Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hot Christmas Bird Count

I participated in the Christmas Bird Count at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco, Tx today and it was hot--both in terms of the birds and the temperature. In fact the high temperature of 90 degrees was a record for Weslaco for this date. With the strong winds that blew much of the day, and the high humidity, it was challenging though very different from the Christmas Bird Counts I usually go to in Colorado. The Common Pauraque in this pic was one of the great birds I saw at this state park that is one of the World Birding Center designated sites. Common Paurague's are found in the U.S. only in southern Texas. This bird, like others of it's species, sleeps during the day. As seen in the pic the bird's eye is open a bit. It was like that when we first saw it so I think it may sleep that way, possibly in order to be aware of predators. SeEtta

Friday, December 26, 2008

Raptor greetings


Though I saw this nice Crested Caracara just a little south of the Falfurrias Rest Stop, I saw 5-6 Crested Caracaras as I drove a county road just northeast of the rest stop and 2 of them were engaged in an aerial manuevers. This could be siblings engaged in play according to the Birds of North America online which states that siblings of this species "are frequently seen conducting aerial manuevers, chasing each other."

I was also delighted to spot a White-tailed Hawk flying near the road as well as several Harris' Hawks, specialties of the Rio Grande Valley along with Crested Caracara. It was quite a nice welcome to the area for me as during prior trips here I have missed some of these species. SeEtta

Happy holidays from the Rio Grande Valley,TX

I haven't been posting as I left the day after my last post on my road trip to the Rio Grande Valley in the far south of Texas. This Black-and-White Warbler was one of the first birds I found as I entered South Texas, finding it and lots of other goodies (like several each Ladder-backed and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers) at the Falfurrias Rest Stop, a well known birding hotspot just south of the town of Falfurrias. It was so birdy I had to drag myself away to continue on my trip. SeEtta