Saturday, October 22, 2016

South Padre Island, 10/21/16

A cold front blew in last night and though it wasn't very cold, it had the wind howling out of the north.  So heading out to South Padre Island seemed like the logical (and fun) thing to do.  As I crossed over the causeway I assumed a tight flock of distant birds moving and bobbing with the wind would be Franklin's Gulls. Turned out I was right as I saw hundreds of them during the day.

My first destination was the Valley Land fund's Sheepshead lot.  Seemed really dead but a little judicious pishing pulled out a little flock of birds including this Chestnut-sided Warbler.  I see very few in winter plumage and wished I had gotten a better shot.

Other stuff included Orange-crowned, Magnolia and Nashville Warblers, American Redstart, Indigo Bunting and my first Lincoln's Sparrow and Yellow-rumped Warbler of the fall.

Moving up to the Convention Center I found the parking lot full of cars as some kind of a professional training session was going on but it didn't interfere with the birding.  People coming out of the building to smoke were annoying but what you gonna do?  I found it was easy to get shots but just hanging by the water feature.  Magnolia and Orange-crowned Warblers were first up.  Everyone was in a muted fall plumage.

And then a Yellow Warbler.

This Red-eyed Vireo scrutinized the water feature for quite a while but it may have searching for prey rather than thinking about a bath.

With the cold front I was hoping to find some rarity and my bird of the day finally popped in.  First it was just a glimpse and poor photos but eventually it came into the water feature.  My second Townsend's Warbler of the fall!  This one seems to be a young female.

Followed by my first Hermit Thrush of the fall.

And finally a late Yellow-billed Cuckoo.

Finished the day with twelve species of warblers and a few other later migrants.  Pretty good.

SPI Convention Center, Cameron, Texas, US
Oct 21, 2016 11:25 AM - 3:25 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
Comments: includes boardwalk and flats
43 species

American White Pelican 8
Brown Pelican 10
Reddish Egret 2
White Ibis 1
Black-bellied Plover 15
Semipalmated Plover 15
Piping Plover 25
Killdeer 6
Marbled Godwit 30
Ruddy Turnstone 1
Sanderling 50
Dunlin 3
Western Sandpiper 10
Short-billed Dowitcher 25
Willet (Western) 30
Laughing Gull 100
Franklin's Gull 800
Caspian Tern 5
Royal Tern 200
Sandwich Tern 2
Black Skimmer 20
Eurasian Collared-Dove 2
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Belted Kingfisher 1
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 2
Red-eyed Vireo 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 6
Hermit Thrush 1
Gray Catbird 2
Northern Mockingbird 1
Northern Waterthrush 1 in the mangroves
Orange-crowned Warbler 10 including eight in the mangroves
Nashville Warbler 2
Common Yellowthroat 1
Magnolia Warbler 2
Yellow Warbler (Northern) 1
Townsend's Warbler 1
Wilson's Warbler 1
Lincoln's Sparrow 2
Indigo Bunting 3
Great-tailed Grackle 5

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