Saturday, April 2, 2016

Awesome raptor migration today near the Rio Grande River

What a fantastic time I had today watching hundreds of raptors migrating into the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. It was actually overwhelming at times to see so many hawks and vultures and other raptors filling the sky. This short video clip gives a small slice of this migration. Note: as many of these raptors were high up it is best to watch this in full screen mode.

Raptors migrating in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas from SeEtta Moss on Vimeo. I count about 34 raptors in this pic (best viewed by clicking on the pic to enlarge it) SeEtta

Gray Hawk, in immature plumage



When I found this hawk I had no idea it was a Grey Hawk as this 1st year plumage is so different from adult plumage.As can be seen in the pic above this immature hawk was relaxed when I started photographing as it perched with one leg tucked up.



Though I stayed in my car and stayed quiet to avoid disturbing the hawk the mechanical camera noise (all bells turned off) of my Canon 60d dslr camera alerted him and he looked right at me.

Bottom pic shows this bird is molting so will be transitioning to adult plumage. SeEtta

Peregrine Falcon, a series of photos

I spotted this Peregrine Falcon this week in a town called San Juan here in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Since there aren't any big cliffs on which these birds can perch, they can sometimes be seen fairly close here perched on tall buildings.  SeEtta

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Nashville Warbler in bright plumage

I photographed this very bright Nashville Warbler at Frontera Audubon this week. It must have recently acquired this very bright plumage.
There has been up to 2 Nashville Warblers reported all winter at this location so this is presumably an overwintering bird not an early migrant. SeEtta

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Birding today at Hugh Ramsey Nature Park

Uncommon in the Rio Grande Valley, one or more Indigo Buntings have been seen in Hugh Ramsey Nature Park in Harlingen for the past month or so. I saw this adult male today as it enjoyed a bath even though it had to share it with a Northern Cardinal.
Buff-bellied Hummingbirds such as the one below are fairly common residents in the Rio Grande Valley.
An apparent pair of Long-billed Thrashers foraged together.
This is one of several Couch's Kingbirds I saw and heard singing in the park.
I had to add this bottom pic to show what bright yellow underparts these birds have. SeEtta

Monday, March 28, 2016

Colorful Red-crowned Parrot at Valley Nature Center

This pretty Red-crowned Parrot is roosting in a nest box just outside the Valley Nature Center. This species of parrot, contrary to several other parrot species that are thought to be escapees, has been determined to be a 'naturally occurring' species though there are also some escaped specimens in the 'Texas Rio Grande delta.' It isn't known yet if this bird will be nesting here. SeEtta

Female Painted Bunting

This is a female Painted Bunting, a very different plumaged bird than the male that is multicolored. It is kind of lime green on much of it's body but a muted coloration. SeEtta

The blazing Blue Bunting again

I found this rare Blue Bunting again today at Frontera Audubon. I spotted it foraging just 6 feet in front of me but hard to see as it was in the middle of the vegetation(see bottom pic for pic before I cropped the photo to enlarge it more than the 8X of my lens). Fortunately though not sunny, it was bright out so the color came out better than my other pics of the bird in deep shade.
Again I did nothing to enhance the color--this is the brilliant, shocking blue that this bird is! Not far from this rarity was the female Painted Bunting. SeEtta

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Spotted a Zone-tailed Hawk this morning

It took a week here in the Rio Grande Valley but I was able to spot a Zone-tailed Hawk as it flew near Frontera Audubon.
Unfortunately it was horribly overcast and bright so the pics were badly back-lit and also distant. But the wider outer tail band shows up and the a little of the patterned flight feathers. So these are the worst pics I have taken of these hawks. SeEtta