Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Tropical Parula, Kentucky Warbler at Progreso Lakes, 3/29/22

I tend to be a creature of habit and one of my habits is to brush my teeth after breakfast and take a look out the window at the bird bath.  Well this little blue and yellow guy made me spit out my toothbrush and go running for the camera.  This Tropical Parula was the 244th species sighted from our yard.  It was not unexpected as I imagine the range of this taxon is extending northward with warming climate.

With a good bird in the bag and howling winds on tap for the day I decided to run errands during the morning.  After lunch I thought I'd watch the bird bath a while.  Mr. Northern Cardinal was getting his vitamin C.

While the Hooded Oriole awaited his turn.

Then a couple of warbler sized birds flew into the dead ash tree.  Here's a poor shot of a Yellow-throated Warbler.

And I finally got a shot of the colorful male Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler that's been hanging around, though not a good one.

After chasing these two warblers, I was on the north end of our little brush patch when I briefly glimpsed what looked like a yellow warbler with a black mask.  First thing that came to mine was Kentucky Warbler.  I fired the camera in the general area and all I got was a mostly hidden Carolina Wren.  That wasn't my bird.  Then a small bird with yellow underparts with a black mask popped in front of me in the potato tree.  Woops, it was the Tropical Parula.

Great to see the parula again but I wasn't convinced that was the same bird I had glimpsed a couple of minutes earlier.  So I turned the corner and peered down an opening and saw something yellow and green streak across the ground.  I waited it out and it came into the open for some poor shots.  This Kentucky Warbler is the 245th species for our yard list.

With three new yard birds in the past nine day the spring is off to a great start.  A front comes in tomorrow and turns the wind around so maybe that will bring in some more good stuff.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

First Louisiana Waterthrush at Progreso Lakes, 3/20/22

It's been a long time since I've added any new birds to our Progreso Lakes yard list.  But spring is here so that opens up a whole new realm of possible visitors.  I was sitting down by the water in our backyard this morning hoping for some migrants or at least something new for the month, when a warbler sized bird flew up from below the bank and landed in the nearby dead ash.  Immediately it started bobbing its tail and let out a chip.  I knew I had a waterthrush and considering the time of year my guess was it was a Louisiana Waterthrush.  It just perched and bobbed away so I got all the photos I wanted.  The relatively large bill, white unstreaked throat, long white superciliary stripe and pinkish buff sides all made the ID simple.  This Louisiana Waterthrush is the 243rd species for our yard.

The wind picked up afterwards and nothing else interesting showed up though I did get a good morning list of fifty species.

Jones yard, Progreso Lakes, Hidalgo, Texas, US
Mar 20, 2022 7:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
0.037 mile(s)
Checklist Comments:    All birds seen from our one acre yard.
50 species (+3 other taxa)

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (fulgens)  1800
Muscovy Duck (Domestic type)  2
Mottled Duck (Gulf Coast)  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  20
Eurasian Collared-Dove  1
Inca Dove  1
White-tipped Dove  1
White-winged Dove  3
Mourning Dove  4
Black-chinned Hummingbird  2
Ruby-throated/Black-chinned Hummingbird  1
Buff-bellied Hummingbird (Northern)  1
Caspian Tern  1
Anhinga  3
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Neotropic Cormorant  30
Great Egret (American)  1
Snowy Egret  1
Black-crowned Night-Heron  6
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  40
Osprey (carolinensis)  1
Cooper's Hawk  1
Harris's Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Eastern Screech-Owl (McCall's)  1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Northern)  2
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1
Black Phoebe  2
Great Kiskadee  2
Couch's Kingbird  1
Black-crested Titmouse  1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2
Purple Martin  2
Tree Swallow  10
Barn Swallow (American)  3
swallow sp.  10
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (caerulea)  1
European Starling  8
Northern Mockingbird  3
House Sparrow  8
Lesser Goldfinch  2
Lincoln's Sparrow  2
Hooded Oriole (cucullatus/sennetti)  1
Altamira Oriole  1
Red-winged Blackbird (Red-winged)  100
Bronzed Cowbird (Bronzed)  3
Brown-headed Cowbird  8
Great-tailed Grackle (Great-tailed)  6
Louisiana Waterthrush  1
Orange-crowned Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  1
Northern Cardinal (Common)  3

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Some Bentsen Stuff, 3/13/22

The dull winter of 2021-22 is almost over.  The Bat Falcon finally seems to be gone but the Social Flycatcher is still being reported.  Otherwise not a lot around though a few spring warblers are starting to show.  I dropped Honey off at the gym in Mission today and headed over to Bentsen State Park to give the Audubon's Oriole another go.  It took a while but I finally got a brief look at the Green Jay feeding station.  Audubon's Orioles are being reported more frquently in the Valley in the past few years and I'm thinking it may be a result of the long time drought.

A Hooded Oriole was photogenic.

Altamira Orioles were in good supply.

Great Kiskadee came in for a drink.  This rambunctious big mouth might be my favorite species.

Green Jays are hard to resist.

Day before yesterday I took the wife to a gym in Brownsville and I went after the Social Flycatcher at UTRGV.  I saw seven species of warblers but no Social.  Unfortunately the warblers were all very uncooperative live this uncommon Black-throated Gray Warbler.

But the day was saved by a big black hawk that flew by carrying prey.  I though it had flown way past the assembled group of Social Flycatcher hunters, but it was actually right over our heads.  I was the only one to get a close up shot of this Zone-tailed Hawk eating a European Starling.  Good for it!

Speaking of hawks, a very rare for South Texas Rough-legged Hawk has spent the past two winters up by Riviera in Kleberg County.  I finally went up to look for it and it took me two hours before the darn thing finally flew right over my head.

Spring is on the way and time for people to start finding some good stuff.