Monday, April 25, 2016

Chimney Swifts returning to roost from SeEtta Moss on Vimeo. After finding out about this chimney in Harlingen, TX that hosts several hundred Chimney Swifts I had to go see it. I was not disappointed as I enjoyed watching hundreds of these birds converge near this large chimney, circling and chittering until they dive into the chimney to roost for the night. As they wait until almost dark to go to their roost it is best to watch this in full screen mode (click on 'vimeo' to enlarge). SeEtta

Philadelphia Vireo, another lifer

Frontera Audubon was hot yesterday with a number of new species having apparently been brought in by the rain the night before. One of the new birds was this pretty Philadelphia Vireo. I did not do any editing other than cropping, the color and brightness were as photographed. SeEtta

Black-billed Cuckoo, a new life bird

This was a real treat yesterday at Frontera Audubon as I have never seen a Black-billed Cuckoo before. It certainly behaved like the Yellow-billed Cuckoos I have seen, secretively staying at least partially obscured in the tree. It's red eye ring is barely visible but the black bill is best seen in the middle pic.
I added the crummy pic below only because it does show the white spots on this species graduated tail. SeEtta

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chuck-Will's-Widow perched--a lifer for me!

I spotted this neat bird, a member of the goatsucker family, perched in a tree at the Old Hildago Pumphouse grounds a few days ago. This species is definitely not found in Colorado and I have never had an opportunity to even hear one calling let alone see one during my birding trips to more eastern locations. So this was a real neat experience for me--yes, especially because I found the bird (not just photographed a bird in an area where it had been seen by others as many birds have been). There was an irony to this sighting--I saw it the day before I got this good photo and took several photos but I had forgotten to put a memory card in my camera so I didn't have any photos of it. As it had flushed I was bummed but kept looking and I refound it and got a couple of photos though this one the next day is so much better, I am pretty proud of it. And be aware that the gleam visible in the eye of this bird is from natural light as I did not use flash (I avoid flash if at all possible and much prefer natural lit photos) SeEtta

More So Padre Island colorful migrants

In addition to the rare warblers below, there were a lot of other neat migrants at the South Padre Island Convention Center Gardens this past week including 2 male Painted Buntings.
Interesting how the light changes the shade of the colors on this/these bird(s) (not sure if these were of the same or different birds)

There was only one Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
But a group of 5 male Dickcissels that fed together and also perched near each other. SeEtta

Migration bonanza: Canada and Prairie Warblers at S Padre Island Convention Center gardens

I am behind on uploading here, I got these beauties at South Padre Island Convention Center gardens last week.
The Prairie Warblers was a lifer  for me and I got very good views.  I had seen a Canada Warbler where it was a rare vagrant in Colorado several years ago but got better views this time.

The bottom pic would have been so good if wasn't for that little branch in the way, oh well. SeEtta

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blue Bunting bonanza

I got to see the rare male Blue Bunting at Frontera Audubon today for my 5th and 6th times. The first time I refound it this morning it was calling, giving a very strong 'chip' call (which did not sound to be like a Blue Grosbeak chip as I have been told). I spotted it foraging about 30 feet into the native vegetation where it was foraging. Then it sang briefly, a nice warbled song. No photos then. But I found it again about 20 minutes later and 100 or so feet further away where I got this series of pics of it foraging on the ground in the leaf litter.

I was less than 20 feet away as it foraged. I carefully moved away to go get a couple from Manitoba who had been looking for it and it was still foraging when we returned.
The pic above shows it with what looks like a piece of leaf in it's bill.
The pic above here shows it with a seed in it's bill.
This indepth observation is the type of birding I enjoy the most. I got to watch this tropical bird for almost 30 minutes as it foraged first on the ground then several feet above the ground. The following very short video clips (sorry but I took the videos with my Canon 60d dslr which makes you look thru the lcd screen during video shooting and it is really hard to follow a bird in vegetation thru an lcd screen) show the bird flying between vines and branches, even briefly hovering, as it fed.  Probably best watched in full screen mode. SeEtta
BlueBunting, rare tropical bird, at Frontera Audubon in So Texas from SeEtta Moss on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Found another 1st year Gray Hawk today plus a Brown-crested Flycatcher

I found this 1st year Gray Hawk at Old Hildago Pumphouse in Hildago, Tx today. So now I have seen 2 1st year Gray Hawks and no adults so far on this trip.

I also found this Brown-crested Flycatcher at that location.