Sunday, August 26, 2007

Phalarope Soup at Sal del Rey, 8/26/07

Walked into Sal del Rey unit of Lower Rio Grande NWR from Brushline Rd. The grass has been cut on the track along the field but not on the last bit of trail to the lake. First thing I saw on the shore and in the water was lots of Wilson's Phalaropes. I scoped from east to west, counting how many phalaropes were in a scope field and the started adding scopefields, periodically recounting in the scope field, and kept scaning and adding. I estimated 7000 Wilson's Phalaropes. It was a huge swirling bowl of phalarope soup!

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Rain on the horizon,

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I found shelter under an old covered deer feeder and got pics of these guys while I waited out the rain.

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Found my FOS Yellow Warbler as I headed back to the car.

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Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 22
Wild Turkey 3
Northern Bobwhite 5
Little Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 3
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Snowy Plover 1
Killdeer 1
Black-necked Stilt 5
Greater Yellowlegs 2
Sanderling 1
Western Sandpiper 6
Least Sandpiper 25
Wilson's Phalarope 7000
Laughing Gull 250
Forster's Tern 1
Mourning Dove 20
Common Ground-Dove 12
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 4
Eastern Screech-Owl 1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker 3
Brown-crested Flycatcher 2
Great Kiskadee 2
Couch's Kingbird 7
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 20
Green Jay 2
Black-crested Titmouse 3
Verdin 3
Cactus Wren 3
Bewick's Wren 6
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Northern Mockingbird 2
Curve-billed Thrasher 4
Yellow Warbler 2
Yellow-breasted Chat 2
Olive Sparrow 4
Cassin's Sparrow 1
Northern Cardinal 2
Pyrrhuloxia 1
Dickcissel 3

Last weekend I was doing Northern Pygmy Owl toots in Pine Canyon to attract passerines and I called in a Northern Pygmy owl. Today, after leaving Sal del Rey, I was checking out the flooded mesquite along Brushline Road .45 miles north of Hwy 186 in Hidalgo Co. I whistled some Ferruginous PymyOwl calls to see what passerines may be about and guess what flew in. Yup, I got a Ferruginous Pygmy Owl. I had one a few years ago a couple of miles NE of the Rio Beef Yards so it wasn't a major surprise. But two Glaucidium species in nine days in Texas is pretty cool.

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Yesterday I checked out Frontera Audubon Thicket in Weslaco. This Louisiana Waterthrush greeted me at the water feature behind the visitor's center.

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Not too many birds but two Banded Peacocks were the first I have ever seen north of Mexico.

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Gulf Fritilary

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1 comment:

Veery said...

Wow, that must have been so amazing, seeing all of those Phalaropes in one place! I love that picture of the Ferruginous Pymy Owl, beautiful species.