Thursday, 11 February 2016

Thursday's Birding Day

Last year at a local birding expo, we discovered a local birding group that meets on Thursday mornings at the South Padre Island Golf Course. Our leader, Janet, scopes out good birding spots ahead of time and plans where the group will go each week. Today we visited a spot we had never been to before, Frontera Audubon up the valley in Weslaco.

At first we didn't see much but by about 10 am, we started seeing a lot of activity at the various feeding stations.

The life bird for me today was the black-headed grosbeak. The lower bill is light-coloured and the upper bill is dark.
Then a clay-coloured thrush flew in.

I believe this is a hooded oriole. It is different from the Altamira oriole which is more orange and has an orange area on the upper wing.
Skip got a picture of me writing our sightings down, or as we call it 'doing a David' as our friend David diligently notes all the birds he sees.
Our group believed this to be a female painted bunting. I didn't get a very good shot of her as she didn't stick around for very long.
The long-billed thrasher is only found in parts of Texas and eastern Oklahoma.
I was very pleased to see this green jay as it was the first one I'd seen this year. I was fortunate to get this photo as well - he only ate from this feeder for a few seconds.
The golden-fronted woodpecker is found in southeastern Oklahoma, eastern Texas and points south. In Spanish it is a 'Carpintero de frente dorado' - literally, a carpenter bird with golden forehead. The red on its head indicates that it is a male.
This black-crested titmouse spent a lot of time at this feeding station.
Other birds we spotted today were the ruby crowned kinglet, great kiskadee, white ibis, green heron, black-bellied whistling duck, pied bill grebe, turkey vultures, chachalacas, inca doves. Others in our group spotted a lesser goldfinch and an eastern phoebe. We can't count those last two because we didn't see them ourselves.

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