Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fools

Hooded Oriole at Park Chalk Bluff
My team has a big day planned for the Great Texas Birding Classic. This is a statewide big day and a new route so we have to do a fair amount of scouting. That's great for me because we need to do that in the Uvalde area.

We need a lot of night scouting so we left the hotel with just a few hours of sleep at 12:30 looking for night birds. We actually found Eastern Screech-Owl at our first stop and I thought we were going to have an interesting night. Not a cloud in the sky and a meteor shower going on. We saw at least 10 at the first stop.

We could find Eastern Screech-owls easily it seemed, but for the next 2 hours we couldn't find anything else. We did find a Common Poorwill finally but no other birds.

It was a long boring not really. Finally after 6 hours we hit dawn chorus. The world woke up with a cacophony of birds. We easily picked out the wacky calls of a Yellow-breasted Chat for Year Bird 362. 

At the next stop I picked up Bell's Vireo for Year Bird 363. We moved on to a few other stakeouts that didn't pan out. At another stop we picked up Gray Vireo for Year Bird 364. A Scott's Oriole made a pass over the road for Year Bird 365.

We were all lined up on a calling vireo and snazzy Black-capped Vireo gave us great views for Year Bird 366.

A couple of more stop and right alone the river I picked up Yellow-throated Vireo for Year Bird 367.  That made four new new vireo in a single day!

We moved on to Park Chalk Bluff and it was good. An amazing about of south Texas birds right on the edge of the Texas Hill County. Before we left I picked up Summer Tanager for Year Bird 368.

We ran the first half of our route and finished the day with about 160 species. I made it home about 9 pm. I think I went about 40 hours on two and a half hours of sleep. Not bad, but on game day we will need to add a hundred to that. The birds might be there with migration in full swing and finishing on the coast. Stay tuned!

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