Monday, August 6, 2012

Hot, but birdy

A quick weekend jaunt to the LRGV netted our year count six new birds, with the potential for more as I work out identities of a handful of shorebirds. Our main target species for this trip included Groove-billed Ani, Gray Hawk, Green Parakeet and Botteri's Sparrow. We were able to get photos of the Ani and Hawk, but dipped on the others. The Green Parakeet was particularly frustrating, because we saw a small flock, but could not get a picture. 

East of Raymondville, we tried for the Botteri's, but could not get a cooperative subject to peak out of the shrubbery. The roadside was teeming with birds, however... Orioles, Vireos, a few flycatchers and hawks. Several White-tailed Hawks (a new year bird, too) and Harris's Hawks were around. We also got a pic of a Bronzed Cowbird here.

We stopped in Port Aransas to see if the Birding Center would graces us with a Lesser Bittern. It did. Several, in fact. Including one little guy that we tracked in flight from across the water and ended up landing on the boardwalk about eight feet from us! He quickly skittered into the reeds on the other side, but did a little fishing first giving us good looks at his 'clutch and grab' technique.

Good form!
Our next notable trip comes in late September when we head to San Francisco and try again for a Pacific pelagic. You might remember the weather cancelled our January trip out of Dana Point. Hopefully our Half Moon Bay excursion does not suffer the same fate.

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