Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Third Time is the Charm

I had written this bird off. Its a very rare fall migrant in Texas. Its not easy in the Spring, but I figured I would get it. South winds during its Spring window had made that a dip though.

I had been alerted to birds in the fall at the Texas Ornithological Society Sabine Woods Sanctuary. Twice I've made trips this fall looking for this bird with no luck.

John H had put me on his group distribution when he found something unusual at Sabine Woods. Today late morning I got a text message that one was there! Some quick back and forth and it turns out Dennis had found it and it seemed to be hanging around. Positively Positive vibes! There really was no decision to make  Am I doing a big year or not? I am doing a big year and I needed to go! I spend an aggravating 15 minutes getting the OK to take the afternoon off and I headed home to change and grab my gear at 11:43 am, 132 miles to go.

At 2:04 pm I walked in the gate at Sabine Woods. John was still there and he offered to take me to where he had last seen the bird. An Eastern Phoebe popped up while we made our way to the site. Nothing was moving though where the bird was.

We start to search. I find a Blue Gray Gnatcatcher. Then my first of season Golden-crowned Kinglet. Since its getting close to Halloween the male American Redstart seemed appropriate. A couple of Barn Owls peered down at me from the top of the trees. A Black-and-white Warbler always makes me smile to see.

Cape May Warbler checks us out by Nina Rach
Dennis, Nina, and Sue arrived back to the scene of the crime and we compared notes. We were looking in the right place. The additional three pairs of eyes will sure help. We kept looking.

John found a Blue-headed Vireo and while trying to get on it I saw a bird move right. Wait, that's not a vireo!, that's it! Cape May Warbler is Year Bird 469.

I have to say I felt a huge sense of relief getting this bird. That makes 47 warblers for the year. I'm only missing MacGillivray's and Red-faced warblers for non review species warblers. The door is quickly closing on those birds. To be honest I think Golden-crowned Warbler in the Rio Grande Valley might be my best chance for an additional warbler this year. You know the Rio Grande Birding Festival is coming up in less than two weeks and it just so happens I'm going to be there for the whole week! I love it when a plan comes together.

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