Date: 4/8/17 4:59 pm From: Mary Beth Stowe <mbstowe...> Subject: [texbirds] Old Port Isabel & South Padre
With the great report from South Padre this week I decided to head over there today, but started first with Old Port Isabel Road; it was a beautiful day and both Cassin's and Lark Sparrows posed nicely (the former were skylarking right next to the road), and had my first American Golden Plovers of the route. Also had a good selection of "desert" birds, several Whimbrels, flyover Upland Sandpipers, a pair of Chihuahuan Ravens, plus four raptors, but no Aplomados. A nice addition was a singing Sedge Wren in the grassy stuff. At the end of the road a pair of Bobwhite communicated right next to me, and my FOS Brown-crested Flycatcher competed with a White-eyed Vireo.
Once on the Island I hit the Flats first, which were in great shape: had the usual larids and shorebirds (see below), along with a Royal Tern who seemed more interested in playing "piggyback" with his mate than getting down to family business!
At the Convention Centre things were REEEELY slow, but with a lotta people looking! Ran into Donna McCown who told me about a Catbird (which eventually came out), and a lady out back pointed out a Summer Tanager, and yet another Sedge Wren was calling from the grass! On the boardwalk I ran into Brad McKinney and Mark Esparza, and that's where most of the action actually was! Mark had reported a lot of migration early that morning, and after enjoying the Clapper Rail out in the open (finally!) and a female Least Bittern, we went past the mangroves and just watched as stuff came into them: three Orchard Orioles, one Baltimore, a Black-and-white Warbler, a couple of Indigo Buntings, and a waterthrush that Mark saw briefly (probably the same one that's been "pinking" all along :))!
Mark had reported a Kentucky Warbler at Sheepshead, so I headed over there, where Simon Kiacz was keeping watch over the empty south lot. After a bit of chatting a Worm-eating Warbler suddenly showed up, and as more people came a Kentucky Warbler popped up briefly, and on the north (sunny) side there were several Indigo Buntings in the water feature! Scarlet showed up about then to do some maintenance and schmooze a bit; I sure appreciate all the work she and her crew put into these avian rest areas! :)
Called it a day after that with 90 species for the morning. A few pictures (and a video of the Cassin's Sparrow; still waiting for the one of the terns to upload.) are on my Facebook page: