Monday, January 25, 2010

Amazon Kingfisher at Zacate Creek, Laredo

Last night I checked Texbirds before I went to bed and was shocked to see a late post by Alan Wormington, famous Canadian birder from Ontario. Seems he and Robert Epstein had just found an Amazon Kingfisher at Zacate Creek where it runs into the Rio Grande in Laredo. Wow! This is another first time ABA record of a Mexican vagrant, like the Bare-throated Tiger-Heron at Bentsen of a few weeks ago. So despite a poor nights sleep, I got up super early and took off for Laredo. After some waiting, The Amazon Kingfisher zoomed in at about 9 AM. Unfortunately, the sun was right behind it and did not allow for any good pics. A little over five hours later, six of us, waiting for another look at the bird, heard the loud roar of the Border Patrol fan boats. They looped around a few times, reving their powerful engines and spraying water,terrorizing all the birds and probably a few illegal aliens. This was just what we needed. The Amazon Kingfisher came shooting out of a side channel allowing for some pics. They're not great but you can see it's a pretty cool bird.

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The large bill, lack of white spots on the folded wings and Belted Kingfisher size rules out the similarly-colored tiny Green Kingfisher. We actually had four species of kingfishers, Amazon, Ringed, Green and Belted.

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Here's our taxpayers' dollars at work terrorizing wildlife and illegals. But they're nice guys for the most part.

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