Monday, April 25, 2016

Day Four with the Great Danes - Desert Watch


Today was the Danish group’s last day, and it was certainly a glorious one!  The White-collared Seedeater was up and singing in full view at Salineño, just giving a great show!  A pair of Mexican Ducks flew by, but no Muscovy or Red-billed Pigeon.  The Dump Road was productive, however, with both Bobwhite and Scaled Quail in the same binocular view, and a Black-throated Sparrow being harassed by a Lark Sparrow! 
Enjoying the White-collared Seedeater at Salineno
Two views of the White-collared Seedeater


Happy campers!

The Salineno boat ramp, showing a flooded Rio Grande and Mexico just across the way!

Looking for Black-throated Sparrows along the Dump Road
The County Park had the group’s first Vermilion Flycatchers, White Pelicans, Hooded Orioles, and Cactus Wren (and some got the Verdin), but the stars were the two Red-billed Pigeons that wheeled in and landed full view in a tree!  While some of the group was literally crawling through the bushes chasing a Verdin, those of us who opted to stay on the straight and narrow were treated to a Brewer’s Sparrow, a rare bird for the Valley (and only my first for the area)!  J  The state park was kinda quiet, but those who had missed Pyrrhuloxia before got a nice view, and some folks got on a performing Roadrunner.  (I snuck over to the butterfly garden and had loads of Lyside Sulphurs and Elada Checkerspots, and a beat-up Sickle-winged Skipper and Giant Swallowtail…) 
Enjoying a Vermilion Flycatcher at Starr County Park
Brewer's Sparrow, rare in the Valley
An elusive Red-billed Pigeon makes a showing

Enjoying the pigeons

Elada Checkerspot

Sickle-winged Skipper

Cloudless Sulphur

Giant Swallowtail
A visit to Rancho Lomitas produced more Scaled Quail and a Painted Bunting, and while Fleming and I staked out the feeders, the rest went with Jim Seeden, one of the caretakers, down to a pond where they picked up a Belted Kingfisher, so with the Ringed and Green we got at Salineño, that made it a kingfisher sweep for most of the group!  Back at the feeders I was messin’ with a Roadrunner that was rattling and cooing nearby, but he never did come out for looks for the group when they returned…
Green Jay

Sneaky Scaled Quail
We headed back tired but happy, with 71 species for the day, which isn’t bad for Starr County!  Bird List:
       Mallard (Mexican Duck)               
  Plain Chachalaca                     
  Scaled Quail                         
  Northern Bobwhite                    
  Neotropic Cormorant                  
  American White Pelican               
  Great Egret                          
  Snowy Egret                          
  Cattle Egret                         
  Black Vulture                        
  Turkey Vulture                       
  White-tailed Kite                    
  Cooper's Hawk                        
  Harris's Hawk                         
  Gray Hawk                            
  Swainson's Hawk                      
  Spotted Sandpiper                    
  Caspian Tern                         
  Rock Pigeon                          
  Red-billed Pigeon                    
  Eurasian Collared-Dove               
  White-winged Dove                    
  Mourning Dove                        
  Inca Dove                            
  Common Ground-Dove                   
  White-tipped Dove                    
  Greater Roadrunner                   
  Ringed Kingfisher                    
  Green Kingfisher                     
  Golden-fronted Woodpecker            
  Ladder-backed Woodpecker             
  Crested Caracara                     
  American Kestrel                     
  Vermilion Flycatcher                 
  Ash-throated Flycatcher               
  Brown-crested Flycatcher             
  Great Kiskadee                       
  Tropical Kingbird                    
  Couch's Kingbird                     
  Western Kingbird                     
  Scissor-tailed Flycatcher            
  White-eyed Vireo                     
  Green Jay                            
  Chihuahuan Raven                     
  Northern Rough-winged Swallow        
  Bank Swallow                         
  Barn Swallow                         
  Black-crested Titmouse               
  Bewick's Wren                        
  Cactus Wren                          
  Clay-colored Thrush                  
  Curve-billed Thrasher                
  Northern Mockingbird                 
  European Starling                    
  White-collared Seedeater             
  Olive Sparrow                        
  Brewer's Sparrow                     
  Lark Sparrow                         
  Black-throated Sparrow               
  Summer Tanager                       
  Northern Cardinal                    
  Painted Bunting                      
  Red-winged Blackbird                 
  Great-tailed Grackle                 
  Brown-headed Cowbird                 
  Hooded Oriole                        
  Bullock's Oriole                      
  House Sparrow                        

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