Saturday, December 16, 2017

Violet-crowned Hummingbird at Sanderson, 11/15/17

When Lee Hoy moved to Sanderson out in Terrell County I knew he would come up with some good stuff.  An oasis in the desert, just far enough west and now with a resident birder, it was just a matter of time.  A couple of days ago, long time birder Mel Cooksey was in the area and checked out Lee's yard only to find a Violet-crowned Hummingbird.  Though the 20th record for the state, it was one I still needed for my Texas list.  They always occur way out west and often are in someone's yard and not reported till after the fact.  I missed the one at Frontera Audubon that was found while people were looking for the Blue Mockingbird years ago.

Anyway, I left made the long eight hour drive yesterday and arrived in the afternoon.  When I got there Joe Hood already had the bird on a platter for me.

Walking around the neighborhood turned up a few more birds like this Cactus Wren.

And this scolding Bewick's Wren.

The Rock Wren wasn't as cooperative.

Joe and I discussed the calling ravens overhead.  To me they sounded like Chihuahuan but it was a close call.  The photo shows long rictal bristles and what looks like exposed white underfeathers on the neck so I'm sticking with Chihuahuan Raven over Common.  Also I think the tail is not wedged out enough for Common Raven.

I decided save my motel resouces for another trip (I hear the Panhandle calling) so I turned around and headed for home.  I stopped ten miles to the east to check out the Sanderson Canyon wash and pished in a couple of Black-tailed Gnatcatchers.

I got back home just after midnight, 18.5 hours and 940 miles after leaving home in the morning.

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