Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Feeder Frenzy!


            Today’s list was short on quantity but very high on quality!  Starr County was the driest spot in the county, so we decided to make a run for Salineño, even though we figured we wouldn’t have time to do Falcon.  After a coffee pit stop in Roma we headed straight for the feeders, where Bob was holding down the fort, and the birds were even more active than the last time we were here in the afternoon!  Chad and Marge were overwhelmed: half a dozen Cardinals provided the reds, and Altamira Orioles provided the oranges (the color, that is – they were eating the fruiting kind… J), to say nothing of the black-and-yellows of the Audubon’s Orioles and Kiskadees, the green-and-blues of the Green Jays, and the flashy patterns of the two woodpeckers!  Even the earth-toned birds provided a thrill, as the Bewick’s Wren and the Olive Sparrow were also life birds!  Even the blackbird flock was diminished; the Dickcissel of last week didn’t show, but a Bobwhite did sneak in towards the back, as well as a couple of White-winged Doves!  It was heaven! J

The feeders at Salineno are always hopping!
Where else can you see at least four Altamira Orioles at once??

L-R:  Altamira Oriole, Great Kiskadee, and Green Jay

 Female Cardinal

Mr. Cardinal

Great Kiskadees plotting their move...
Altamira Oriole eyes the peanut butter mixture...

Happy campers!!

            We didn’t spend much time at the river due to the lack of birds (and the whipping cold, although the Osprey pair was still there), so since time was short we decided to cruise the Dump Road.  That proved to be pretty sparse as well, as the wind was keeping stuff down.  We barely made it onto the entrance road to Falcon State Park before we had to start heading back, but not before encountering a wonderful mixed flock of Lark and Chipping Sparrows, plus several knockout Pyrrhuloxias!  We also got a great look at a Cactus Wren perched on the fence!  That was definitely a highlight!
"Marge" checks out the Rio Grande

            We started back, picking up a Gray Hawk on a wire (!), but also kept an ear out for the Green Parakeet flock the Birder Patrol had found in Rio Grande City.  A couple of squawks later and we found the crowd in an Anacua tree in an alley, chowing down to beat the band!  And since their view of the Red-crowned Parrots Tuesday morning was less than ideal, I suggested making a run for the parrot roost in Weslaco, and while we were concerned that the setting sun might beat us there, we heard the parrots coming down Border, so I swung onto 8th and it was “storm-chasing” mode again until we found the flock, pretty much at the same area we had it with my two Californian guests!  Only as I took a closer look, I was shocked to find that this flock, like the one in Brownsville, also had its share of “escapees” with several Red-lored Parrots and a single big Yellow-headed in with them!  The poor guy who owned the house we were parked in front of got home with his toddler about then; you just hope that they’re used to birders coming to gawk at “their” parrots! J
Green Parakeets in Rio Grande City

An escapee Yellow-headed Parrot joined the Red-crowned Parrot flock in Weslaco!
The day was low on quantity but definitely high on quality!  Bird list:
  Northern Bobwhite                    
  Black Vulture                        
  Turkey Vulture                       
  Harris's Hawk                        
  Gray Hawk                             
  Rock Pigeon                          
  White-winged Dove                    
  Mourning Dove                        
  Inca Dove                            
  White-tipped Dove                    
  Golden-fronted Woodpecker            
  Ladder-backed Woodpecker             
  Crested Caracara                     
  American Kestrel                      
  Green Parakeet                       
  Red-crowned Parrot                   
  Red-lored Parrot                     
  Yellow-headed Parrot                  
  Eastern Phoebe                       
  Great Kiskadee                       
  Tropical Kingbird                    
  Loggerhead Shrike                    
  Green Jay                            
  Black-crested Titmouse               
  House Wren                           
  Bewick's Wren                        
  Cactus Wren                          
  Blue-gray Gnatcatcher                
  Northern Mockingbird                 
  Orange-crowned Warbler               
  Olive Sparrow                        
  Chipping Sparrow                     
  Lark Sparrow                         
  Northern Cardinal                     
  Red-winged Blackbird                 
  Western Meadowlark                   
  Great-tailed Grackle                 
  Brown-headed Cowbird                 
  Hooded Oriole                        
  Altamira Oriole                      
  Audubon's Oriole                     
  House Sparrow                        


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