Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher!!

Skip and I went out again this morning and the tide was much lower. We went directly to the Convention Center to use the scope on the tidal flats.

There were lots of skimmers, gulls, royal terns, and at last, some sandwich terns. Sandwich terns are a small tern distinguished by a black bill with a light yellow tip. In this poor quality digiscoped photo, the sandwich tern is under the number 1, snoozing marbled godwits under the number 2 and a snoozing royal tern is under the number 3. In the foreground, the birds with the black wings are black skimmers.
A lot of the other white birds with black heads are laughing gulls but we encountered a couple of birders from near Ottawa who were trying to find a Franklin's gull. Now I have something else to watch for.

While chatting with the other birders we saw a couple of scissor-tailed flycatchers go by. I didn't get a photo but here is an old one that I took years ago. I had really been hoping to see at least one before we headed back home. In fact, it was near the same spot we saw it last year near the end of March.
Back in the stand of mesquite trees just to the west of the convention centre were a couple of kiskadees calling to each other.

I was lucky to catch the kiskadee stretching out its wings.
In flew this sparrow which we think is either a song sparrow or savannah sparrow.

A birder from Minnesota told me he had seen a black and white warbler. Then it quickly flew in and almost as quickly flitted around and then flew off. This is the better of the two blurry photos I got. (note nicely focused grass - sigh)
Over at the boardwalk a male blue-wing teal was swimming about.
Also spotted but not photographed were the 'usual suspects': coots, moorhens, long-tailed grackles, and red-wing blackbirds. On the tidal flats were dunlin, ruddy turnstones, sanderlings, ring bill gull, black-bellied plover, willets, long-billed dowitchers, and a reddish egret. By the boardwalk were several black neck stilts, black-bellied whistling ducks, a great blue heron, and a green heron.

Not bad for a couple of hours of birding.

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