Saturday, November 16, 2019

Great Day at Progreso Lakes, 11/16/19

After a few days of rain and cold north winds I decided to invest a day in our yard at Progreso Lakes.  All I can say is "Wow!"  The day started with ducks in the resaca behind our house.  Here's Northern Shovellers, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaups and a Fulvous Whistling-Duck among the 1500 of so Black-bellies.

Late migrating Turkey Vultures numbered 310.  A Sharp-shinned Hawks was among them.  This flyby Stilt Sandpiper was a first for the month.

Yesterday we got our first White-crowned Sparrow.  I looked for it today but it seemed to be gone.  They are a pretty uncommon winter resident in the brush country down here.

But I put some more seed out and two Chipping Sparrows came in with a couple of Lark Sparrows.  We got our first just two days ago.  Immatures are a bit different from the red-capped adults.

Then a flock of Plain Chachalacas invaded my brush patch to feed on Potato Tree and Fiddlewood berries.

I was maneuvering for more shots when I got one of those serendipitous endorphin releasing surprises that make birding so addictive.  A sparrow flushed up ahead of me and I instantly realized I had a very good bird.  White-throated Sparrow!  I thought it might be years if ever before we saw one of these in our yard.  A wisp of vegetation prevented a perfect shot.

So I threw out some more seed and it didn't take long for the little devil to find it.  White-throated Sparrow is pretty common a few hundred miles north and east of here.  But most years go by without me seeing one in Hidalgo County.

Then our first Lincoln's Sparrow for the year popped out to feed.

Then another ventured out.  The streaking was pretty faint and something didn't seem right.  In the shade I wasn't picking up the chestnut wings.  But I saw the pale throat and then it clicked....Swamp Sparrow!  Gee I figured my only shot at getting this for our yard was to scope the resaca edges and hope to get lucky.  I didn't expect to get on right off our porch.  This immature Swamp Sparrow raises our yard list to 219 species.

The friendly Yellow-throated Warbler came by for a visit.  It was one of seven species of warblers on the day.

And lastly how about a bathing White-eyed Vireo.  This is the first time I've actually seen one go into the water.  Usually it's just a quick belly splash.

Jones yard, Progreso Lakes, Hidalgo, Texas, US
Nov 16, 2019 7:40 AM - 2:10 PM
Protocol: Stationary
57 species (+3 other taxa)

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (fulgens)  1500
Fulvous Whistling-Duck  1
Muscovy Duck (Domestic type)  2
Northern Shoveler  7
Ring-necked Duck  2
Lesser Scaup  40
Plain Chachalaca  9
Mourning Dove  1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Black-chinned Hummingbird  1
Buff-bellied Hummingbird (Northern)  2
Stilt Sandpiper  1
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Caspian Tern  1
Neotropic Cormorant  5
American White Pelican  14
Cattle Egret (Western)  3
Black-crowned Night-Heron  3
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron  6
Turkey Vulture  310
Sharp-shinned Hawk (Northern)  1
Red-shouldered Hawk (lineatus Group)  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Green Kingfisher  1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Northern)  2
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1
American Kestrel  1
Peregrine Falcon  1
Eastern Phoebe  1
Great Kiskadee  2
Couch's Kingbird  1
Tropical/Couch's Kingbird  2
White-eyed Vireo  1    bathing!
Loggerhead Shrike  1
Green Jay (Green)  1
Black-crested Titmouse  2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (caerulea)  1
House Wren (Northern)  1
Carolina Wren (Northeast Mexico/South Texas)  1
European Starling  6
Northern Mockingbird  3
House Sparrow  2
Chipping Sparrow  2
Lark Sparrow  2
White-throated Sparrow  1
Savannah Sparrow (Savannah)  1
Lincoln's Sparrow  1
Swamp Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  30
blackbird sp.  100
Orange-crowned Warbler  2
Nashville Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  1
Northern Parula  1
Yellow-throated Warbler  1
Black-throated Green Warbler  1
Wilson's Warbler  1
Northern Cardinal  2

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