South Texas Day Four

Saturday, April 23, 2005, Led by Steve Shunk, Paradise Birding

Photos by Bill Walker

84 Species at 2 Locations

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
Least Grebe BRGVSP
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
Anhinga BRGVSP
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
Pandionidae (Osprey)
Osprey SPI
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
Killdeer SPI
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
Willet SPI
Whimbrel SPI
Dunlin SPI
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
Common Tern SPI
One individual observed preening in a flock of Royals and Leasts; showed dark red bill with darker tip and dark legs.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
Inca Dove SPI
Strigidae (Owls)
Eastern Screech-Owl (h) BRGVSP
Great Horned Owl (h) BRGVSP
Elf Owl BRGVSP
seen and heard
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
Lesser Nighthawk BRGVSP
Two individuals seen flying low over the parking lot, emitting a strange low call (courting?)
Apodidae (Swifts)
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
Tropical Kingbird SPI
at least 3 individual seen in the parking lot of our hotel in Harlingen were initially assumed to be Couch's Kingbirds until we woke up enough to pay attention to their trilled song. By playing the trilled song of the Tropical from recordings and observing the their green backs we confirmed the ID. The recorded Tropical song attracted the birds closer; Couch's song did not. They were twitter-pated, chasing one another when not chittering from the wires overhead.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
Green Jay BRGVSP
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)
Regulidae (Kinglets)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
Legend
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park, TX = BRGVSP
South Padre Island, TX = SPI

84 Species at 2 Locations

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
Least Grebe BRGVSP
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
Anhinga BRGVSP
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
Pandionidae (Osprey)
Osprey SPI
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
Killdeer SPI
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
Willet SPI
Whimbrel SPI
Dunlin SPI
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
Common Tern SPI
One individual observed preening in a flock of Royals and Leasts; showed dark red bill with darker tip and dark legs.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
Inca Dove SPI
Strigidae (Owls)
Eastern Screech-Owl (h) BRGVSP
Great Horned Owl (h) BRGVSP
Elf Owl BRGVSP
seen and heard
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
Lesser Nighthawk BRGVSP
Two individuals seen flying low over the parking lot, emitting a strange low call (courting?)
Apodidae (Swifts)
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
Tropical Kingbird SPI
at least 3 individual seen in the parking lot of our hotel in Harlingen were initially assumed to be Couch's Kingbirds until we woke up enough to pay attention to their trilled song. By playing the trilled song of the Tropical from recordings and observing the their green backs we confirmed the ID. The recorded Tropical song attracted the birds closer; Couch's song did not. They were twitter-pated, chasing one another when not chittering from the wires overhead.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
Green Jay BRGVSP
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
Paridae (Chickadees and Tits)
Regulidae (Kinglets)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
Legend
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park, TX = BRGVSP
South Padre Island, TX = SPI

84 Species at 2 Locations

South Padre Island
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park
South Padre Island
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park
South Padre Island
Common Tern
One individual observed preening in a flock of Royals and Leasts; showed dark red bill with darker tip and dark legs.
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park
South Padre Island
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park
Elf Owl
seen and heard
Lesser Nighthawk
Two individuals seen flying low over the parking lot, emitting a strange low call (courting?)
South Padre Island
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park
South Padre Island
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park
South Padre Island
Tropical Kingbird
at least 3 individual seen in the parking lot of our hotel in Harlingen were initially assumed to be Couch's Kingbirds until we woke up enough to pay attention to their trilled song. By playing the trilled song of the Tropical from recordings and observing the their green backs we confirmed the ID. The recorded Tropical song attracted the birds closer; Couch's song did not. They were twitter-pated, chasing one another when not chittering from the wires overhead.
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park
South Padre Island
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park
South Padre Island
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park
South Padre Island
Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park

Trip Map

Trip Notes

An overcast day with winds from the northeast gave high hopes of being a premium fallout day, but we had to settle for quality over quantity at Padre Island. Life looks at the Cape May Warbler at the convention center were enough prize to distract us from a "low" day total.

Our first trip to the convention center turned up only, ho hum, Blue-winged, Nashville and Tennessee Warblers, 2 orioles, Indigo Bunting and a few other passerines. We took a break by going to look at plovers, terns and gulls on the beach behind the convention center itself. On our return, the Cape May Warbler was spotted almost immediately by the 5 or more photographers with large rigs pointed right at the bird's last known location.

We stopped at the beach and jetty at the south tip of the island, then said good-bye to South Padre and headed out to Bensen for owls and nightjars. An elf owl emerged from a known location at 8:14 pm and was quickly joined in a near-by conifer by a second bird. In the dusk, we observed multiple food exchanges between these two birds before it got too dark to see them at all. A much more satisfying experience than a simple check-mark on a list.

Birds observed by others on the trip include: Clapper Rail, Least Sandpiper, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Bank Swallow, Cave Swallow, Grey Catbird, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Clay-colored and Savanah Sparrow, Hooded Oriole