Monday, February 25, 2019

Cameron County has been hot lately, 2/25/19

Yesterday I got the my eBird needs report saying that Martin Reid and Willie Sekula had seen two California Gulls at the Brownsville landfill.  So I ran over this morning and put in a few hours picking through the thousands of gulls.  The first California Gull to show was a second winter bird.  County bird #408.

The second was this first winter bird.

We  get a Glaucous Gull ever few winters.  This is the whitest I've ever seen.

I spent a lot of time studying this dark mantled gull.  It was the size of the nearby American Herring Gulls but much darker.  I never got a good look at the leg color but they seemed pinkish.  Eventually it flew and the spots on the primaries make it look like a Vega Herring Gull.  Willie and Martin Reid have had one here in the past.  Vega is a NE Asian form of Herring Gull that has yet to be split.

Finished with seven species of gulls at the dump.  Then I made a run over to the nearby Rio RV Park where I got the stake out Monk Parakeets.  I saw at least ten and I think there were more.  They had several nests in the palms as opposed to the birds nesting on the power poles in Hidalgo. This was Cameron County bird #409.

A couple of weeks ago someone found a Common Black Hawk on the resaca at the UTRGV campus in Brownsville.  I had a nasty case of stomach flu but made the trip anyway and got a poor photo.  This is a species I've been waiting a long time to see in the Valley.  I need to get over there again for some better shots.

And a couple days before that, a Cackling Goose was reported from Adam's Reservoir south of La Feria.  It was with a big mixed flock of geese.  Unfortunately the dike was cabled off so I had to walk in about 3/4 of a mile and even then the geese were still distant.  But I found the little bugger.

So I've picked up four new Cameron County birds this month.  Someone reported a Ferruginous Hawk over by the landfill.  I missed it today but may have to give it another try.

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