Thursday, April 27, 2017

South Padre Island Part 2, 11/26/17

There was another good bird on the Island besides the Black-throated Blue Warbler at Sheepshead.  A male Lazuli Bunting has been seen for the past few days at the Convention Center and I was hoping to get lucky and maybe get some good photos.  Well, I did.  He was hanging out with his close cousins the Indigo Buntings who were taking advantage of the free food.

There were at least sixty Indigo Buntings, mostly males.

And sprinkled among the Indigos were a half dozen of everyone's favorite, the Painted Bunting.  They were easiest to photograph at the water feature.

This Scarlet Tanager dared me to get a photo.  What a magnificent animal!

Cousin to the buntings and tanagers is the Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Not as colorful but beautiful in their own right are the thrushes.  Here's the common Swainson's thrush with its big buffy eye ring.

The Gray-cheeked Thrush has a colder gray cast.

The Veery has a warm buffy rusty color and less spotting on the breast.

Red-eyed Vireos are on of the most common birds of the eastern forests.  We see relatively few considering how common they are.

A Philadelphia Vireo was down at Sheepshead.

I did not see this nighthawk well enough in flight to determine if it was a Lesser or a Common Nighthawk.

Brightly colored male Baltimore and Orchard Orioles are always popular.

However this male Hooded Oriole at Sheepshead was a surprise.  I rarely see them on SPI.

A fun day of sensory overload!

South Padre Island Part 1, 4/26/17

Gee, with the new house and doing most of my birding in the yard lately, I haven't posted in awhile.  But I ran out to South Padre Island yesterday and got some good photos of some good stuff so I thought it was worth a post.  A very cooperative Black-throated Bure Warbler has been hanging out at the Valley Land Fund's Sheepshead lot for several days and I was happy he was still there.  We get one in the Valley every couple of years.

There were more warblers up at the Convention Center taking advantage of the water feature.  This Blackburnian Warbler came in several times to bathe.

As did this Bay-breasted.  I don't see very many of these so  it's always a treat.

I Have a tough time getting good photos of Yellow Warblers.  It's hard to pick up any reflection in the eye but I got it this time.

We would appreciate Nashville Warblers more if they weren't so common.

Meanwhile, more warblers were hanging out in the row of trees behind the Convention Center.  Here's my first Magnolia Warbler of the season.

My first Chestnut-sided Warbler was not so cooperative.

There were two Black-throated Green Warblers but I didn't get the pretty male.

Back at the water feature there were a couple of Tennessee Warblers.

And a Common Yellowthroat.

This had to be the most photogenic Ovenbird I have ever encountered.

Seems like the few Palm Warblers we get are always walking around in the grass and hard to see clearly.

Don't forget the perky Black-and-white Warbler.

I ran back up to Sheepshead later in the afternoon and got luck with a MacGillivray's Warbler.

And an early Mourning Warbler.

So I finished up the day with 21 species of warblers.  Not shown were Blackpoll, Blue-winged, Hooded, Myrtle and Wilson's Warblers and a Yellow-breasted Chat.  Not fantastic but I like to get  up over twenty sometime every spring.  I'll make another post for the other sharp spring migrants seen this day on SPI.