Monday, December 30, 2019

California Dreamers, Part 2


All photographs ©2019 by Ron Lam

For the second day, Michael concentrated on two of the more productive spots in Hidalgo County:  Santa Ana NWR and Estero Llano Grande State Park.  They reported a single Least Flycatcher at Santa Ana, along with a few Snipe out at Pintail Lakes (I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s where they got their Ringed Kingfisher and Vermilion Flycatcher as well, as they’ve been hanging around out there).  While their adventure there assuredly included the usual woodland suspects such as Green Jay, Altamira Oriole, White-tipped Dove, Black-crested Titmouse, Great Kiskadee, Olive Sparrow, Long-tailed Thrasher, Carolina Wren, the two woodpeckers, and the Harris’ Hawk pair, the absolute highlight had to be the Hook-billed Kite they saw flying low over the trees at Willow Lake!

Greater Yellowlegs

Green Kingfisher

Hook-billed Kite!!

Vermilion Flycatcher

As the saying goes, “Estero never disappoints,” and according to Michael’s comments they added quite a few new trip birds there in the wetlands, and the afternoon light off the deck is always superb!  Some of the highlights included both whistling duck species, Cinnamon Teal, the resident “pet” Pauraques (wish I coulda seen the looks on their faces when they finally saw that one J), Anhinga and Green Heron (probably at Alligator Lake), and Stilt Sandpipers from the levee.  A female Archilochus hummingbird visited the feeders that Michael suspected was a Black-chinned this time of year.  

Bedraggled Fulvous Whistling Duck

Young Green Heron having a bad hair day...

High-stepping Kiskadee

The most photographed Pauraque in the world!

White-faced Ibis

They did very well with 72 species for the day (if you decide to nail the hummer as a Blackchin) and 22 new species overall (marked with an asterisk)!  Bird list: 

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Fulvous Whistling-Duck*
Blue-winged Teal 
Cinnamon Teal*
Northern Shoveler 
Mottled Duck 
Northern Pintail 
Green-winged Teal 
Least Grebe*
Pied-billed Grebe
Plain Chachalaca
Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon)
Inca Dove*
White-tipped Dove 
Mourning Dove 
Common Pauraque*
Black-chinned Hummingbird*
Common Gallinule  
American Coot 
Black-necked Stilt 
American Avocet*
Stilt Sandpiper*
Long-billed Dowitcher*
Wilson's Snipe*
Greater Yellowlegs 
Lesser Yellowlegs*
Neotropic Cormorant 
Double-crested Cormorant 
American White Pelican 
Great Blue Heron 
Great Egret 
Snowy Egret 
Little Blue Heron 
Tricolored Heron 
Green Heron*
Black-crowned Night-Heron*
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
White Ibis 
White-faced Ibis 
Turkey Vulture 
Hook-billed Kite*
Northern Harrier 
Harris's Hawk 
Red-shouldered Hawk*
Red-tailed Hawk 
Belted Kingfisher 
Green Kingfisher 
Golden-fronted Woodpecker 
Ladder-backed Woodpecker 
American Kestrel
Least Flycatcher*
Eastern Phoebe 
Vermilion Flycatcher*
Great Kiskadee 
Tropical Kingbird 
Green Jay 
Black-crested Titmouse 
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher*
House Wren* - heard only
Carolina Wren* - heard only
Long-billed Thrasher 
Northern Mockingbird 
Olive Sparrow 
Altamira Oriole 
Red-winged Blackbird 
Great-tailed Grackle 
Orange-crowned Warbler 
Northern Cardinal 

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