Thursday, October 24, 2019

South Padre Island, 10/23/19

Today I finally decided to get out of the yard and check fall migration at South Padre Island.  It was warm with a southeasterly breeze but passerine migrants were a plenty.  One of the first I saw at the Valley Land Fund's Sheepshead lot was this Philadelphia Vireo.  There was also a Red-eyed and a White-eyed Vireo.

Bill Beatty and I were discussing maintenance of the lot when we stumbled across this Acadian Flycatcher.  Note the long primary extension and the green back.

There was a nice mix of warblers including this friendly American Redstart that spent hours foraging along the wooden railing on the north lot.  

And this Magnolia Warbler.

But after two hours I decided it was time to check out the Convention Center.  It also had a nice mix of migrants like this bathing Wood Thrush.

The best warbler was this Bay-breasted.  We normally see few of these in fall though last fall they were more common.  I've heard that an increase in the spruce bud worm population in the Northeast has resulted in an increase in Bay-breasted Warblers among others.

American Redstarts searched for insects while pretty much ignoring me.  But they are so hyperactive it's difficult to get a good photo.

Several times I encountered a an unlikely trio of a Hooded Warbler, an Ovenbird and a Woodthrush.  I don't know if there was more than one trio or if they were just covering a lot of ground.

About 2 PM it seemed like passerinces were dropping in.  I was whistling my crude Wood Thrush song hoping to get one to maybe move into a better position for photos when a flock of Gray Catbirds flew in.  I counted eleven!  Several more were feeding in the firecracker bushes.

Then I found a late Yellow-throated Vireo.

And two more Philadelphia Vireos.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are starting to show.

I love the bright green fall Tennessee Warblers.

Well, it was time to give Sheepshead one last check.  Another Yellow-throated Vireo was nice and I got a poor look at a late Worm-eating Warbler.

And lastly there was this one.  I guess it's an axanthic (lacking yellow and orange pigments) American Redstart.  It kind of reminded me of the female Taiga Flycatcher I saw in Sichuan, China but American Redstart is a little more likely.

It was a good day.  And a powerful cold front is due tomorrow so I may have to make another trip soon.

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