I watched a few "mallard" type ducks and could not decide if the were Mottled Ducks or Mexican Mallards. Then a really confusing pair flew by. The female (lower) looks like a Mottled with the unbordered purplish blue speculum. But the male has white edging on its speculum and looks to be a Mexican Mallard. Others have seen this male previously and thought it might be a hybrid as the speculum is not blue enough.
I missed the Zone-tailed Hawk I was hoping for and there was no sign of White-collared Seedeaters so I walked up the hill and watched the feeding station for a while. Nothing fantastic up there but I liked this Altamira Oriole photo. I earlier saw a couple of Audubon's Orioles along the river.
Lunchtime was approaching so I ran up to Falcon State Park to spend some time at the butterfly garden and eat lunch. This Pyrrhuloxia begged me to be photographed.
While I was eating I remembered something about a Rock Wren being seen recently behind the rec building. I asked inside about it and no one had heard anything. But I got instructions on the location of the rocky outcrop back beyond the picnic area. It took a little while but eventually the Rock Wren popped up. I've seen this species a couple of times in the boulders along Falcon Dam but that was back before 9/11 when the area was accessible. Turnsout this bird is actually in Zapata County as best I can figure. The Starr/Zapata County line runs through the park at an angle making county birding a chore up there.
This morning (2/22) a cold front unexpectedly entered the Valley and pushed out the hot humid SE wind and replaced it with a cool northerly breeze. I spent some time in the yard hoping the change of weather might "shuffle the bird deck" and I was rewarded with a flock of American Goldfinches. They were species #195 for our yard.
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