Thursday, December 11, 2014

South Padre Island, 12/10/14

I got some new tires on the 4X4 so I thought it would be a good time to head out to South Padre Island and make a run up the beach.  First stop was Sheepshead and despite some very birdy looking habitat after all the rain, all I managed to find was a Gray Catbird and a Hermit Thrush.  The Convention Center was not a whole lot more productive, but there was a nice winter plumaged female Rose-breasted Grosbeak feeding on the corky-stemmed passionflower fruit.

There were plenty of shorebirds on the mudflats including 25 Piping Plovers but nothing really interesting so I headed up to Access #6 and the beach.  Again there was nothing too great.  Only the normal three species of gulls and some terns, but not even a Sandwich or a Common.  So I made do with the multitudes of Sanderlings.  I counted 1342 of 'em during the 14.5 miles to the Willacy County line.

I did manage to scrape up a couple of Red Knots.

Here's a very stylish Laughing Gull.  I'm not sure what this genetic condition is called.

There were an unusually high number of Double-crested Cormorants on the beach.  I think they're late migrants.

So by the time I got twenty miles north, I decided I'd better head for home as the tide was rising.  I'll return in a few weeks and check the area again.

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