The grasslands were loaded with sparrows. Grasshopper, Cassin's, Vesper, Clay-colored, Brewer's, Chipping, Black-throated and White-crowned lined the roadsides.
I guess Green-tailed Towhee counts as a sparrow also.
Sparrows weren't the only vertebrates enjoying the grasslands.
I've seen about all parts of Texas and I feel without a doubt the Ranch Road 2810 and Pinto Canyon Road as it is called after it turns to dirt has the most beautiful scenery in the state.
Ranch Road 2810 ascends through the grasslands to a crest where the pavement stops and Pinto Canyon Road descends to the south through rugged desert country. At the crest I picked up Rufous-crowned Sparrow.
A pair of Ash-throated Flycatchers may have been migrants or may have just arrive on their breeding grounds.
The afternoon was spent looking at butterflies and driving the Camino del Rio to Big Bend National Park. The butterflies will be reported on my other bog. It was almost dark when I made it to the Basin campground which was infested with campers. So I decided to drive on over to the primitive campsites along the road to Pine Canyon. Under a million stars, the only sounds were the wind and an occasional Common Poorwill. Here's a shot of my camp site.
The next morning I broke camp and dove on up to the Pine Canyon Trail head. Plenty of birds were in song along the way. Here's a Scaled Quail.
Flowers were putting on a spectacular display all over west Texas.
Hiking up the trail I heard the flutey sounds of a Scott's Oriole, probably a new spring arrival.
Up in the more wooded part of the canyon, I imitated the Mountain Pygmy Owl whistle to call in birds. It worked really well. This Red-breasted Nuthatch may have been the same one I saw up here last fall.
A few Black-crested Titmice, Hutton's Vireo's, Bewick's and Canyon Wrens were attracted but not the hoped for migrant western warblers. I guess I was a little early in the season. However the Blue-throated Hummingbird was on territory and did not like my owl calls.
Then one more bird joined the angry flock, a nice Hammond's Flycatcher. Seems a little early for one.
So it was a pretty good day in the canyon for birds. It was even better for butterflies.which you can see by clicking here (after I make the blog post). As I said it was a short trip and it was time to head for home. Here's a couple of eBird lists.
Presidio Co.- RR2810, Presidio, US-TX
Apr 6, 2015 9:05 AM - 11:57 AM Protocol: Traveling31.5 mile(s) Comments: From Marfa to end of pavement. 31species Mallard (Mexican) 1 Scaled Quail 3 Turkey Vulture 4 Northern Harrier 1 Swainson's Hawk 1 Red-tailed Hawk 1 Mourning Dove 25 American Kestrel 2 Say's Phoebe 1 Ash-throated Flycatcher 1 Loggerhead Shrike 1 Common Raven 1 Verdin 1 Bewick's Wren 1 Curve-billed Thrasher 1 Northern Mockingbird 5 Green-tailed Towhee 6 Canyon Towhee 7 Cassin's Sparrow 30 Chipping Sparrow 30 Clay-colored Sparrow 30 Brewer's Sparrow 30 Vesper Sparrow 60 Black-throated Sparrow 6 Lark Bunting 20 Savannah Sparrow 14 Grasshopper Sparrow 7 Baird's Sparrow 2 White-crowned Sparrow 8 Western Meadowlark 4 Eastern Meadowlark 3
Big Bend NP--Pine Canyon (FWTX 43), Brewster, US-TX Apr 7, 2015 6:00 AM - 2:40PM Protocol: Traveling3.0 mile(s) Comments: from campsite 3 to pouroff. 31 species Scaled Quail 9 Turkey Vulture 2 Band-tailed Pigeon 1 Common Poorwill 1 Blue-throated Hummingbird 1 Acorn Woodpecker 2 Red-naped Sapsucker 1 Hammond's Flycatcher 1 Ash-throated Flycatcher 2 Cassin's Vireo 1 Hutton's Vireo 5 Mexican Jay 6 Common Raven 1 Black-crested Titmouse 4 Verdin 1 Canyon Wren 3 Bewick's Wren 4 Cactus Wren 5 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 Hermit Thrush 2 Northern Mockingbird 1 Orange-crowned Warbler 1 Green-tailed Towhee 1 Spotted Towhee 5 Rufous-crowned Sparrow 5 Canyon Towhee 6 Cassin's Sparrow 2 Black-throated Sparrow 6 Lark Bunting 12 Scott's Oriole 1 House Finch 1