Sunday, 27 March 2016

A Dozen Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers

It was overcast today with very little breeze which often makes for good birding at the Nature and Birding Centre.

Looking southward from the first part of the boardwalk was a group of cattle egrets in the mangroves.
There was an American Avocet in breeding plumage at the edge of the pond.
Then we started spotting scissor-tailed flycatchers.
They were quite far away and the light was crappy but I managed to get one in flight looking very scissor-ish.
They were all facing into the little bit of wind that there was.
We counted a dozen of them.
Here's another taking off.
There is a big flash as they grab insects then teeter on edges of plants.
These guys were quite low to the ground but we often see them on overhead wires.
I took this to show the markings on the back.

This is one of my favourite birds. Here, the pink patch on the shoulder is easily seen.
After tearing ourselves away from the bird blind #2, we continued along the boardwalk. The tide was very high so we didn't see as many birds along the edge of the Laguna Madre.

This great blue heron startled me when it appeared from beneath the boardwalk beneath my feet.
The much smaller tricolour heron was hunting nearby.
Near the little pond, the mama alligator was snoozing right beside the boardwalk. I don't remember ever being this close to her before. She's about 6 feet long.
We didn't see the green heron in its usual spot but we spotted this sora.
Then the green heron flew in.
Male blue-wing teal
Although we didn't see a lot today, what we did see was pretty cool.

The sea grape has fresh, new leaves and some type of seed pod forming. The leaves are very smooth and shiny.
I'm happy to see the 'g' is back on the Birding Center tower.
It had been missing since a high wind blew it off at the beginning of February. I emailed them last week to inquire if and when it was going to be replaced. They sent me a response that they were waiting for 'the guy' to fit it into his schedule.

Just as we were opening up the car, this great kiskadee flew in beside the water feature in the middle of the parking lot.
Only a few more days 'til we begin our drive home. I'm trying to soak all this in so I store it in my memory banks for another year.

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