Friday, December 30, 2011

Cute little Verdin,

I photographed the Verdin the top pic at the photo blind feeders at Falcon State Park earlier this week. It was in the company of 2 other Verdin that stopped for a quick pick-me-up at this orange before flitting away.
I spotted the Verdin in the bottom two pics this morning at Edinburg Wetlands. It was foraging actively with a second Verdin in several of the many native trees at this great birding spot that seems the host the most Yellow-rumped Warblers in winter of any place in the Rio Grand Valley. These photos aren't really sharp but they both show the rufous on the shoulder of this species but is often hidden. I was delighted as I have never seen this, not that I have seen that many Verdin. SeEtta

Western Tanager, rare winter visitor @ Edinburg Wetlands

I photographed this female Western Tanager this morning at Edinburg Wetlands in Edinburg, TX. which is one of my favorite birding spots in the Rio Grande Valley. This rare bird was found 3 days ago. Today some ladies from Llano Grande RV Park, who were here for their regular Friday birding outing, spotted it and asked me what kind of bird it was. This species winters from well below the border in Mexico to Central America. SeEtta

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Last pics of Tropical Parula

Such a beauty, I just had to post two more pics of this Tropical Parula. The top pic shows why it was fairly easy to spot this small passarine (only 4 1/2 inches in length)--it is so bright. The white spots on tail are more obvious in the bottom pic than the pic in previous post. SeEtta

More Tropical Parula Pics

The top pic isn't as sharp but it shows the white undertail coverts and very limited white spots on tail. It also shows the extensiveness of the yellow on it's underparts.
This rare parula is my consolation after being told essentially that I wasn't needed for the Weslaco CBC unless I could be used at Estero LLano Grande State Park ("I have all sections outside the state park covered. Please contact Kyle O'Haver to see if he needs assistance inside the park.")--I didn't know that it was possible to not not need more counters for CBC's! Per the CBC website, "And anyone is welcome to participate, since Compilers arrange field parties so that inexperienced observers are always out with seasoned CBC veterans." Fortunately the compiler for the Bentsen CBC, Javier Deleon, has the right spirit. Not only did he ask me last week if I was going to help on their count but put out the following in an email today, "Please forward this one to anyone interested in participating or to anyone that would be interested in participating by being a feeder watcher for the day. The more the merrier!" Kudos to Javier for his inclusiveness and keeping with the spirit of Christmas Bird Counting. SeEtta

Tropical Parula, a rare beauty Quinta Mazatlan

I went to Quinta Mazatlan this morning to look for the Tropical Parula that was seen there last week. I ran into Jack Cochran, a Penn birder, who spotted it high in the tall trees (adjacent to the new pond and actually on the grounds of the adjacent golf course) but it's bright yellow underparts stood out so I picked up on it easily. We first saw around 10 am and continued watching it forage very actively until 10:30 am. As shown on the bottom pic there appears to be light eye arcs on the bird, a phenomena that the Sibley Guide to Birds of North America notes as a 'rare variant'. Sorry I could not crop the bird to a larger size but they were taken from a distance of 80-100 feet and only possible to get these as it there was bright sunshine which is required for these long shots with my long camera lens combo. More pics to follow. SeEtta

Monday, December 26, 2011

More Salineno Ladder-backed Woodpecker pics

Just a couple more pics of the female Ladder-backed Woodpecker I photographed at the feeders at DeWind RV Park in Salineno this morning. SeEtta



Ladder-backed Woodpecker: another Salineno feeder bird

One of the many birds coming in to the feeders at the DeWind RV Park in Salineno was were Ladder-back Woodpeckers including this female. She was intent on eating as much of the peanut butter mix that was put into a crevice on this tree branch as she could. SeEtta

Like many others I was delighted that Brown Jays were being seen again in Salineno at the DeWind RV Park feeders. As Mexican birds Brown Jays had previously wandered across the Rio Grande River where they had been seen in earlier years but have not beem found in about 5 years.

These very dark brown members of the corvid family, they are much larger than other jays. I was fortunate today as this single Brown Jay, an adult, came in to the feeders shortly after I got there and returned twice so I got to watch it for several minutes. SeEtta