Sunday, February 26, 2012

0-fer the Valley... but Whoopers!

Decisions, decisions. This weekend posed a bit of a conundrum for us early on. We thought about chasing Snowy Owl up near Dallas, but when she went missing mid-week, we ruled that trip out. We came VERY close to trying for the the added pelagic out of Hatteras that had the Black-browed Albatross last week, but we just couldn't make the logistics work. So... we opted for the LRGV in hopes of getting our Brown Jay on the third crack at it. Well... Saturday, he was a no-show. The weather had turned a bit after a cold front and I guess he wasn't excited about the cool, damp, overcast day. The jay is quickly becoming a nemesis bird for us. Later in the day, we tried for the Dusky-capped Flycatcher that had been so accessible at Estero Llano just the day before. Well... we struck out their too. We ended up at Quinta Mazatlan late in the day for a last gasp at the Tropical Parula... and, well... 
Sunday was going to be a better weather day, so we thought about heading back for the Brown Jay, but instead opted to head to South Padre Island. We were able to get a handful of birds we hadn't gotten yet - Belted Kingfisher, Tropical Kingbird, etc... We were hoping for a peek at a Rail or two, but as our luck would have it... we got nothing except a report that someone had a Sora earlier that morning.
Tired and bummed out, we headed north for home, but were up for one last detour - a stop by Goose Island State Park near Rockport for a shot at Whooping Cranes. We had seen at least one report on Texbirds that a few Whoopers had been seen in a field near the Big Tree. We arrived at the Big Tree in the mid-afternoon, but there was little action. We walked around for a bit and were heading back for the car when four Whoopers flew overhead! We watched for a while, then made our way to the trail on the backside of the Big Tree where a few other birders had congregated. Soon, two more Whoopers came into view from the north.

Whoop! Whoop!
With this small victory in hand, we made for the car and got back on the road to Houston. We know there are going to be trips like this one, but that doesn't make them any less depressing!
We're going to do a little Galveston birding next weekend... gearing up for the fast-approaching spring migration season. Our plans for migration revolve mainly around High Island. We might change it up a bit hear and there, but Boy Scout Woods is likely to be OBY 2012 headquarters for most weekends in late April and early May. 

PHOTOSTREAM NOTE: We did a little house cleaning on the Photostream. The Purple Finch is gone. We'd had a few folks tell us it was likely a House Finch we had, and ultimately we agreed. We also replaced the blurry Spotted Sandpiper photo from California with a much nicer one from this weekend.

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