Monday, July 27, 2015

Glossy Ibises on Brushline Road, 7/27/15

A few days ago Mary Gustafson reported a Glossy Ibis from the big pond on Brushline Road about a mile south of TX 186.  I ran over there this morning and was surprised to find a beautiful adult Glossy Ibis hanging around with about 20 White-faced Ibises.  It's my first time to see a full breeding plumaged Glossy. In the second photo the Glossy is on the left.

After I got home, I discovered two younger Glossy Ibises in my photos.  In fact these two were cropped from the same photo.

Also present was this strange dark ibis with a white neck patch.  Mary says that's a what a newly fledged Glossy Ibis should look like but she wasn't sure if a new White-faced Ibis might be the same.  Maybe Glossies are breeding nearby.

My original purpose for driving out to Brushline road was to tick a Purple Gallinule for the year on my Hidalgo County list.  And on the fourth try I finally got one albeit a poor view.

I started the morning at the playa in Hargill where I got the Reddish Egret on my county year list.

And also a couple of Black Skimmers were .....uhm.....skimming.  Tough to get both of these species away from the coast.

And then there was the continuing star at the top of the Hargill Playa marquee, our little lovable Collared Plover who put on a good show.

Here's the list from the Hargill Playa including thirteen species of shorebirds.

Hargill Playa, Hidalgo, Texas, US
Jul 27, 2015 7:40 AM - 9:10 AM
Protocol: Stationary
32 species

Fulvous Whistling-Duck  1
Northern Bobwhite 1
Neotropic Cormorant  25
Great Blue Heron  1
Great Egret  1
Snowy Egret 10
Reddish Egret  1
White-tailed Kite  1
Black-necked Stilt  20
American Avocet 8
Collared Plover  1
Snowy Plover  3
Wilson's Plover  2
Killdeer  6
Greater Yellowlegs  2
Yellowlegs  2
Stilt Sandpiper  10
Least Sandpiper  50
Semipalmated Sandpiper 2
Western Sandpiper  4
Long-billed Dowitcher  4
Laughing Gull  40
Least Tern5
Gull-billed Tern  48
Black Tern 5
Black Skimmer  2
Western Kingbird  1
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher  1
Lark  2
Dickcissel  2
Red-winged Blackbird  1
House Sparrow  1

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

La Feria Nature Park, 7/22/15

I've been reading lately on Facebook about people seeing King Rails at the La Feria Nature Park.  Actually people have been seeing them there for several years so I figured today might be a good time to give it a try. It took a while but I eventually found them.  Or I should say they eventually came out when they felt like it. At least everyone is calling them King Rails but you couldn't prove it by me.  They could have easily been Clapper Rails but I guess since they're in fresh water we call them King Rails.  Or maybe there's stuff I don't know.  Ya think?

Honey and I are planning a trip to China in September and after researching for a good pocket point-and-shoot I settled on the Sony Cyber-shot DCS-RX100.  It's a new three year old model that costs half as much as the current model.  The camera came yesterday so I gave it a try on the Swarovski scope and it worked really well.  Much better than that piece of junk bulbous Swarovski  DSLR scope adapter.

When I first got there my camera settings were screwed up from yesterday's digiscoping of the Collared Plover so this young King Rail didn't come out so good.

Here's a shot of a Green Heron from the Sony handheld on the scope.

Here's one of a young Loggerhead Shrike from the Sony and scope followed by one with the Canon 7D Mark II with the Canon 100-400 IS II.  Colors are a little different and depth of field is different but the digiscoped image came out well.

I would have had some more photos but the photographer failed his equipment.  Anyway I really like the La Feria Nature Park and will have to check it out from time to time.

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck40
Mottled Duck  5
Neotropic Cormorant  8
Great Egret  3
Snowy Egret 6
Green Heron  3
Roseate Spoonbill  6
King Rail  2
Black-necked Stilt  8
Killdeer  4
Lesser Yellowlegs  3
Sandpiper  23
Least Sandpiper  8
Semipalmated Sandpiper  2
Laughing Gull 3
White-winged Dove  3
Mourning Dove  3
Chimney Swift  1
Tropical Kingbird 1
Loggerhead Shrike  2
Purple Martin  1
Bank Swallow  2
Cave Swallow 1
Great-tailed Grackle  5