Monday, May 5, 2014

South Padre Island, 5/4/14

My long time buddy and teaching colleague Mike Wertz was in the Valley this weekend and it was a great opportunity for us to do a little springtime warbler watching at South Padre Island.  Though not a particularly birdy day, we saw some nice stuff.  The MacGillivray's Warbler was still hanging out at Sheepshead for a slightly better pic than last time.

A female Bay-breasted Warbler was a county year bird for me.

As was this Yellow-headed Blackbird at the Convention Center.

A nice flock of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks was hanging around a seed block.

We had eleven species of warblers and a few other passerine migrants before we headed to the Brewery for lunch.  Afterwards we braved the Cinco de Mayo weekend crowd for a drive up the beach.  The sargassum from last week was still there along with lots of the same shorebirds.  Here's a Sanderling in alternate plumage.

Ruddy Turnstones still outnumbered all the other shorebirds.

Here's a sharply dressed Dunlin.

Some birders confuse Royal and Caspian Terns in breeding plumage.  Here you see the larger size of Caspian and the different bill structure and color.

Never accept a gift fish from a stranger!  A lesson learned every year by innocent Royal Terns.  No these are not the same two birds from above.

A dainty Least Tern.

The rough driving on the beach and hundreds of Cinco de Mayo revelers precluded us getting very far but it was still a great day.

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