Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sal del Rey, 2/2/11

Yesterday I checked out the Sal del Rey unit of the Lower Rio Grande Valley NWR as I had not been there for a few weeks. Birding was a little slow but 46 Snowy Plovers helped make up for it.

Here's a darker winter plumaged bird.

Most of these birds will soon leave to breed in saline playas across the Great Plains. A few will stay here for the summer. Does it look like they're standing around in the snow and ice? No, this is salt precipitate from hypersaline Sal del Rey (the King's salt).

My first Hidalgo County Western Sandpiper for the year.

There were lots of Least Sandpipers around. No confusing them with the Western.

This Greater Yellowlegs was making plenty of noise at the freshwater cienega.

Odes are starting to makes themselves known now that the weather is warming up. Here's Rambur's Forktail

I think this is a newly emerged Variegated Meadowhak.

On the way home I stopped at the CR 2500 pond on FM 88. The recent very cold weather killed many of these exotic plecostomus catfish native to South America.

Here's my Sal del Rey list for yesterday.

Northern Bobwhite 10
Eared Grebe 1
Black Vulture 1
Turkey Vulture 3
Crested Caracara 1
American Kestrel 1
Sandhill Crane 2
Snowy Plover 46
Killdeer 2
Greater Yellowlegs 1
Western Sandpiper 1
Least Sandpiper 90
Wilson's Snipe 2
Mourning Dove 50
Common Ground-Dove 3
Greater Roadrunner 1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker 1
Ladder-backed Woodpecker 2
Eastern Phoebe 2
Great Kiskadee 3
White-eyed Vireo 2
Green Jay 1
Black-crested Titmouse 1
Verdin 3
Cactus Wren 2
Bewick's Wren 2
House Wren 1
Marsh Wren 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Northern Mockingbird 2
Long-billed Thrasher 1
American Pipit 1
Orange-crowned Warbler 5
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 2
Common Yellowthroat 1
Savannah Sparrow 5
Lincoln's Sparrow 2
White-crowned Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 2
Pyrrhuloxia 1

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