Friday, June 15, 2018

Mexican Violetear at Quinta Mazatlan, 6/12/18

On June 7 Noah Arthur, who is interning at Quinta Mazatlan, found a Mexican Violetear in the park.  This Mexican species of hummingbird is found somewhere in Texas most years and there is now over 80 records for the state.  I ticked mine off up in Bastrop back in 1996.  But I have not seen on up here since and have seen only a few in Mexico.  So I ran out that same day and failed to see the bird despite three hours of searching.  Then I had to travel up to Missouri for a funeral so I did not get another chance till Tuesday, the 12th.  Fortunately the Mexican Violetear was still present and in fact was seen again today on the 15th.  This seems really unusual considering the hummer is not using the hummingbird feeders at all.  It seems to enjoy feeding on the Turk's-cap and Duranta.




Mexican Violetear was my 394th species for Hidalgo County, putting me in a first place tie with Mary Gustafson.  She had already seen one.  Mary's got a couple that I should be able to find, Chihuahuan Raven and Common Poorwill while I have four really good blockers (as the Brits say) in Crane Hawk, Ruddy Quail-Dove, Social Flycatcher and Yellow-faced Grasquit. Mary has blocking Piratic Flycatcher and Aztec Thrush.  So I like my chances as we battle towards 400.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Black-whiskered Vireo at South Padre Island, 5/23/18

I was working in the yard yesterday, covered with dirt and sweat, when word came of a Black-whiskered Vireo at the Convention Center on South Padre Island.  This Caribbean species is common along the coast of south Florida during the summer and we occasionally get a lost bird in Texas, usually on the north east Gulf coast.  Had I not seen one previously on the Island, I would have gone running.  But I decided to put if off till this morning and luckily the bird was still there.  I almost got there too early and had a little trouble getting the bird in good light.





This Western Tanager was a nice bonus.


I ran out onto the flats north of the Convention Center and got lucky again with this Magnificent Frigatebird.


It's great living in the Valley!