both of these are Mourning Warblers.

I saw four Black-and-whites.

Lots of flycatchers around though not many insects on the wing.  I didn't see a single mosquito.  Here's an Olive-sided Flycatcher.  I didn't get any good empid photos.

Groove-billed Anis have had a good year.  I counted thirty of them.

A lone Green Kingfisher was on Willow 1.

I think my best sighting of the day is this dragonfly which may prove to be a rare Caribbean Dasher.  (Woops, it's just a common Spot-tailed.  I didn't even consider that species.)

Here's the list.

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Hidalgo, US-TX
Aug 26, 2014 8:10 AM - 11:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.0 mile(s)
61 species (+1 other taxa)

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  110
Ruddy Duck  1
Plain Chachalaca  6
Least Grebe  82
Pied-billed Grebe  10
Little Blue Heron  1
Green Heron  2
Turkey Vulture  2
Common Gallinule  2
American Coot  2
Inca Dove  2
Common Ground-Dove  4
White-tipped Dove  3
White-winged Dove  300
Mourning Dove  20
Groove-billed Ani  30
Eastern Screech-Owl  1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Buff-bellied Hummingbird  1
Green Kingfisher  1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker  7
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  7
Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet  1
Olive-sided Flycatcher  2
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher  1
Alder Flycatcher  2
Alder/Willow Flycatcher (Traill's Flycatcher)  10
Least Flycatcher  1
Great Crested Flycatcher  1
Brown-crested Flycatcher  2
Great Kiskadee  5
Tropical Kingbird  1
Couch's Kingbird  6
Eastern Kingbird  1
White-eyed Vireo  6
Green Jay  1
Barn Swallow  12
Cave Swallow  25
Black-crested Titmouse  10
Verdin  3
Carolina Wren  8
Bewick's Wren  2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  11
Long-billed Thrasher  1
Northern Mockingbird  6
Black-and-white Warbler  4
Mourning Warbler  4
Common Yellowthroat  2
Yellow Warbler  4
Canada Warbler  1
Yellow-breasted Chat  3
Olive Sparrow  6
Northern Cardinal  6
Painted Bunting  1
Dickcissel  3
Red-winged Blackbird  300
Orchard Oriole  3
Hooded Oriole  1
Altamira Oriole  2
Baltimore Oriole  4
Lesser Goldfinch  6
House Sparrow  6