Monday, 27 February 2017

Birding at Hugh Ramsey Park in Harlingen, February 27

Skip and I visited the Arroyo Colorado/Hugh Ramsey Park in Harlingen today. It is newly renovated and has a shiny new sign.
On a cactus in the parking lot, was this huge spider which appeared to be caught in this web. Its leg span measured almost 3".
At the bird blind, we first spotted this brown thrasher.
Then a green jay flew in. This corn cob had been rammed onto a nail on the tree. There were many bare cobs on the ground below.
Then a golden-fronted woodpecker flew in.
Then it was joined by two others. I believe the holes get filled with something to attract the birds. Peanut butter maybe?
We heard, then saw this cardinal fly in.
There are tons of cacti in this park. This one has been chewed but in spite of that, there is new growth. One of the birders we encountered speculated that javelinas probably eat the cactus.
We saw lots of scat (poop) on the trail. It looked like dog owners hadn't stooped to scoop but it was probably coyote or cougar poop.
 There was a bug on this delicate, white poppy. I haven't been able to identify it yet.
Other birders alerted us to a snoozing common pauraque. See it?
There it is! They blend in SO well with their environment - usually near a bunch of sticks or twigs.
Here's a side view.
Along the arroyo, we spotted this raptor in a far off tree.
This was the best I could do zooming in for a shot. At first, I thought it was an aplomado falcon but the habitat wasn't right. When I could zoom in more on my photo editing program, I now believe it is a peregrine falcon because of the dark cheeks and white 'bib'.

Beyond it, was Harris hawk high on an electric pole.
The huisache are just starting to bloom - round, fuzzy, yellow flowers -
as are the honey mesquite trees.
There were lots of butterflies. This one landed near us on the ground. I think it is an Outis skipper.
Then this brown longtail skipper landed nearby.  They're hard to photograph with my point-and-shoot camera as they don't usually stay still for very long.
This one is a Texas Crescent butterfly. Possibly a southwest one.
This tenaza tree has really pretty bark.
... smooth patches of grey and green.
Close up, there are sharp thorns. I didn't even notice them until I zoomed on with my camera.
These are the flowers of a Texas olive tree.
We also spotted white-tipped doves, house sparrows, and a curve-billed thrasher. And this bird which I haven't identified yet.
This Thursday our birding group, the Bay Area Birders, is going up to Port Mansfield - a first for us. It's about an hour and a quarter from here so that will take most of the day.

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