Friday, November 13, 2015

South Padre Island, 11/13/15

Here we are in mid-November with a cold front blowing through so I headed out to South Padre Island to see if I could find any unusual sparrows.  Well, my instincts were dead wrong and I found no sparrows at all. But there were plenty of birds including nine species of warblers.  This young male Black-throated Green Warbler will get prettier as the winter passes.

It's getting pretty late for a Magnolia Warbler.

I have a difficult time getting photos of American Redstart.  They are so hyper!

A few Northern Waterthushes winter in area wetlands, particularly in the mangroves.  This one was at Sheepshead.

This seems to be a good year for Hermit Thrushes.

A Wood Thrush has also been hanging around the Convention Center for the past week.

This Rose-breasted Grosbeak is a lttle bit late.  A few usually winter in the Valley.

I drove out on the mudflats to get a better look at the shorebirds, gulls and terns.  This gull had me going for a while.  It was just a little bigger than the Laughing Gulls and very boldly marked.  The bill seemed too large for a Mew Gull and the bird seemed too small for a California so I knew it had to be a Ring-billed Gull. Turns out to be a juvenile plumage that I've never noticed before down here.  It was a good learning experience.

Franklin's Gulls are still passing through.  I used to think it ws difficult to separate them from Laughing Gulls in winter plumage.  Seems pretty easy now.

There were lots of shorebirds on the flats but with the cloudy conditions my photos are not too great so we're going to skip them.  Back at Sheepshead I got a glimpse of a distant Tennessee Warbler.  They often have faint wing bars that can confuse even experienced birders.

List from the Convention Center

Mottled Duck  10
Blue-winged Teal  4
Northern Pintail 10
Redhead  10
Pied-billed Grebe  1
Double-crested Cormorant  3
White Pelican  50
Brown Pelican  60
Little Blue Heron  1
Tricolored Heron 1
Reddish Egret  1
Roseate Spoonbill  8
Osprey  1
Common Gallinule 1
Black-necked Stilt  6
Black-bellied Plover  10
Snowy Plover 3
Semipalmated Plover  7
Piping Plover  27
Willet (Western)  15
Godwit  9
Ruddy Turnstone  15
Sanderling  20
Dunlin  100
Least Sandpiper 3
Western Sandpiper  30
Short-billed Dowitcher  12
Laughing Gull 400
Franklin's Gull  100
Ring-billed Gull  3
Herring Gull (American)  1
Caspian Tern  20
Forster's Tern 20
Royal Tern  150
Sandwich Tern  15
Black Skimmer  6
Eurasian Collared-Dove 10
White-winged Dove  1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
Eastern Phoebe 1
White-eyed Vireo  1
Blue-headed Vireo  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2
Thrush  1
Wood Thrush  1
Gray Catbird  10
Long-billed Thrasher  1
Mockingbird  1
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  1
Redstart  1
Magnolia Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) 2
Black-throated Green Warbler  3
Wilson's Warbler  1
Northern Cardinal 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  1
Indigo Bunting  8
Red-winged Blackbird 20
Great-tailed Grackle  2

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