Well, it was a frigid 44F leaving home this morning in the dark but it was a bit warmer at the coast and eventually got to a crisp 78F this afternoon on the drive home. All the exciting birds today at South Padre Island were winter birds from the north. I was pleased to see Golden-crowned Kinglets as soon as I arrived, since they don't always reach the LRGV. A local, Mike, showed me this Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker that was hanging around. I think that is my first in the LRGV since I moved here 5 years ago! White-throated Sparrow is another northern bird that I don't see in the LRGV every year.
And maybe you have to be a local to appreciate that Northern Cardinal is not always at the convention center. You can see why this subspecies had "Gray-backed Cardinal" as one common name, back when they gave common names to subspecies.
Star of the show was this Winter Wren that was hopping around in the open off and on, here on the concrete walk next to the convention center!