Sunday, January 4, 2015

Blue Bunting at Santa Ana NWR, 1/4/15

When I got up and took Honey to work this morning, the sky was clear so I was planning to run back up to Sal del Rey to get some better photos of the probable Semipalmated Sandpiper.  But clouds quickly blew in before I could leave so instead I decided to make the short drive over to Santa Ana NWR.  The sunshine and warmer weather predicted by our weather prognosticators failed to appear (once again!) and it turned out to be another cool, cloudy, windy morning.  I walked the loop around Willow Lake, picking up the Fulvous Whistling-Duck but not a lot else.  It was really slow.  By the time I got back to the tour road, I decided I had enough of the muddy trails and would walk the tour road south.  It does pass through some of the best native vegetation the refuge had to offer.  I was thinking about the amazing winter we had ten years ago and how cool it would be to find another Elegant Trogon.  Well, that might have been a bit unrealistic, but I kept pishing as I walked along and after a while I heard a repeated "tink" call.  What's that?  Then I pished a bit more and this beautiful female Blue Bunting popped up right front of me and posed for photos.

Gee, I should have recognized that call and was very fortunate the bird was curious.  On the way out I also found a couple of Gray Hawks, a youngster and an adult.

Here's today's list.

Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, Hidalgo, US-TX
Jan 4, 2015 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Protocol: Traveling
2.5 mile(s)
49 species

Fulvous Whistling-Duck  1
Greater White-fronted Goose  250
Gadwall  4
Mottled Duck  3
Blue-winged Teal  6
Northern Shoveler  40
Northern Pintail  6
Green-winged Teal  40
Ruddy Duck  2
Plain Chachalaca  3
Least Grebe  1
Pied-billed Grebe  2
Great Egret  1
Turkey Vulture  1
Harris's Hawk  1
Red-shouldered Hawk  1
Gray Hawk  3
Sora  1
American Coot  20
Black-necked Stilt  17
Inca Dove  4
White-tipped Dove  3
Mourning Dove  5
Belted Kingfisher  2
Green Kingfisher  3
Golden-fronted Woodpecker  3
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  5
Eastern Phoebe  3
Great Kiskadee  20
Green Jay  3
Cave Swallow  2
Black-crested Titmouse  3
House Wren  2
Carolina Wren  1
Bewick's Wren  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  8
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  6
Northern Mockingbird  3
European Starling  1
American Pipit  1
Orange-crowned Warbler  6
Common Yellowthroat  10
Lincoln's Sparrow  2
Swamp Sparrow  1
Northern Cardinal  2
Blue Bunting  1
Red-winged Blackbird  50
Altamira Oriole  3
House Sparrow  5

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