Fall 2012 images from Texas:

Updated: Wednesday January 02, 2013

Enjoy the birds and photos below...I certainly did while I was taking them!

Erik Breden
Harlingen, Texas
erik.breden@otterside.com

Birding Top 1000 Counter



December 21st to 27th - Birding and Christmas Counts, Rio Grande Valley, TX

A few shots from birding outings and Christmas Bird Counts during the 2012 holiday season:

  • White-tailed Hawk
  • Merlin
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Redhead
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Dunlin
  • Sanderling
  • Great Southern White (butterfly)
  • Tropical Kingbird
  • Ringed Kingfisher
  • White-tailed Kite



December 18th - Santa Ana NWR CBC, Alamo, TX

Richard Redmond and I did the Vireo Trail down to the Rio Grande River. There were not many winter birds, although we had quite a few Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. Butterflies were abundant, however, with at least 10 different species present. 95% were American Snouts, with a sprinkling of other species. I grabbed a few photos as we walked the trail:

  • Painted Lady
  • Brown Longtail
  • White Peacock
  • American Snout



November 30th - Resaca de la Palma SP and Sabal Palms Sanctuary, Brownsville, TX

  • Common Checkered-Skipper
  • Tropical Checkered-Skipper
  • Pale-banded Crescent
  • Tawny Emperor
  • Painted Lady
  • Brown Longtail
  • Rounded Metalmark
  • Fatal Metalmark
  • White Peacock
  • Clouded Skipper
  • Julia's Skipper
  • Eufala Skipper
  • Long-tailed Skipper
  • Sickle-winged Skipper
  • Cloudless Sulphur
  • Lyside Sulphur
  • Laviana White-Skipper
  • Turk's-cap White-Skipper
  • Mimosa Skipper
  • Gulf Fritillary
  • Blue Metalmark
  • Red-bordered Metalmark


November 26th - National Butterfly Center and Bentsen Rio Grande SP, Mission, TX

  • Eastern Screech-Owl
  • Red-naped Sapsucker
  • Ceraunus Blue
  • Tropical Checkered-Skipper
  • Phaon Crescent
  • Vesta Crescent
  • Gulf Fritillary
  • Zebra Heliconian
  • American Lady
  • Brown Longtail
  • Dorantes Longtail
  • Question Mark
  • Fatal Metalmark
  • Monarch Caterpillars
  • Bordered Patch
  • Banded Peacock
  • Western Pygmy-Blue
  • Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak
  • Clouded Skipper
  • Fiery Skipper
  • Ocola Skipper
  • Soldier
  • Large Orange Sulphur
  • Laviana White-Skipper


November 21st - Old Port Isabel Road and Laguna Atascosa NWR, TX

  • Band-winged Dragonlet
  • Sickle-winged Skipper
  • Harris's Hawk
  • White-tailed Hawk
  • Osprey
  • Loggerhead Shrike


November 17th - Long-tailed Duck at Donna Reservoir, Donna, TX

  • Long-tailed Duck


November 15th - Farm Fields near Sebastian, TX

  • Sandhill Cranes
  • Northern Harrier
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Aplomado Falcon


November 7th to 11th - Parrots and More Back Yard Non-avian Critters, Harlingen, TX

  • Red-crowned Parrot
  • Red-lored Parrot
  • Southern Broken-Dash
  • Tropical Checkered-Skipper
  • White Peacock
  • Clouded Skipper
  • Fiery Skipper
  • Green Anole


November 1st and 2nd - More Back Yard Non-avian Critters, Harlingen, TX

  • Mournful Duskywing
  • Queen
  • Sachem
  • Eufala Skipper
  • Little Yellow


October 10th - National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

  • Great Kiskadee
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker
  • Blue-ringed Dancer
  • Ceraunus Blue
  • Common Checkered-Skipper
  • Guatemalan Cracker!
  • Tropical Leafwing
  • Phaon Crescent
  • Tawny Emperor
  • Leilia Empress
  • Gulf Fritillary
  • Question Mark
  • Fiery Skipper
  • Cloudless Sulphur
  • Lyside Sulphur
  • Pipevine Swallowtail
  • Laviana White-Skipper


October 5th - Hugh Ramsey Park, Harlingen, TX

  • Prickly Pear Cactus
  • Red-tailed Pennant
  • Roseate Skimmer
  • Giant Swallowtail
  • Clouded Skipper
  • Eufala Skipper
  • Fiery Skipper
  • Laviana Skipper


October 1st - Port Isabel and South Padre Island, TX

  • Familiar Bluet
  • White-eyed Vireo
  • Magnolia Warbler
  • Sanderling
  • Ruddy Turnstone


September 20th to 24th - Non-avian Critters in My Back Yard, Harlingen, TX

I spent a few days photographing insects and other "critters" in my back yard.

  • Brown Anole
  • Honey Bee
  • Ceraunus Blue
  • Tropical Checkered-Skipper
  • Phaon Crescent
  • Painted Lady
  • Sandy the Dog
  • White-patched Skipper
  • Paper Wasp sp.
  • Wasp sp.
  • Little Yellow


September 10th - South Padre Island and Laguna Atascosa NWR, TX

Hoping that a passing cold front would deposit migrants on South Padre Island, we headed out early for the Convention Center. There had been birds there yesterday, but today proved to be very slow. We drove around to the Birding Center and walked the full length of the boardwalk (after paying a $4.00 entry fee!). There were lots of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, turtles, and fish:

  • Short-billed Dowitcher
  • Willet
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Common Gallinule
  • Black-necked Stilt
  • Gull-billed Tern
  • Unknown Fish
  • Atlantic Needlefish
  • Red-eared Slider
  • Common Green Darner
  • We walked around the plantings at the Birding Center:

    • Ceraunus Blue
    • Red Saddlebags
    • Gentian sp.
    We headed to Laguna Atascosa NWR with a brief stop at the Port Isabel Reservoir:

    • Marl Pennant
    • Western Pygmy-Blue
    We got to Laguna Atascosa NWR in mid-afternoon:

    • Green Jay
    • Cloudless Sulphur
    • Roseate Skimmer
    • Osprey
    • Texas Tortoise
    • South Padre Island Skyline


    August 31st to September 4th - Butterflies, Dragonflies, and Other Critters in Harlingen, TX

    • Eastern Amberwing
    • Bar-sided Darner
    • Leaf-cutter Bee sp.
    • Bee Fly sp.
    • White Peacock


    August 30th - South Padre Island, TX

    Our first stop was the beach at Isla Blanca County Park...we were hoping that something "pelagic" like a Booby, Jaeger, or Noddy might show up due to the easterly winds produced by hurricane Isaac. There were lots of birds along the beach, but nothing particularly rare:

    • Cattle Egrets
    • Sanderling
    We spent the rest of the afternoon at the South Padre Island Convention Center:

    • Common Green Darner
    • Dickcissel
    • American Redstart
    • Black-and-white Warbler
    • Canada Warbler
    • Hooded Warbler
    • Mourning Warbler
    • Wilson's Warbler
    • Louisiana Waterthrush
    • Northern Waterthrush


    August 27th - Corpus Christi, TX

    Rex and Birgit Stanford and I continued our "Fall Migration Shorebird Quest"...

    We left Harlingen at 8 AM for a trip North to the Corpus Christi area. Our first stop was at the Calallen sod fields, which were empty except for 2 Buff-breasted Sandpipers and 20 to 30 Upland Sandpipers.

    Our next stop was Hazel Bazemore Park. It was quiet with very few raptors over the Hawk Watch Platform. As usual they were mere dots in the sky, so we watched the Hummingbird feeders for a little while. Lots of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and the one or two Buff-bellied Hummingbirds:


    • Buff-bellied Hummingbird
    Next, a brief stop at the ponds below the Hawk Watch:

    • Least Sandpiper
    • Reddish Egret
    After Lunch we headed to Tule Lake, which was packed with large birds like White Pelicans, Roseate Spoonbills, Wood Storks, and a variety of Herons and Egrets. Water levels were high, so most of the shorebirds were on the far shore. Photographic highlights were provided by Leps and Odes:

    • Great Southern White
    • Seaside Dragonlet
    We spent the rest of afternoon at Indian Point Park in Portland:

    • Short-billed Dowitcher
    • Juvenile Laughing Gull
    • Juvenile American Oystercatcher
    • American Avocet
    • Semipalmated Plover
    • Western Sandpiper
    • Wilson's Phalarope


    August 22nd - South Padre Island, TX

    A brief stop at the Port Isabel Reservoir along the way proved quite productive, with 15 species of shorebirds, including Baird's Sandpiper...alas, no photos, except a lone Dragonfly!:

    • Red-tailed Pennant
    On to South Padre Island. A stop at the flats behind the Convention Center yielded an additional 6 species of shorebirds, bringing our total for the day to 21. The rest of the day was spent at the Convention Center, where we had a few migrants, including a vireo, 4 warblers, and 4 flycatchers:

    • Red-eyed Vireo
    • Blue-winged Warbler
    • Yellow-throated Warbler
    • Yellow Warbler
    • Louisiana Waterthrush
    • Great Crested Flycatcher
    • Eastern Wood-Pewee
    • Traill's Type (probably Alder) Flycatcher
    • Several Yellow-bellied Flycatchers
    A short walk on the boardwalk produced typical wetland birds:

    • Little Blue Heron
    • Great Blue Heron
    • Common Gallinule


    August 7th - Rio Grande Valley Shorebirding - Part 2

    Rex and Birgit Stanford and I spent the day visiting good coastal shorebird spots: Again, photography was not the driving force, but seeing as many different species as we could was. We recorded 18 different shorebird species for the day. This brought our two day total to an amazing 28 shorebird species (should be 29, but we somehow missed Short-billed Dowitcher!):




    SpeciesSun - 8/5/12Tue - 8/7/12



    01 - Black-bellied Plover----X
    02 - KilldeerXX
    03 - Wilson's Plover----X
    04 - Semipalmated Plover----X
    05 - Piping Plover----X
    06 - Snowy Plover----X
    07 - Black-necked StiltXX
    08 - American AvocetXX
    09 - Willet----X
    10 - Greater YellowlegsX----
    11 - Lesser YellowlegsX----
    12 - Solitary SandpiperX----
    13 - Spotted SandpiperX----
    14 - Upland SandpiperX----
    15 - Long-billed CurlewXX
    16 - Marbled Godwit----X
    17 - Ruddy Turnstone----X
    18 - Red Knot----X
    19 - Sanderling----X
    20 - Semipalmated SandpiperX----
    21 - Western SandpiperXX
    22 - Least SandpiperXX
    23 - Stilt SandpiperX----
    24 - Pectoral SandpiperX----
    25 - Buff-breasted SandpiperX----
    26 - Long-billed DowitcherXX
    27 - Wilson's Snipe----X
    28 - Wilson's PhalaropeX----




    Only a few photos below were snapped during the course of the day:

    • My backyard before leaving:

      • Fiery Skipper
      • Little Yellow

    • SPI Convention Center:

      • Laughing Gull
      • Common Gallinule
      • Black-bellied Whistling-Duck

    • Port Isabel Reservoir:

      • Familiar Bluet
      • Ceraunus Blue
      • Western Pygmy-Blue


    August 5th - Rio Grande Valley Shorebirding - Part 1

    Rex and Birgit Stanford and I spent the day visiting good non-coastal shorebird spots to the south of Weslaco and Harlingen:
    Photography was not the driving force, but seeing as many different species as we could was. We recorded 17 different shorebird species for the day. Only a few photos were snapped during the course of the day.

    • Weaver Road Sod Farm:

      • Least Sandpiper

    • Las Palomas WMA:

      • American Avocet
      • Groove-billed Ani
      • Groove-billed Ani
      • Black-bellied Whistling-Duck


    July 9th - Boca Chica Beach, TX

    • Masked Booby
    • Magnificent Frigatebird
    • Laughing Gull
    • Brown Pelican
    • Caspian Tern
    • Least Tern
    • Royal Tern
    • Sandwich Tern
    • Willet


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