Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Possible Black-bellied x Fulvous Whistling-Duck hybrid at Progreso Lakes, 12/28/17

This morning while perusing the 1500-2500 Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in the Moon Lake behind our house, I got a quick look at what I thought was a Fulvous Whistling-Duck.  Fulvous being pretty uncommon this time of year, I ran back into the house for my camera and quickly relocated the duck.  Something was wrong.  It superficially looked like a Fulvous but had a pinkish tinge to the base of the bill.  The face was also more pale than the breast which had a chestnut wash which contrasted with the tawny sides and extended up onto the back and scaled the dark scapulars but not to the extent that it does on Fulvous.  There was a hint of the dark streaking that occurs on the neck of Fulvous but the pale face was more like a Black-bellied with a pale eye ring that would be absent in Fulvous.  Here's some photos.

Here's a Fulvous Whistling-Duck from Delta Lake for comparison.  Not the concolored nature of the head, breast, sides and scalloping.  This bird also lacks an eye ring.

And several from Estero Llano Grande State Park.

Hopefully tomorrow I will get some flight shots and maybe a view of the feet.

There's nothing online that I can find to indicate this combination of hybrid, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck x Fulvous Whistling-Duck, has been documented in the past.

The following day I was fortunate to get a few flight shots.

Apparently there is a reference of this hybrid pairing from a 1958 book by A.P. Gray, "Bird Hybrids: A Checklist with Bibliography".  But nothing since then. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Progreso Lakes, 12/22/16

I had plenty of stuff to do in our new house at Progreso Lakes today so I spent the morning birding in the yard instead.  I was happy to finally get some good photos of the female Canvasback.  That's a species I figured we would get eventually but we sure didn't have to wait long.

I think this is a different first winter female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker than the one I had seen a couple of times before.

The first new yard bird of the day were a couple of White-winged Doves.  I thought I might have to wait till spring to get one.

I saw a pair of Inca Doves so I imitated their "no hope" call and they walked right up to me.

Our first White-fronted Goose for the yard was this juvenal two days ago.  I had a flock of nine fly over today.

Later I thought I head Snow Geese and eventually found this distant lone bird which was new for the yard.

The local pair of Peregrines passed over.

And then there was this Sharp-shinned Hawk which was another new yard bird.

Saw the pair of Green Kingfishers feeding distantly and then the Ringed zoomed past.

Living with a couple of thousand Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks I often get to see a few squabbles.

Among the many Black-bellies was a single Fulvous Whistling Duck.

The local Plain chachalaca flock has now grown to thirteen birds.  They seem to wander up and down the shore passing through all the neighbors' yards.

I finished the morning with my new daily high of 56 species.  Just wait till spring gets here!

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (fulgens) 1500
Fulvous Whistling-Duck 1
Greater White-fronted Goose (Western) 9
Snow Goose 1
Muscovy Duck (Domestic type) 4
Mottled Duck (Gulf Coast) 2
Blue-winged Teal 5
Canvasback 1
Ring-necked Duck 5
Lesser Scaup 100
Plain Chachalaca 13
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Neotropic Cormorant 5
Double-crested Cormorant 1
American White Pelican 7
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) 1
Great Egret 1
Snowy Egret 1
Cattle Egret (Western) 13
Green Heron 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 6
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 3
Turkey Vulture 60
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Northern) 1
Cooper's Hawk 1
Harris's Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Coot (Red-shielded) 2
Spotted Sandpiper 1
Caspian Tern 1
Eurasian Collared-Dove 2
Inca Dove 2
White-winged Dove 2
Mourning Dove 9
Ringed Kingfisher 1
Green Kingfisher 2
Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Northern) 4
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1
Crested Caracara 1
American Kestrel 1
Peregrine Falcon 2
Eastern Phoebe 1
Vermilion Flycatcher 1
Great Kiskadee 4
Tropical Kingbird 1
Loggerhead Shrike 1
Green Jay (Green) 2
Black-crested Titmouse 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
Northern Mockingbird 1
European Starling 15
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 5
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's) 1
Red-winged Blackbird 130
Great-tailed Grackle 4