Thursday, October 8, 2020

Scott's Oriole at South Padre Island, 10/6/20

This past Monday somebody found a Painted Redstart at the Birding Center on South Padre Island.  But being Monday the park's birders, Javi Gonzales and Britney Marchan, had the day off so the bird didn't get on the What'sApp alert.  I found found out Tuesday morning and promptly raced out there.  I spent a couple of hours observing Song Bird Alley with Javi and Britney where the Painted Redstart had been seen but no luck.  I also walked the board walk hoping to find it in the mangroves but it wasn't out there.  Maybe it had wandered to the nearby Convention Center.

So I drove over and planted myself by the water feature.  There were a few Gray Catbirds and Wilson's Warblers.  Then I noticed a bird overhead feeding on fiddlewood berries.  It was grayish green with big white wing bars and a fairly long sharp oriole bill.  What the.....?  A husky grayish green oriole with big white wingbars?  My brain quickly ran through the possible orioles and only one met that description.  It was an immature female Scott's Oriole!  Wow!  That's just as good or even better than a Painted Redstart.  In fact is was a first Cameron County record on eBird and my 414th species for the county.

I put the bird on the alet and Javi and Britney raced over and got ok looks at it but the bird was far from cooperative.  While seaching for the Scott's Oriole, Javi found a Brown Thrasher which is a pretty good bird for the Valley.  I've lost count of the number of Brown Thrasher's he has found through the years.

Next stop was the Valley Land Fund's lot on Sheepshead.  On the north side there were several Common Yellowthroats and then I spotted a little brown guy wagging it's tail.  I was pretty sure it was a Palm Warbler and eventually I got this interesting shot of it showing off its tail spots.

I haven't given up on the Painted Redstart yet.  I bet someone refinds it.  But for now I'm quite satisfied with a Scott's Oriole.

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