|Crimson-collared Grosbeak at Frontera Audubon, Weslaco TX|
photo by Tripp Davenport
Sunrise was at 7:16 in Brownsville. Parrots don't wait around long after sunrise in my experience so I needed to be there early and see if could find where they were roosting and be ready. I timed my arrival for 6:30 am.
I looked and looked and found no parrots roosting. Finally about 7:20 I heard a squawk and headed for the playground. I spotted what I counted as 6 Red-crowned Parrots in a tree. I started scanning other trees in the area. Suddenly the tree with the Red-crowned Parrots erupted and about 150 Red-crowned Parrot came out. Where the heck where they in the tree?
A few seconds later from another tree three Yellow-headed Parrot flew out. I then found a group of 4 more birds perched in where I could see them, Cool, Red-lored Parrots! That would make 499 in eBird.I headed for Frontera Audubon.
I heard excited voices up the trail and one woman was on it. I tried over the next 30 minutes for a picture and while I saw it well briefly one more time I didn't get a picture of my own.
It was early, just a few minutes after 9 am. I hatched a plan to go out in a Blaze of Glory. I dumped requests for help on social media and email and headed for Bear Creek Park in Houston. There had been Purple Finches there earlier this month. My plan was to get a group of people searching the park and crowd sourcing the last bird of the year.
I got word as I was leaving that there was a report of Amazon Kingfisher at the resaca on FM100 where it was found a couple of years ago. I decided it would only cost me 30 minutes to check it out. No luck though, not a single kingfisher there.
Headed north to Houston traffic was heavy. I had a long wait at the Sarita Border Patrol checkpoint. I wondered if I was getting flagged for the number of checkpoints I've been through this year.
I made it to Bear Creek Park about 4 pm. I did manager to muster a several birders to help look and while it was pretty active, there was no Purple Finch found that day. I ended the year with 496 ABA /countable birds in Texas and 500 in eBird. I had traveled 3,272 miles this week in Texas and 29,642 in Texas this year. I did 11% of my miles in the last week! Time for some downtime I have 48 hours until my next Christmas Bird Count!