Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yturria Brush, 12/26/10

This cold frosty morning I headed over too the Yturria Brush tract of the Lower Rio Grande NWR to see if I could add a few birds to my Hidalgo County year list. Yturria Brush is Tamaulipan thorn scrub on the extreme SW border of Hidalgo County and allows access to habitat that can produce western desert species. Instead of taking the left fork to the west as I usually do, I continued straight to the north. As the trail veered away from the east boundary and its busy dirt road, I started seeing more stuff. Here's a Vesper Sparrow.

I have a really difficult time photographing Verdins. This is the best I could do.

Yturria Brush is one of the best places in the county for Black-throated Sparrow.

White-crowned Sparrow is sometimes a tough one to get on the county list. I saw two this morning.

Finally I got a good one. I heard a musical "mewp" call that could only be Green-tailed Towhee. But I just barely got a glimpse of it. But a little later a second popped up in a bush. And a bit down the trail I got a third. Pretty good for a bird I had only seen once in the county.

When I got home I figured out how to use Google Maps to calculate how far I had walked. Turned out I had walked 5.4 miles. No wonder my feet are so tired!

Northern Bobwhite (Eastern) 6
Turkey Vulture 3
Northern Harrier 3
Cooper's Hawk 1
White-tailed Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Crested Caracara 3
Mourning Dove 20
Greater Roadrunner 3
Golden-fronted Woodpecker 2
Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great Kiskadee 1
White-eyed Vireo 4
Verdin 7
Bewick's Wren 2
House Wren 10
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 30
Hermit Thrush 1
Northern Mockingbird 35
Long-billed Thrasher 4
Curve-billed Thrasher 1
European Starling 1
Orange-crowned Warbler 30
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 6
Olive Sparrow 5
Green-tailed Towhee 3
Vesper Sparrow 6
Lark Sparrow 1
Black-throated Sparrow 7
Savannah Sparrow 3
Lincoln's Sparrow 2
White-crowned Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 5
Pyrrhuloxia 1
Red-winged Blackbird 100
Eastern Meadowlark 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 1

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