Date: 4/16/17 5:38 pm
From: Mary Beth Stowe <mbstowe...>
Subject: [texbirds] Big Day Report
Hi, all!

Saturday was my first opportunity to do a Hidalgo County Big Day since 2013,
when I logged 138 species for the day. Yesterday (Saturday) I had to work
pretty hard to finish up with 119!! Comparing the two, maybe the fact that
this one was five days earlier had something to do with it, but migrants
this year were few and far between compared to 2013's outing. I changed the
route a little as well as I was now living in Alamo as opposed to North
McAllen, but the destinations stayed pretty much the same. Without giving a
species-by-species blow-by-blow I'll just cover the highlights, as I haven't
even had time to look at the pictures yet.

Started pre-dawn at Bentsen with "unique" birds including Pauraque, the
three expected owls (including at least four Elf Owls scattered around the
route), a cackling Least Bittern at the Resaca, a wailing Gray Hawk, and the
normal Valley woodland birds. Dipped on the migrant nightjars and a
reported Poorwill, along with the reported Red-billed Pigeons.

The drive along Old Military Highway had my only Blue Grosbeak near the
Butterfly Center, plus Bank Swallows chattering along the levee.

Anzalduas had my only Black Phoebe and Cliff Swallows, along with a nice
liftoff of Broad-winged Hawks on the way out.

Quinta Mazatlan again had a big event going on, so I skipped that and headed
north to Edinburg Wetlands, where I had my only Forster's Terns, Anhinga,
and Green Kingfisher of the day (the latter at the South Pond).

The La Sal del Rey Route was next, logging a bunch of unique "open country"
things like Caracara, Cassin's and Lark Sparrows, Horned Lark, Pyrrhuloxia,
Bobwhite, Roadrunner, Common Ground Dove, Black Vulture, White-tailed Hawk,
and the best bird - a male Bullock's Oriole!

Delta Lake Park was good only for a potty stop as I added nothing unique
there and the water was too high for shorebirds. Frontera was next, with
highlights including the three sole migrants there: Great Crested
Flycatcher, Summer Tanager, and the best - a singing Philadelphia Vireo!

That brought me up to 90 and I was sweating it, as even Estero couldn't get
me over 100, but with Huck's help added several shorebirds, ducks, and a
Ruby-throated Hummingbird; a report of Swainson's Warbler sent me back to
the water feature in the Tropical Zone, but all I added was a calling
Eastern Wood Pewee.

Progresso Sod Farms saved the day, with #100 being several Upland Sandpipers
that another birder cottoned me onto WAY out there! Up the road (and much
closer) were all the other expected "grasspipers", including two lovely
Buff-bellies! Added bonuses included a flyover Common Nighthawk, a rapidly
retreating Groove-billed Ani, and a last-minute White-tailed Kite on the
levee! (The levee gate at 88 is closed, I discovered the hard way.)

Last stop was Santa Ana, and added Marsh Wren, White Ibis, and Little Blue
Heron as the last birds of the day. It wasn't until I input the birds into
BirdBase that I realized that I had mislabeled my paper list (I thought I'd
be smart and pre-number the notepad.), and what I though was bird #100 was
actually #110! :-/ (The REAL #100 was the Summer Tanager.) Pictures will
be up on Facebook when I can get to it. :) Bird List:

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna autumnalis

Mottled Duck Anas fulvigula

Blue-winged Teal Anas discors

Cinnamon Teal Anas cyanoptera

Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata

Plain Chachalaca Ortalis vetula

Northern Bobwhite Colinus virginianus

Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus

Pied-billed Grebe Podilymbus podiceps

Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus

Double-crested Cormorant Phalacrocorax auritus

Anhinga Anhinga anhinga

American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Least Bittern Ixobrychus exilis

Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias

Great Egret Ardea alba

Snowy Egret Egretta thula

Little Blue Heron Egretta caerulea

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis

Green Heron Butorides virescens

White Ibis Eudocimus albus

Black Vulture Coragyps atratus

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura

Osprey Pandion haliaetus

White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus

Harris's Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus

White-tailed Hawk Geranoaetus albicaudatus

Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus

Gray Hawk Buteo plagiatus

Swainson's Hawk Buteo swainsoni

Common Gallinule Gallinula galeata

American Coot Fulica americana

Black-necked Stilt Himantopus mexicanus

American Avocet Recurvirostra americana

American Golden-Plover Pluvialis dominica

Killdeer Charadrius vociferus

Spotted Sandpiper Actitis macularius

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca

Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes

Upland Sandpiper Bartramia longicauda

Stilt Sandpiper Calidris himantopus

Baird's Sandpiper Calidris bairdii

Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla

Buff-breasted Sandpiper Calidris subruficollis

Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos

Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus

Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla

Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri

Rock Pigeon Columba livia

Eurasian Collared-Dove Streptopelia decaocto

White-winged Dove Zenaida asiatica

Mourning Dove Zenaida macroura

Inca Dove Columbina inca

Common Ground-Dove Columbina passerina

White-tipped Dove Leptotila verreauxi

Greater Roadrunner Geococcyx californianus

Groove-billed Ani Crotophaga sulcirostris

Eastern Screech-Owl Megascops asio

Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus

Elf Owl Micrathene whitneyi

Common Nighthawk Chordeiles minor

Common Pauraque Nyctidromus albicollis

Chimney Swift Chaetura pelagica

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Archilochus colubris

Buff-bellied Hummingbird Amazilia yucatanensis

Green Kingfisher Chloroceryle americana

Golden-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes aurifrons

Ladder-backed Woodpecker Picoides scalaris

Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway

Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet Camptostoma imberbe

Eastern Wood-Pewee Contopus virens

Black Phoebe Sayornis nigricans

Great Crested Flycatcher Myiarchus crinitus

Brown-crested Flycatcher Myiarchus tyrannulus

Great Kiskadee Pitangus sulphuratus

Tropical Kingbird Tyrannus melancholicus

Couch's Kingbird Tyrannus couchii

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus

Loggerhead Shrike Lanius ludovicianus

White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus

Philadelphia Vireo Vireo philadelphicus

Green Jay Cyanocorax yncas

Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris

Northern Rough-winged Swallow Stelgidopteryx serripennis

Purple Martin Progne subis

Bank Swallow Riparia riparia

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica

Cliff Swallow Petrochelidon pyrrhonota

Cave Swallow Petrochelidon fulva

Black-crested Titmouse Baeolophus atricristatus

Verdin Auriparus flaviceps

House Wren Troglodytes aedon

Marsh Wren Cistothorus palustris

Carolina Wren Thryothorus ludovicianus

Bewick's Wren Thryomanes bewickii

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Polioptila caerulea

Clay-colored Thrush Turdus grayi

Curve-billed Thrasher Toxostoma curvirostre

Long-billed Thrasher Toxostoma longirostre

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

European Starling Sturnus vulgaris

Common Yellowthroat Geothlypis trichas

Olive Sparrow Arremonops rufivirgatus

Cassin's Sparrow Peucaea cassinii

Lark Sparrow Chondestes grammacus

Summer Tanager Piranga rubra

Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis

Pyrrhuloxia Cardinalis sinuatus

Blue Grosbeak Passerina caerulea

Dickcissel Spiza americana

Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus

Eastern Meadowlark Sturnella magna

Great-tailed Grackle Quiscalus mexicanus

Bronzed Cowbird Molothrus aeneus

Brown-headed Cowbird Molothrus ater

Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii

Altamira Oriole Icterus gularis

Lesser Goldfinch Spinus psaltria

House Sparrow Passer domesticus


Mary Beth Stowe

Alamo, TX <>

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