Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival - November 12, 2009

Well, it seems a lot of trips have come and gone and it's only day 1 of the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival! The King Ranch group saw Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl but they had to work for them. They are nearly silent this time of year. There were Clay-colored Thrush, Audubon's Orioles and other valley specialties. The White-collared Seedeaters were difficult, but showed themselves at the last minute. Everyone on the San Ygnacio trip got to see the White-collared Seedeater at Zapata.

A Black-throated Gray Warbler female was glimpsed at the parking lot at Santa Ana NWR.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Access at Chapeño 2009

I stopped by Chapeño today at the old El Rio RV Park. There are absolutely no signs left to indicate when you reach the site (well described in bird finding guides), but the huge metal two or three story building as you go down the Chapeño road is hard to miss.

They weren't feeding much, but the view of the river is better than ever. This would be a great spot to watch for Muscovy and Red-billed Pigeon. They were just starting to feed the birds, so there weren't many coming in yet.

The walk to the river through the bridge or new road is easier than the old rutted road, and the river access is narrower since the property below is no longer open. However, you can walk right to the rivers edge and there is a three-story tower you can climb if you're brave.

In just a couple minutes I had close views of Green Kingfisher, Black Phoebe, and a flock of warblers.

There's a fee for the site, but no reason not to go. The view here is much better than at the boat ramp. Bewick's Wrens and Ringed Kingfisher were vocal too.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Larry Therrien's photos - Masked Duck, Rose-throated Becard

Larry Therrien from Massachusetts has allowed me to post his photos of the Masked Duck pair and the Rose-throated Becard here. The Masked Duck pair was at Cattail Lake at Santa Ana NWR on November 1, and the Rose-throated Becard was at Eagle Pond at Bentsen RGV State Park on October 30. Great finds, Larry!

All photos (c) Larry Therrien.