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