Sunday, April 1, 2012

Packery Channel - Red Phalarope, Surfbird

April 1 (no foolin') I drove from Mission to the Packery Channel Jetties east of Corpus Christi, departing at 4:30 AM and arriving sometime after 8 AM. I immediately found the Surfbird with its admirers (fellow birders) already in tow. The Surfbird was on the north jetty on the inside, and passing boats usually had enough wake to flush it, but it always returned to the same general area.

I was watching the birders on the south side of the south jetty, and one couple kept working the sargassum on the beach and in the water. I tried to peek around the cars parked at the jetty to see what they were looking at, but I finally gave up and drove around to the south side, suspecting they had something interesting. Turns out it was Greg R. Homel ( and he'd found a Red Phalarope! Here's a few of my pictures, mere instamatic shots compared to Greg's great photos. The Red Phalarope even did a little surfing, but mostly it was actively swimming in the pond in the sargassum wrack line. At times it was hard to see behind clumps of sargassum or other birds.

Here's Greg's excellent flight shot of the Red Phalarope, (c) Greg R Homel. Posted with permission. Thanks again Greg!

I ended the day with the Prairie Warbler at Paradise Pond, a rare treat in the spring.