Sunday, October 11, 2015

Red-necked Phalaropes at Sal del Rey, 10/11/15

I drove up to Sal del Rey unit of the Lower Rio Grande NWR this morning.  A flock of Wild Turkeys greeted me as I drove up a muddy Brushline Road.

The walk in was pretty uneventful though I did see a Black-throated Green Warbler.  When I reached the viewing area I was surprised to see a Green-tailed Towhee perched on the wooden rail.  I had left my usual camera in the car as I was carrying the heavy Swarovski scope and the towhee quickly flew into a nearby bush.  Could I digiscope it?  Not a great shot but it's identifiable and my first Green-tailed Towhee at Sal del Rey.  Seems pretty early.

I scoped over the lake and took time to count the Eared Grebes, American Coots and Laughing Gulls. Eighty Western Sandpipers flew past.  There were a dozen Wilson's Phalaropes and a lot more on the far north shore.  Then I noticed four very distant phalaropes that were proportioned differently.  Their necks seemed thicker in proportion to their bodies and they seemed very white with a black bar through the eye....Red-necked Phalaropes!  I think this is the fourth time I've seen them at Sal del Rey.  A small flock even wintered once with the Wilson's Phalaropes

Two good days in a row!

Pied-billed Grebe  15
Eared Grebe  45
Turkey Vulture  1
Hawk  1
Harris's Hawk  1
American Coot  200
Black-necked Stilt  4
Avocet  8
Greater Yellowlegs  1
Long-billed Curlew  1
Least Sandpiper 10
Western Sandpiper  150
Wilson's Phalarope  100
Red-necked Phalarope  4    
Mourning Dove  5
Greater Roadrunner  1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker 2
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1
Eastern Phoebe  1
Couch's Kingbird  2
Green Jay  2
Barn Swallow  1
Black-crested Titmouse  2
Verdin  1
House Wren 3
Cactus Wren  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  2
Curve-billed Thrasher 1
Long-billed Thrasher  1
Northern Mockingbird  7
Black-throated Green
Warbler  1
Lincoln's Sparrow  3
Green-tailed Towhee  1
Northern Cardinal  2
Pyrrhuloxia  3
Indigo Bunting  1
Blackbird  7

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