Sunday, 20 April 2014

Final morning in the Texas sun

I arrived back in London earlier today, predictably to grey skies and drizzle. So even though it was just yesterday morning, the excellent birding in the sunshine seems a long time ago. We started off at Anahuac, where we headed right down the track past the 'Yellow Rail Prairie' to check the fenceline on the off chance of a late Le Conte's Sparrow. Needless to say, it didn't happen; however a Great Northern Diver was a new bird for the trip while this Common Nighthawk - likewise an addition to the trip - took the verge and adjacent fenceposts to its liking. A Sora in an adjacent ditch was the final new bird for the trip, meaning that we ended up with 319 species for the two weeks. Guess that tells you that I'd recommend Texas, right?
Common Nighthawk Anahuac 19th April 2014
There are generally just lots of birds around - Seaside Sparrows, Sedges Wrens, innumerable Savannah Sparrows, as well as a single Blue Grosbeak and loads of Cliff Swallows nesting by the reserve centre this morning.
Cliff Swallow Anahuac 19th April 2014
Back on High Island at Smith Oaks, a casual walk about for just over an hour produced a nice haul and a reminder that despite the blue skies, migrants were about in decent numbers. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Scarlet Tangers dominated, with perhaps up to 20 of the former, while Chestnut-sided Warbler, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Ovenbird, Kentucky Warbler, two American Redstarts, a handful of Wood and Swainson's Thrushes, several Red-eyed Vireos and a couple of Baltimore Orioles were also about before the inevitable drive back to the airport. Without doubt, one of the most bird-filled, quality trips I've done to date.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak Smith Oaks 19th April 2014

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Smith Oaks 19th April 2014

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