Saturday, April 18, 2015

Feeling the Pressure

Long-billed Dowitcher taken with spotting
scope and Carson's Hookupz
I was feeling the pressure Saturday to make up some big ground on migrant birds. Friday night I couldn't do much to search online reports because the big storms had my power out at home. I got up about 5 am and after checking the online report I headed out to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Flooded fields on the way in were full of shorebirds. I had some more fun playing with my Carson's Hookupz digiscope adapter for smart phones. The fields were full of hundreds of Long-billed Dowitchers, Stilt Sandpipers, and Dunlin.

Black-throated Green Warbler
First stop was Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Today was all about the neotropical migrants so I headed straight to the Jackson Prairie Woodlot. As I got out of the car an American Bittern circled. At first I was just seeing Indigo Buntings. Some more digging produced Summer Tanager and Black-throated Green Warbler. Finally a bird I was surprised I hadn't seen yet darted by, Rose-breasted Grosbeak Year Bird 354. Another circle of the woodlot and I found a Veery for Year Bird 355.

If this little spot was this good High Island would be even better so headed out. I stopped at another flooded rice field. Results were much like the first field. As I was getting back into the car a Dickcissel called for Year Bird 356.

Blue Grosbeak
I stopped on White's Ranch Road to look for Bobolinks, but no luck, there was a posing Blue Grosbeak though.

On to the main event at High Island. I started at Boy Scout Woods because its a great place to find out what's being seen and where. I wasn't finding much but I did find a calling Swainson's Warbler for Year Bird 357.

All reports sounded like Smith Oaks was the place to be. When I got there I went to the spot a friend told me he had a Cerulean Warbler. About 15 minutes of searching and I got a brief look at one of 5 Cerulean Warbler I had that day for Year Bird 358.

Black-and-white Warbler
Across the parking lot Chestnut-sided Warbler put on a show for Year Bird 359. I moved on back to the area that a Black-billed Cuckoo was reported. A group there got me on a Golden-winged Warbler for Year Bird 360.  In the same area a Gray-cheeked Thrush munched mulberries for Year Bird 361.

I left that area and as I was chatting with a group from Travis Audubon a Black-billed Cuckoo popped in for Year Bird 362. That was a really good one, I don't see a Black-billed every year.

Down the trail a Least Flycatcher became Year Bird 363 and my first empidonax flycatcher of the year. A few minutes late a I found an Acadian Flycatcher for Year Bird 364.

While joining a group looking for a Canada Warbler that has just been seen a Yellow Warbler showed for Year Bird 365.

Molting Summer Tanager
I had a really good day netting 12 new species for the year list,.Tomorrow would be a big milestone, one more species and I equal my total for 2014!

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