Sunday, November 27, 2016

Our new yard, Progreso Lakes, 11/27/16

Progreso Lakes are a couple of small oxbow lakes cut off from the Rio Grande near Progreso, Texas.  For the last twenty years or so I've been exploring the possibility of buying a house down there and Honey and I finally made the plunge and signed the papers last week.  Honey likes the house but I'm intrigued by the birding possibilities.  The lot is an acre in size with Moon Lake bordering the back yard and a large cultivated field (usually cotton) in the front and neighbors on each side.  The lot has only a few trees but I plan to plant more while the neighbor on one side has a nicely treed lot.  The Rio Grande and Mexico are on the other side of the large field.

During the past week, while we've been cleaning and preparing to move in, I've been working on the yard list.  We're up to 62 species so far though nothing really unexpected.  Here's some photos starting our number one bird, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, which is numbering about 2500 on our end of the resaca.

Other ducks so far include Blue-winged Teal. Northern Shoveller, Mottled Duck, Ring-necked Duck and Lesser Scaup.

Numerous birds take advantage of perches along the opposite shore like this Roseate Spoonbill and Anhinga.

While others are seen cruising by like Neotropic Cormorant, Caspian Tern, Snowy Egret, Osprey and Black-crowned Night-Heron.

There is little in the way of mudflats for shorebirds so I may not get many of them but so far I've seen Killdeer, American Avocet, Spotted Sandpiper and Long-billed Curlew, all in flight.

Another way to add birds to the yard list is to cheat.  As far as I am concerned, any bird visible from our yard counts.  So I set up the scope and start searching.  Here's some long distant sightings: Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Black Phoebe, Red-shouldered Hawk and Green Kingfisher.

It's hard to get any work done with the constant parade of birds.  Don't know if I can make a hundred by the end of the year but I'll give it a try.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Frontera Audubon, 11/14/16

It was a nice, cool, calm morning so I thought a visit to the thicket at Frontera Audubon was in order.  I had not been there in a while and it was nice to see the thicket looking green and lush.  Two Green Parakeets welcomed me.

Birds were really quiet but I soon found a flock containing Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Blue-headed Vireo, several Orange-crowned Warblers a Black-and-white Warbler.  I saw motion in a nearby palm and would have bet money it was a Yellow-throated Warbler.  I finally got a look and I was right.  This one has the yellow lores of a southeastern bird.  Don't know if I've ever noticed that in that Valley.

Around the corner on the south side of the big pond, Plain Chachalacas and Clay-colored Thrushes were feeding on Brazilian Pepper berries.  I've read the berries have little nutritional value but birds love them

At the boardwalk Great and Snowy Egrets and White Ibises fed in the wetlands while a Green Kingfisher kept a sharp eye on the fish below.

This alert Buff-bellied Hummingbird was garding its little patch of Turks-cap.

The east border along the trailer park was quiet and so were the feeding stations.  But another passerine flock was taking advantage of the two drips by the cemetery with Nashville and Orange-crowned Warblers enjoying a bath.

Nearby a White-eyed Vireo scolded me for invading their privacy.

A very nice morning in the Thicket. 

Frontera Audubon Center, Hidalgo, Texas, US
Nov 14, 2016 8:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.0 mile(s)
41 species

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (fulgens) 12
Plain Chachalaca 7
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) 1
Great Egret 1
Snowy Egret 1
White Ibis 3
Turkey Vulture 40
Gray Hawk 1
Killdeer 1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 3
Inca Dove 1
White-tipped Dove 8
Buff-bellied Hummingbird 4
Belted Kingfisher 1
Green Kingfisher 1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Northern) 6
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1
Green Parakeet (Green) 2
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great Kiskadee 3
Couch's Kingbird 1
White-eyed Vireo 3
Blue-headed Vireo 2
Green Jay (Green) 2
Black-crested Titmouse 3
House Wren (Northern) 2
Carolina Wren 3
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4
Clay-colored Thrush 12
Long-billed Thrasher 1
Northern Mockingbird 6
Black-and-white Warbler 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 10
Nashville Warbler 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1
Wilson's Warbler 1
Northern Cardinal 2
Great-tailed Grackle 5
House Sparrow 6