So far birding has been pretty fantastic in Texas this fall. The Corpus Christi area has a Cattle Tyrant, Eastern Marbled Godwit and three American Flamingos while the Rio Grande Valley has hosted Five Limpkins, two American Flamingos, several Blue Buntings and a Rose-throated Becard. Then the group of fantastically skilled young birders who have been monitoring the Brown Jays at the Santa Margarita Ranch found both a Bare-throated Tiger-Heron and a Mottled Owl. And that's not to mention all the uncommon western birds that have passed through the Valley this fall.
I was taking it it easy at home this past Saturday, watching the hummers from the back porch when the damn WhatsApp dinged again. Someone had earlier in the day found a funny looking Rose-throated Becard at Resaca de la Palma which turned out to be the first Texas record of Gray-collared Becard. That's a bird I have never seen despite quite a bit of birding in Mexico through the years. So I grabbed the camera and raced over on that drippy day. As it happened I got a very poor glimpse of the bird in the late afternoon and left before it was refound and performed before the admiring crowd of birders. I failed to see the Roadside Hawk also. Arg!!!!!!
That evening at home I saw a Facebook post on the Texas Chase Birds group stating the Martin Reid and Sheridan Coffee had seen a Pine Grosbeak found earlier in the day in the snowy Texas Panhandle by Greg Cook and Steve Glover. Damn I would like to see that bird but it's nearly 900 miles away. So I went to bed with the intent of getting up early and going back to Resaca de la Palma for the Gray-collared Becard.
Well I got up early Sunday morning and decided the becard might stay a while but the Pine Grosbeak might not be there long. So I quickly packed and made the 750 mile drive to Amarillo where I spent the night. Another early morning and two more hours to Palo Duro Reservoir. I wandered around Dedication Park for a few minutes but soon found the spot on the west side of the park by the pavilion. And there in the willows was the Pine Grosbeak as advertised. What a spanking bird!!!