Monday, November 30, 2009

Coastal Bend Birds 11/16-11/30

Birding in the coastal bend had picked up considerably in the past 2 weeks. Most of our winter residents are back in good numbers and many rare birds have been seen.

Some of the rarer birds I've seen in the past 2 weeks include a male Greater Scaup near the picnic area at the Aransas NWR.

Pomarine Jaegers have been common 30+ miles offshore of Port Aransas the past few weeks, up to 9 individuals have been seen in one day.

A single Franklin's Gull was seen at Pollywog Ponds on 11/21 and another at Indian Point Park on 11/18.

Red Knots continue up and down the coastal bend beaches. I had 8 Red Knots at marker 24 on 11/29 and multiple knots at scattered locations on 11/21.

Up to about 15 Mountain Plovers continue near Chapman Ranch on CR14A. They have been in this location for over a month. I last saw the birds on 11/19.

Up to 2 Ferruginous Hawks have been seen on CR360 near Sandia this month, this is the 6th year for the adult bird at this location.

A single Say's Phoebe has been present on CR360 near Sandia since 11/18.

Lark Buntings are in very good numbers this year. I had 20+ near Sandia on 11/19 and 11/18 and another person had 50+ a few days after.

Stilt Sandpipers are at multiple locations. The most reliable birds are at Hazel Bazemore Park, were 2 are usually seen. I also had 5 at the Port Aransas Birding Center on 11/27.

A very late Pectoral Sandpiper was seen near Sandia on 11/18.

Burrowing Owls continue at multiple private locations in Nueces and Refugio counties. I have had up to 4 individuals in a single day.

On 11/18, I had EIGHT Horned Grebes at the Aransas NWR, the highest count I've ever had in the coastal bend. I also had a single Horned Grebe at Goose Island State Park on 11/30.

Sprague's Pipits continue in good numbers in proper habitat throughout the coastal bend. My last sightings were 11/18 and 11/16.

A single Clay-Colored Sparrow was seen on 11/18 near the Aransas NWR.

Jon McIntyre

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