Well the painful year know as 2020 finally comes to an end. Here in Progreso Lakes a trio of Ruddy Ducks yesterday brought our 2020 yard list to 205. That may be a record that will stand for a while as I hope to get out more this coming year.
Here's a few birding highlights for 2020 starting with the bird of the year for me. This Blue-and-white Swallow seen from our yard on July 20 and 21 was accepted by the Texas Bird Records Committee as the 655th species for Texas. ABA is currently voting on the bird as a first record.
And more recently this Spotted Rail from Mexico at Choke Canyon Reservoir will be a new species for the ABA area and for Texas.
The third life bird I saw this year was the amazing European Golden Plover south of Raton, NM which is the first for North America away from the Atlantic Coast.
Other great birds for my Texas life list included this Clark's Nutcracker at Alpine far south of its home in the high altitude Rocky Mountains.
This amazing White Wagtail in Austin was of the subspecies from eastern Russia and another first for Texas.
Another Texas lifer for me was this Eurasian Garganey at Aransas NWR.
Locally I was happy to find this Scott's Oriole at the Convention Center on South Padre Island which I think may be a first for the county.
But everyone's favorite local rare bird is this Elegant Trogan which is still hanging out at Estero Llano Grande State Park.
So hopefully everyone has a better 2021. I'm not sure wheter I will try a Big Year or work on county lists. Maybe I can travel some if thigs get better but I'd like to see lots of birds.