Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sugar House Pond, 8/21/12

With the recent cold front (not very) I thought it might be a good idea to check out the Sugar House Pond. This shallow 40 acre pond receives effluent from the nearby sugar mill. With the long standing drought it's some of the only water around and it's on the eastern edge of Hidalgo County so it can attact birds normally seen on the coast. This morning's two hour visit proved very productive and quite a spectacle. Here's some of the 1018 Fulvous Whistling-Ducks.
I estimated 2000 Wilson's Phalaropes based on a count taken last week.
Some thing flushed many of the shorebirds but they came back to the same spot.
Good finds for the day include a Willet.
And my first Hidalgo County Black-bellied Plover for 2012 (#289). Here it is at about 300 yards.
Five Northern Pintails seemed early to me.
So about 5000 birds including 15 species of shorebirds and eight duck species made for quite a morning. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 40 Fulvous Whistling-Duck 1018 Mottled Duck 1 Blue-winged Teal 890 Northern Shoveler 10 Northern Pintail 5 Redhead 3 Ruddy Duck 8 Least Grebe 2 Pied-billed Grebe 1 Snowy Egret 1 Cattle Egret 12 Common Gallinule 1 American Coot 53 Black-bellied Plover 1 Snowy Plover 1 Killdeer 10 Black-necked Stilt 483 American Avocet 156 Willet 1 Lesser Yellowlegs 300 Upland Sandpiper 1 Long-billed Curlew 1 Semipalmated Sandpiper 10 Western Sandpiper 2 Least Sandpiper 250 Baird's Sandpiper 5 Stilt Sandpiper 1000 Long-billed Dowitcher 65 Wilson's Phalarope 2000 Black Tern 10 Horned Lark 2 Bank Swallow 1 Barn Swallow 2 Cave Swallow 5 Great-tailed Grackle X

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