Monday, June 20, 2016

Wild in Willacy!, 6/19/16

I got up yesterday, took Honey to work and had to decide where I was going to play today.  I need Clay-colored Thrush and Yellow-green Vireo for Willacy County and I had not been to Willamar in quite a while so I thought it was worth a trip.  It was.  I didn't find my targets as I wandered the maze of roads east of Willamar but a pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls was only the second time I've seen this species in the county.  As I passed an electric pole I noticed a group of birds on the wires so I stopped to check them out and got a surprise.

It flew down into a bush where it was joined by a second.  The second bit at the neck of the first.  I don't know if that was the act of a hungry youngster or an amorous partner.  Maybe the showers in the area had their hormones flowing.  Not sure when this species nests.

Earlier I found another interesting couple of birds.  A young yellow oriole landed on the wire.  I thought it seemed too yellow for an Altamira Oriole although I had heard one singing in the area.  It was joined by a yellow adult that I thought was going to be an Audubon's Oriole.  But upon closer inspection it turned out to be a hybrid Audubon's/Altamira Oriole and it whistled the Altamira Song.

Later in the day I found a third a few miles away.  Don't know what's going on here.  The only other hybrid I had seen of these two species was the famous Smudge and its offspring at Bentsen State Park.

Otherwise it was just the regular summer birds like this bedraggled Groove-billed Ani.

This time of years all the birds look a bit bedraggled like this young White-eyed Vireo and Brown-crested Flycatcher.

I found this Vermillion flycatcher in a wet area.  It proceeded to grab a caterpillar in rather unflycatcherlike fashion.  It was acting like a Vermillion Vireo!

Gee, I almost forgot about the two Botteri's Sparrows who were singing on Wildlife CR .

After a shower I found one last good bird.  Another Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl!

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 8
Mottled Duck 3
Northern Bobwhite 7
Great Egret 1
Little Blue Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 1
Harris's Hawk 5
Black-necked Stilt 2
Killdeer 2
Short-billed/Long-billed Dowitcher 1
Laughing Gull 4
Eurasian Collared-Dove 6
Common Ground-Dove 4
White-tipped Dove 1
Mourning Dove 20
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 6
Greater Roadrunner 1
Groove-billed Ani 6
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl 3
Common Nighthawk 5
Golden-fronted Woodpecker 4
Ladder-backed Woodpecker 2
Crested Caracara 2
Vermilion Flycatcher 1
Brown-crested Flycatcher 12
Great Kiskadee 3
Tropical Kingbird 1
Couch's Kingbird 8
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 6
Loggerhead Shrike 2
White-eyed Vireo 4
Green Jay 1
Black-crested Titmouse 6
Verdin 3
Bewick's Wren 3
Cactus Wren 2
Long-billed Thrasher 3
Northern Mockingbird 10
European Starling 5
Botteri's Sparrow 2
Olive Sparrow 4
Lark Sparrow 6
Northern Cardinal 2
Pyrrhuloxia 1
Blue Grosbeak 1
Dickcissel 1
Red-winged Blackbird 5
Eastern Meadowlark 10
Great-tailed Grackle 50
Bronzed Cowbird 15
Brown-headed Cowbird 5
Bullock's Oriole 2
Altamira Oriole 1
Altamira x Audubon's Oriole (hybrid) 3
House Sparrow 5

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