Friday, October 26, 2018

Western Gull at Port Aransas Jetty, 10/26/18

Wow, the good birds are coming fast and furious.  Yesterday Andre Orgill found a second year Western Gull on the beach at the Port Aransas Jetty.  This is only the fourth Texas record of this Pacific coast gull species.  I missed the last one during November of 2004 at Sal del Rey.  So I made sure to run up early and grab this one.  It was pretty cooperative.  The mantle is much darker than that of the Common Herring Gulls and the species is larger than the slightly darker Lesser Black-backed Gull.  Slaty-backed Gull is similar in color but has a much smaller bill.

Just down the beach was a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

After viewing my 577th Texas species, I ran over to Paradise Pond.  It's just a shell of its former self.  The city has been removing Brazilian Pepper and then it got clobbered by storm surge during last year's hurricane.  But things are coming back and I found a couple of good birds.  This Yellow-bellied Flycatcher is a little late.

This female Scarlet Tanager was a surprise.

And then there was both a Philadelphia and a Red-eyed Vireo.

The Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center is also recovering from the hurricane.  The storm surge flooded the marsh with salt water and killed all the vegetation not to mention destroying the board walk.  But the the little line of trees along the entrance was still attracting migrant warblers including some good ones like this Blue-winged Warbler.

Normally uncommon in fall, Bay-breasted and Chestnut-sided Warblers are showing up all along the coast the past couple of weeks.  

The same Chestnut-sided Warbler along with a Tennessee was finding something to eat on the rusty chain link fence.

This Northern Parula was pretty fearless as it foraged on the ground.

I don't get to see this immature Yellow-bellied Sapsucker plumage very often.

Hopefully I can get a couple days work done in the yard before the next chase.

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