Saturday, 12 April 2014

Texas in spring update

It's been too long since the last post, not because I haven't done any birding. Indeed, it's been the other way around - too much birding/travelling/lack of internet has meant that there will be plenty of stuff stacked up for later. In brief though, having now done 6 days of solid birding here in Texas with Mark L, things are pretty good with 228 species so far. Doing moderately too when it comes to not stocking up on total shite food - some of these Texans are mega fat.
Cerulean Warbler
Anyway, started off in High Island where the first day produced a mini fall with 18 species of wood warbler - Cerulean, Blackburnian, Worm Eating, Kentucky, Hooded, Prothonotary, Blue-winged, Black-throated Green included. Also on our first morning, we managed to luck out on a Yellow Rail on the walk at Anahuac.
Black-and-white Warbler
Monday was also good fall conditions with Nashvilles joining the warbler party and heading south to South Padre Island, the birds showed rather well. It wasn't just warblers with five species of vireo seen and a good day of Franklin's Gull migration too - keeping the gull interest going along with American Herrings and Laughers.
Northern Parula

Black-throated Green Warbler

Nashville Warbler
Heading down into the Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday changed the composition of species, and the birds became more tropical - stuff like Green Jay and Plain Chachalacas are pretty common while we managed to eek out Elf Owl, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Clay-coloured Thrush and White-collared Seedeater along with a nice stake out for Ferruginous Pygmy Owl.
Ferruginous Pygmy Owl
Yesterday, from the Rio Grande we started to head north and though the southeasterly winds reduced the migration significantly, a few birds were still noted. Most notably, a Glaucous Gull on the beach at Boca Chica and then in the evening Aplomado Falcon and Cassin's Sparrows nearby. Today was spent birding around Corpus Christi first thing in one of its city parks, before moving up to Aransas for the afternoon boat trip for Whooping Cranes.
Whooping Crane
That's it for now - there'll be loads to come later, but hope that's a nice taster of what it's like to be birding in Texas in April. Pretty stunning, with loads of yank rares all in their full kit along with regional specialities. Hoping to see some Prairie Chickens in the morning...


  1. Hey man, were you on the Anahuac Rail walk with me when the other brit tried to touch the Yellow Rail? I think we ran into you after at High Island.

  2. Yeah that's right. I was with my mate for a couple of weeks and met you at the Yellow Rail and then at Hook Wood, where you told me the name of your blog... nice work. Currently in Arizona trying to bag a few bits down here.

  3. Nice. Was there a couple months ago. Good luck. Goshawks and Spotted Owls in Miller Canyon. Dig your blog.