Friday, January 7, 2011

Black-vented Oriole: video clip of passerine harrassment


This very short video shows a passerine harassing the Black-vented Oriole. The little bird passes very close and may even have grazed the oriole as it almost loses it's balance. It's a hard life for vagrant birds. SeEtta

Black-vented Oriole: still pics

The top pic shows almost all of the field marks for this stunning bird: black tail including vent area; black hood, wings and back; yellowish orange underparts. It's yellowish orange lower back is not visible.
The bottom pic shows a trailer that was parked in the Bentsen Palm Village RV Park where this bird has been foraging in their coral bean trees. Birders are fortunate that park management was agreeable to allowing access to view the bird with reasonable limitations. For those not familiar with the Bentsen Palm Village RV Park, it is located only a few hundred feet from Bentsen State Park, one of the true birding hotspots in the very birdy Rio Grande Valley. Not only were Park management accommodating to birders but the rv'ers staying in this beautiful park were very friendly and helpful. Any birders planning to take their RV to the Rio Grande Valley might want to check out the website for this first rate RV park. SeEtta

Black-vented Oriole: longer video clip


This is a slightly longer clip (2 min) showing the bird feeding on these lovely blossoms and demonstrating again it's excellent acrobatic skills. If these blossoms look like those in the other clips, they are--but it is the bird returning to drink the nectar again. In fact, it returned to a number of favorite/productive blossoms each time it returned to feed while I was there. Presumably these blossoms were providing more nectar each time as the bird appeared to be getting it. Does anyone know the mechanisms that this plant produces nectar? SeEtta

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Black-vented Oriole: another video clip

This oriole is both quite large, due in part to it's long bill and tail, and quite striking with it"s contrasting black and yellowish-orange plumage. It was reported in Bentsen State Park that this is the 6th record for sightings in Texas though it is reported to occur regularly in Arizona. SeEtta

BLACK-VENTED ORIOLE, rare vagrant


This is the first of several clips of a Black-vented Oriole, a very rare Mexican vagrant, that is foraging on the beautiful tubular flowers of a coral bean tree in Bentsen Palm Village RV Park. It was first spotted on Dec 13, 2010 in Bentsen State Park which is only a few hundred yards from it's current location.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Tropical Parula and Black-throated Gray Warbler

These warblers were pretty challenging to photograph as, in addition to the bright gray overcast sky, they are in almost constant motion and often engaged in chasing each other away from some juicy morsel.
The mixed flock in which this Tropical Parula was foraging included at least 2 Orange-crowned Warblers, 1-2 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 2 or more Ruby-crowned Kinglets and the Black-throated Gray Warbler in the less than complete pic below (have to look close as pic not good enough quality to enlarge much). SeEtta

Tropical Parula, another nice Estero Llano Grande SP bird

I was delighted to see and photograph this apparently overwintering Tropical Parula today. It has been reported for several days foraging in a mixed flock of warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets traveling in the former rv park area of Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco, TX and that is where I photographed it.
I believe this is a male Tropical Parula but I haven't seen that many so I hope someone will correct me if I am in error. A few more pics in next post. SeEtta

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Long-billed Curlew: foraging in Rio Grande Valley-TX


This was one of a flock of 20-25 Long-billed Curlews foraging on grubs and other curlew delights this afternoon. SeEtta

White-throated Thrush-another rare vagrant in TX

This morning I photographed this White-throated Thrush, another rare visitor to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. It flew in to a tree near a water feature in the former RV park section of Estero Llano Grande State Park. It slowly worked it's way down through the branches and landed in the shallow water where it drank for a minute or so until some Chachalacas flushed it with their fussing. It made it's way back into the top of the trees then flew off out of sight. Again the bird was in a dark area so my photo is pretty dark too. SeEtta