Saturday, January 7, 2017

As I walked out on the streets of Laredo

As I walked out on the streets of Laredo.
As I walked out on Laredo one day,
I spied a poor birder wrapped in khaki,
Wrapped in dun khaki as dull as the clay.

"I can see by your outfit that you are a birder."
These words he did say as I boldly walked by.

Rail Road Bridge in Laredo at the current Amazon
Kingfisher site.
Early Saturday morning Tony Frank and I headed to Laredo to chase the Amazon Kingfisher that's been there since October. Oh at 2:30 am when we left my house it was 28 degrees. It will get warmer as we head south I say.

Every 75 miles it dropped a degree though, so about 20 miles outside of Laredo at dawn the temperature on my dash read 24 degrees. It warmed a bit as the sun came up, so by the time we got to the kingfisher site it was back up to 28 degrees. As we pulled up a pair of Great Kiskadees fussed with each other for Year Bird 168.

We got out of the car and it took Tony all of 30 seconds to find the Kingfisher, perched in Mexico! I do think we set the record for the lowest temperature that an Amazon Kingfisher had been observed at though.

While waiting for the Kingfisher to fly into US airspace a White-collared Seedeater made a brief appearance for Year Bird 169. A Ringed Kingfisher appeared for Year Bird 170.

Still waiting on the Amazon. A Least Grebe maded a break for the US side when ICE wasn't around for Year Bird 171. Finally the Amazon Kingfisher flew into the US for Year bird 172.

Time was wasting we headed to Alice, TX to look for a White-winged Scoter that had been reported the week before at Lake Findley. On the way I picked up Chihuahuan Raven for Year Bird 173, White-tailed Hawk for Year Bird 174, Harris Hawk for Year Bird 175, and Common Ground-Dove for Year Bird 176.

Brown Pelican Lake Findley
As we get out of the car at Lake Findley Green Jays fly over my head for Year Bird 177. While scanning the lake for the scoter I pick up Ladder-backed Woodpecker for Year Bird 178. Then we find a couple of Cinnamon Teal for Year Bird 179. As we are leaving the a Greater Roadrunner was sunning for Year Bird 180. No scotor to be found, but we found a first for Jim Wells County in eBird Brown Pelican.

We head for Corpus Christi to look for a Surf Scoter. Oodles of Redheads but no Surf Scoter. A Port of Corpus Christi Police Officer rolls up and asks us what we are doing, "Looking at birds" we say. He's not wearing a jacket and its still just 35 degrees. He heads back to his SUV then turns and returns and asks "What kind of birds?" I reply "Just a bunch of Redheads today" I reply. He turns back to the truck, then comes back again and points at our scopes "Are those cameras?" "No they are telescopes I answer" He tells us to stay warm and jumps back in and leaves. I turn to Tony and say "Good thing he didn't look in the car at the cameras on the back seat"

Ok its getting late, but we squeeze in a stop by the Big Tree outside of Rockport and find three Whooping Cranes for Year Bird 181. A couple we had seen also cruising around obviously looking for cranes pulls up and asked if we have found some Whooping Cranes. We answer yes and invite them to look through the scopes. "No that ok" they reply and drive off. Mystifying behavior.

Brewer's Blackbird
Ok peddle to the metal heading home. A flock of blackbirds in the scrub catch our attention. I do a quick U-turn, those have got to be Brewers I say. Sure enough Brewer's Blackbird for Year Bird 182.

We make it back to my house by 7:10 pm. Sixteen and a half hours and 12 new birds. Its been a good day.


  1. Wow very efficient David -John B. See you at TOS

  2. Enjoy following your progress, thanks for blogging. My wife and I will be in south Texas next week, can you give me a more specific location for "the Big Tree outside of Rockport"? Thx and good birding!! Steve A.