Sunday, November 1, 2009

Coastal Bend Birds 10/22-11/1

Birding in the coastal bend has been very good this past week. Many of our winter residents are back in good numbers and there are still a few migrants around. Sandhill Cranes, geese, our winter ducks, and a few sparrows have been showing up in good numbers.

On 10/24 we saw an adult Bald Eagle building a nest at the Fennessey Ranch near Refugio. Several others have reported multiple eagles 2 weeks prior to my sighting.

On 10/25 I had about 40 Mountain Plovers near Chapman Ranch. They were at the intersection of CR67 and CR14A. Mel Cooksey found them the day before.

On 10/28 Craig and Connie McIntyre saw and photographed a rare Black-Tailed Gnatcatcher at their house in Rockport. Also at their house was a young male Rufous Hummingbird last seen on 10/30.

On 10/30 while birding the Aransas NWR I had a juv. Bald Eagle (see photo) fly over the picnic area. Also at the refuge was Pine Warblers, Carolina Chickadee, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Sandhill Cranes, and we had a single Sprague's Pipit on the way to the refuge. Also, the EXCELLENT birding area of oak trees next to the visitor's center is apparently off limits to the public now. We were told by the refuge law enforcement officer that nobody is allowed back there anymore. This is a great birding area, 2 years ago a Red-Headed Woodpecker stayed the winter there and one year I had a Tropical Parula there. Something must be done to keep this area open to the public.
On 11/1 I birded the Port Aransas Birding Center getting lots of ducks, several Marsh Wrens, Clapper Rails, Soras, Least Flycatcher, Blue-Headed Vireo, Peregrine Falcon, and all the other regulars.

Jon McIntyre

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