Date: 2/11/17 6:29 pm
From: Clay Taylor <Clay.Taylor...>
Subject: [texbirds] Corpus Christi area notes
Hi all -
After being on the road for much of January and early Feb., it was nice to be able to spend time around the yard during the past few days.

The lousy sparrow year continues, with only a handful of Chipping Sparrows in the yard, and NO Lincoln's Sparrow - might be the first winter since I moved here in 2008 without a resident Lincoln's. Bummer....

The wintering regulars include the Lean, Mean, Gleaning Machine (the male Orange-crowned Warbler that is constantly attacking my dining room window), a few Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and Myrtle Warblers, as well as at least two House Wrens, Eastern Phoebes (one was giving the full call today), and an American Kestrel in the fields behind the house.

The usual mess of doves are keeping the Cooper's Hawks and Sharpies exercised - lots of Eurasian Collared, White-winged, and Incas at any given time, plus a few scattered Mourning. The hawk contingent looks to be 1 Sharpie and 2 Cooper's, ages and sexes TBD, but I need more sightings to be sure.

Yesterday a really good-looking Western Tanager (1st-year male, I think) popped in by the back feeders but was gone by the time I returned with the scope and camera. Darn. I really tried to make it into a Flame-colored, but it was definitely a Western - only my second one for the Yard List. Double-darn!

BTW - the Yard List is holding at 241.

Today was notable in that I heard and then saw my FOS Purple Martins, so I hustled and put up the Martin House. They never actually nest this early, but I did not want to seem like a poor host....

There were two hummingbirds chasing each other around in the morning - one perched briefly and looked like it was a Ruby-throated, but I will defer making the ID until I either get a better look or diagnostic photos.

Up in Swinney Switch / George West, the Bald Eagles seem to have babies in the nest, as an adult was standing in the nest and doing stuff with its head and beak before it hopped up onto its perch. Joel and Vicki Simon said that they usually get their first glimpses of the nestlings right around now, so maybe this week after the (promised) rains the little ones will show themselves. We tried to get photos of the nest framed against yesterday's moonrise (while the moon was in a penumbral eclipse), but there was too much haze on the horizon. Dang. Of course, tonight's eastern horizon was clear, and the moonrise was beautiful. Just a day late....

Good birding,

Clay Taylor
TOS Life Member
Calallen (Corpus Christi) TX

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