Honey and I started birding this morning along "Sparrow Road", more properly known as Hwy 2221. This road starts on the west side of La Joya and goes north though desert scrub and agricultural fields. We didn't find anything fantastic but I did get my first Hidalgo Co. Say's Phoebe for the year. Sparrows were way down with only a few Black-throated, Cassin's, Vesper and Savannah Sparrows. Here's a Cassin's Sparrow.
We also had about 15 Pyrrhuloxias. They seem to be in higher than usual numbers this year.
The dirt roads in the area were poor for birding as the heavy trucks servicing the natural gas fields stirred up billows of dust as they sped by. Having received no rain for the last few months every plant along the roadside was coated in dust. So we didn't see as much as I had hoped for.
We got our best bird, this juvenal dark phase Ferruginous Hawk, a bit farther north at McCook. The white webbing in the primaries made it easy to identify. This is only the fourth I've ever seen in the Valley.
We also found a couple of Peregrine Falcons. Twenty five years ago it was a special day if you saw a Peregrine. Now they are expected on every trip.
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