Sunday, September 10, 2023

South Padre Island, Willacy County 9/6/23

Ron Weeks came down a few days ago to work on his Willacy County list.  He has about fifteen Texas counties with over 300 species of birds seen and is just a few away from that total in Willacy County.  So we made a run up the beach on South Padre Island to see if we could add a few.  My total is at 292 and I'm just parely staying ahead of Ron.  Well he wound up with a distant Brown Booby at the Port Mansfield Channel jetty which was new for him.  I was right next to him and think I got on the bird but it was very distant through the scope and I failed to see many field marks so I'm not counting it.  My best bird was this striking adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.  At the time I thought it might be a new county bird for me but turns out I had already seen one.

Se saw about a dozen Common Terns which are uncommon down here, especially in breeding plumage.

Weirdest bird of the day goes to this misplaced female Cinammon Teal.  We did see a couple of migrant teal flocks that we called Blue-winged.

Ron was wanting a Red Knot for Willacy County but the only one we saw was in Cameron County.

Otherwise is was just the usual stuff like the ultra long billed Long-billed Curlew.

Plenty of Brown Pelicans.

The only Herring Gull was this adult.

A nice day with a very drivable beach for a change.  Tomorrow I'm off for a solo trip to Agentina.  I haven't been out of the country since our pre covid trip to Australia in 2019.  It's gonna be cold in Tierra del Fuego.  Hope I can find some birds.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Hummers at Progreso Lakes, 9/5/23

Yesterday our local weatherman announced Weslaco had reached 100F for the 70th time this year.  And here at Progreso Lakes we've had maybe a half inch of rain since May and less than five inches for the year.  The upshot is it's dry out there.  I set an all time high for our Progreso Lakes yard of 110 species last month and my only explanation is our acre yard on Moon Lake is an oasis attracting hungry and thirsty migrants.  Now the hummingbirds are here in greater numbers than I've ever seen with at least twenty migrant Ruby-throats,

I enjoy the variation in sprouting gorget feathers among the young males.

Best I can tell this young female Selasphorus is unidentifiable despite some pretty good spread tail shots.  It's either a Rufous or an Allen's.  We still need Allen's Hummingbird for our yard list.

We have at least three Buff-bellied Hummingbirds.

Tomorrow Ron Weeks is coming down from Lake Jackson and we're going to drive up the beach on South Padre Island and hope to add some juicy birds to our Willacy County lists.  Should be fun.  And next week I'm off to Argentina and Tierra del Fuego where I'm going to be looking at temperatures in the low 40's.  It will be cold but a nice change.