Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Migration at South Padre Island, 9/20/20

 I made my first birding trip out to South Padre Island since before the pandemic hit the Valley.  That was way back in early March I think.  But with Tropical Storm Beta in the Gulf, there was some good north wind blowing and I thought it might be good for bringing down some fall migrants.  I was not disappointed.  One of the first birds I found at the Sheepshead lot was this female Cerulean Warbler.  It might be the first I've ever seen in fall.  Forgive the soft focus.  My old Canon 7D Mark II is about worn out so I got a new one and some of my settings are off.

Fall Chestnut-sided Warblers are always a treat.

Seems like we've been getting more fall Blackburnian Warblers in recent years.  The pale stripes on the back are a good field mark for drab fall youngsters.

I see very few Prothonotary Warblers in fall so this was a good one.

Here's a funky Tennessee Warbler.  I'm not sure what's going on with the wing coverts.  I think some of the precovert body feathers are missing making the coverts look extra long.

Black-and-white Warblers are dirt birds during migration but I can't resist them.

There was not a lot of birds around compared to the spring but diversity was good.  Here's my first Swainson's Thrush of the fall.

This young male Vermillion Flycatcher hung out at the Sheepshead lot all day long.

It was great to see some of my old birding friends enjoying the cool north wind.  Brad McKinney spotted four Magnificent Frigatebirds overhead.  I mangaged to get three in one shot.

I don't know what to make of this Reddish Egret.  Is it a leucistic dark morph?  Or is it a cross between white and dark morphs?  This was up at the Convention Center.

I almost forgot the bird of the day.  This Red-breasted Nuthatch has been around for about a week.  We get very few of them down here and this one is really early.

Wound up with fifteen species of warblers on the day which is pretty good for fall!