Sunday, July 10, 2022

Sweatin' at Santa Ana NWR, 7/10/22

I wanted to go birding this morning but I slept a little late so I decided to see what butterflies and odes might be about at Santa Ana NWR.  I got there at 10:30 and it was already 90 F.  The Rio Grande Valley has had little rain and daily temperatures around 100 so I wasn't surprised to find dry conditions and little going on.  But birds were definitely active.   So after walking a bit of the tour road and getting my first Black-and-white Warbler for the fall, I decided to make the switch from bugs to birds.

Walking the Pintail Lakes trail in reverse, I stop to whistle a pygmy owl call and birds responded so vigorously I wonder if there may be a Ferruginous Pygmy Owl in the area.  One of the first to fly in was the first Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet I have seen since last year's February freeze.  It was a scruffy little bugger.

Along with some mobbing titmice, Couch's Kingbirds and Brown-crested Flycatchers, a young Verdin voiced his displeasure at my whistled owl call.

As did a White-eyed Vireo.

Along the river were several family groups of Groove-billed Anis.

A young Yellow-billed Cuckoo responded to my call.  It was so buffy below it had me thinking of Mangrove Cuckoo.  However the Mexican Mangrove Cuckoos that rarely show up in the Vally are much darker buff, almost orange, below.  And this one has the white edge to underside of the base of the tail.

I heard a Common Ground Dove calling so I whistled back and he immediately proceeded to copulate with his partner.  I guess he was trying to prove something.

Water was very low at Pintail Lakes making for some good mudflats with lots of waders and a few migrant shorebirds.  

Sorebirds included Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, and Solitary, Least and Western Sandpipers.  Might be good to check it again in a couple of days.

Santa Ana NWR (LTC 059), Hidalgo, Texas, US
Jul 10, 2022 10:30 AM - 12:50 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.5 mile(s)
49 species

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (fulgens)  3
Common Ground Dove  7
White-winged Dove  60
Mourning Dove  6
Groove-billed Ani  12
Greater Roadrunner  1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo  10
Chimney Swift  1
Buff-bellied Hummingbird  1
Black-necked Stilt (Black-necked)  40
Killdeer  7
Least Sandpiper  31
Western Sandpiper  2
Solitary Sandpiper  1
Lesser Yellowlegs  2
Neotropic Cormorant  15
Great Blue Heron (Great Blue)  1
Great Egret (American)  40
Snowy Egret  8
Little Blue Heron  2
Cattle Egret (Western)  2
Green Heron  1
White Ibis  8
Roseate Spoonbill  13
Black Vulture  1
Turkey Vulture  20
Harris's Hawk  1
Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Northern)  8
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1
Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet  1
Brown-crested Flycatcher  10
Great Kiskadee  3
Tropical Kingbird  1
Couch's Kingbird  20
White-eyed Vireo  2
Green Jay (Green)  1
Black-crested Titmouse  3
Verdin  6
Carolina Wren (Northeast Mexico/South Texas)  2
Long-billed Thrasher  2
Northern Mockingbird  10
Olive Sparrow  3
Altamira Oriole  1
Red-winged Blackbird (Red-winged)  13
Bronzed Cowbird (Bronzed)  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
Great-tailed Grackle (Great-tailed)  2
Black-and-white Warbler  1
Northern Cardinal (Common)  1

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