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Rio Grande Valley birds, butterflies, dragonflies through the eyes of an ex-Buckeye

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January 2008

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Jan 1 Sharyland Plantation, Mission TX Gadwall    8, American Wigeon    14, Mottled Duck    2, Blue-winged Teal    4, Ring-necked Duck    8, Pied-billed Grebe    1, Northern Harrier    1, American Coot    48

Jan 2 Bentsen (Our group, one of ten groups on the Christmas Bird Count, from the gate to Green Jay Blind) Mottled Duck    5, Blue-winged Teal    42, Northern Shoveler    3, Ring-necked Duck    2, Lesser Scaup    2, Plain Chachalaca    60, Least Grebe    2, Pied-billed Grebe    9, Double-crested Cormorant    1, Anhinga    1, Great Blue Heron    2, Great Egret    5, Cattle Egret    4, Black-crowned Night-Heron    6, Black Vulture    2, Turkey Vulture    2, Osprey    1, White-tailed Kite    1, Northern Harrier    1, Cooper's Hawk    3, Red-shouldered Hawk    1, Gray Hawk    4, Red-tailed Hawk    3, Crested Caracara    2, Common Moorhen    2, American Coot    62, Spotted Sandpiper    1, Long-billed Curlew    1, White-winged Dove    3, Mourning Dove    33, Inca Dove    4, Common Ground-Dove    1, White-tipped Dove    13, Eastern Screech-Owl    2, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl    1, Ruby-throated Hummingbird    1, Ringed Kingfisher    2, Belted Kingfisher    1, Green Kingfisher    1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker    18, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker    3, Ladder-backed Woodpecker    10, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet    1, Eastern Phoebe    5,Great Kiskadee    17, White-eyed Vireo    1, Green Jay    36, Tree Swallow    3, Cave Swallow    9, Black-crested Titmouse    5, Verdin    2 (at Ebony Woods!  Great views!  Singing!), Ruby-crowned Kinglet    7, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher    13, Northern Mockingbird    8, Long-billed Thrasher    6, Orange-crowned Warbler    15, Yellow-rumped Warbler    7, Black-and-white Warbler    1, Common Yellowthroat    1, Olive Sparrow    10, Savannah Sparrow    1, Lincoln's Sparrow    1, Northern Cardinal    32, Red-winged Blackbird    93, Great-tailed Grackle    2, Altamira Oriole    10, American Goldfinch    8

Jan 3 Bentsen At lunch, Tom, Rick, May and I tried for the baltimore orioles at the Mission Cemetery, but it was closed. We tried for the NABA burrowing owl then, but failed again. It was an omen: on the night hike the only owls were three Great Horned Owls. We did get four Pauraques, lots of Javelina and a Cottontail and a Coon. Coyotes howled all night, but the only other bird was a Mockingbird. 

Jan 5 Harlingen My very first Harlingen CBC, but my fourth CBC this year! Met at 6:30 am at Hugh Ramsey Park. What a large group! I am led with four guys and two girls by Tom Conway around this park, with which I am already hugely familiar, adding up a somewhat familiar list: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 524, Fulvous Whistling-Duck 2, Greater White-fronted Goose 1, Snow Goose 4, Great Blue Heron 1, Great Egret 10, Snowy Egret 10, Cattle Egret 2, Spotted Sandpiper 1, Wilson's Snipe 1, Laughing Gull 2, Mourning Dove 3, White-tipped Dove 1, Eastern Screech-Owl 1 (tapped out of its nest!), Buff-bellied Hummingbird 2, Green Kingfisher 2, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 7, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 2, Eastern Phoebe 1, Great Kiskadee 4, White-eyed Vireo 4, Blue-headed Vireo 1, Green Jay 4, Verdin 2 (tapped out of its nest!), Bewick's Wren 3, House Wren 3, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4, Northern Mockingbird 5, Long-billed Thrasher 1, Curve-billed Thrasher 2, Orange-crowned Warbler 6,Common Yellowthroat 1, Olive Sparrow 3, Northern Cardinal 5, Pyrrhuloxia 1, Red-winged Blackbird 50, Great-tailed Grackle 23, Brown-headed Cowbird 30, House Sparrow 2. 39 species in 2 hours, not bad.

Then we went to a new place for me, same group: KORNEGAY TexasParksWildlifeArea in San Benito. 32 species in 2 hours: Plain Chachalaca 4 (very shy because THEY ARE HUNTED HERE!), Double-crested Cormorant 1, Great Blue Heron 1, Great Egret 1, Turkey Vulture 160, Osprey 1, White-tailed Kite 2, Northern Harrier 1, Cooper's Hawk 2, Laughing Gull 2, Forster's Tern 1, Rock Pigeon 7, Mourning Dove 1, White-tipped Dove 2, Barn Owl 1, Great Kiskadee 3, Tropical Kingbird 2, Loggerhead Shrike 2, Green Jay 2, Verdin 1, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1, Northern Mockingbird 3, Long-billed Thrasher 2, Orange-crowned Warbler 7, Yellow-throated Warbler 2, Olive Sparrow 3, Savannah Sparrow 3, Lincoln's Sparrow 2, Northern Cardinal 2, Eastern Meadowlark 1, Great-tailed Grackle 40.

The last half of the day Al and I teamed up to do San Benito: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 50, Mallard 1, Mottled Duck 2, Ring-necked Duck 330, Lesser Scaup 70, Double-crested Cormorant 12, Great Blue Heron 3, Great Egret 6, Snowy Egret 2, Little Blue Heron 1, Turkey Vulture 211, Northern Harrier 2, Sharp-shinned Hawk 1, Cooper's Hawk 3, Red-tailed Hawk 2, American Kestrel 5, Peregrine Falcon 1 (we watched this great bird dive and roll in amazing antics!), American Coot 27, Long-billed Curlew 9, Laughing Gull 38, Caspian Tern 2, Rock Pigeon 153, White-winged Dove 4, Mourning Dove 30, Inca Dove 3, Common Ground-Dove 5, Green Parakeet 28, Belted Kingfisher 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 6, Great Kiskadee 8, Tropical Kingbird 2, Loggerhead Shrike 1, White-eyed Vireo 1, Black-crested Titmouse 1, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1, Eastern Bluebird 2, Northern Mockingbird 14, Curve-billed Thrasher 2, Orange-crowned Warbler 8, Eastern Meadowlark 2, Great-tailed Grackle 63, American Goldfinch 1, House Sparrow 88, 43 species in 4 hours.

Jan 6 Bentsen The Morning Bird Walk had a dozen of us getting sixty-eight species: Blue-winged Teal 34, Northern Shoveler 4, Ring-necked Duck 4, Lesser Scaup 1, Plain Chachalaca 10, Least Grebe 2, Pied-billed Grebe 8, Double-crested Cormorant 4, Anhinga 1, Great Blue Heron 2, Great Egret 2, Tricolored Heron 1, Cattle Egret 1, Green Heron 1, Turkey Vulture 1, Osprey 1, Sharp-shinned Hawk 1, Cooper's Hawk 5, Red-shouldered Hawk 1, Broad-winged Hawk 1, Gray Hawk 4, White-tailed Hawk 1, Red-tailed Hawk 3, Crested Caracara 1, Common Moorhen 2, American Coot 83, Killdeer 1, White-winged Dove 1, Mourning Dove 4, Inca Dove 5, Common Ground-Dove 6, White-tipped Dove 11, Eastern Screech-Owl 1, Buff-bellied Hummingbird 1, Ringed Kingfisher 1, Belted Kingfisher 2, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 3, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 3, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 3, Eastern Phoebe 2, Great Kiskadee 5, White-eyed Vireo 1, Green Jay 15, Tree Swallow X, Bank Swallow 1, Cave Swallow X, Black-crested Titmouse X, Verdin 1, House Wren 1, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher X, Northern Mockingbird 10, Long-billed Thrasher 2, Orange-crowned Warbler X, Nashville Warbler 1, Yellow-rumped Warbler 6 (two of which were Audubon's), Black-and-white Warbler 1, Common Yellowthroat 1, Olive Sparrow X, Savannah Sparrow X, Lincoln's Sparrow X, Northern Cardinal 3, Indigo Bunting 1, Red-winged Blackbird X, Great-tailed Grackle 5, Brown-headed Cowbird 20, Altamira Oriole 3, American Goldfinch X

The Afternoon Dragonfly Walk had Rick Nirschl, Tom Pendleton, Rick Snider and I finding quite a few dragonflies in spite of the 45-mile-per-hour winds, probably because of the eighty-plus degree temperatures! BlueRinged Dancer, Double-Striped Bluet, Familiar Bluet, Rambur's Forktail, Roseate Skimmer, Wandering Glider, Red Saddlebags, Common Green Darner (all of which are expected here year-round), Black Setwing (listed as rare in January), and Variegated Meadowhawk. Much more amazing was the STRIPED SADDLEBAGS (rare to uncommon from March to September, but expected to disappear October through January). Then at the Resaca we found what we think may be MEXICAN WEDGETAILS, thoroughly uncooperative for photo-taking. Was this the first record for Hidalgo County? They're listed only for Cameron County...

Jan 7 Bentsen An unusual Bird Van Tour led by Jerry: Blue-winged Teal 25, Ring-necked Duck 4, Lesser Scaup 1, Plain Chachalaca 88, Least Grebe 1, Pied-billed Grebe 8, Double-crested Cormorant 1, Anhinga 1, Great Egret 2, Black Vulture 4, Turkey Vulture 2, Osprey 1, White-tailed Kite 1, Cooper's Hawk 3, Red-shouldered Hawk 1, Gray Hawk 3, Red-tailed Hawk 1, Crested Caracara 5, American Kestrel 1, Common Moorhen 2, American Coot 60, White-winged Dove 1, Inca Dove 1, Common Ground-Dove 1, Greater Roadrunner 1, Black-chinned Hummingbird 1, Ringed Kingfisher 1, Belted Kingfisher 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 3, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 2, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 1, Eastern Phoebe 2, Great Kiskadee 9, White-eyed Vireo 2, Green Jay 20, Tree Swallow 3, Cave Swallow 6, Black-crested Titmouse 2, House Wren 1, Ruby-crowned Kinglet X, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher X, Northern Mockingbird X, Long-billed Thrasher X, Orange-crowned Warbler X, Yellow-rumped Warbler X, Black-and-white Warbler 1, Olive Sparrow X, Savannah Sparrow X, Lincoln's Sparrow X, Northern Cardinal X, Red-winged Blackbird 1, Western Meadowlark 2, Great-tailed Grackle X, Altamira Oriole 7. 

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Jan 8 Bentsen Spent most of the day inside doing inside work with important people from the state office everywhere. Carried a couple books to the library and during this tiny bit of time outside-- YELLOW-ANGLED SULPHUR!!! Can you believe I got a picture at all? Sunny and hot, with 45mph winds, this bug sat on each olive flower for only a second. I got lots of photos of olive flowers, only three poor pictures of the butterfly.

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Jan 9 Anzalduas for lunch.   I had Gadwall 22, American Wigeon 10, Mottled Duck 13, Blue-winged Teal 2, Least Grebe 8, Pied-billed Grebe 5, Neotropic Cormorant 1, Double-crested Cormorant 14, AMERICAN BITTERN 1,Great Egret 4, Snowy Egret 1, Little Blue Heron 1, Turkey Vulture 1, Gray Hawk 1, American Kestrel 2, Common Moorhen 7, American Coot 8, Rock Pigeon 208, Mourning Dove 2, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 4, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 4, Black Phoebe 1, Vermilion Flycatcher 4, Great Kiskadee 4, Green Jay 2, Black-crested Titmouse 2, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2, Eastern Bluebird 1, Northern Mockingbird 2, American Pipit 21, Sprague's Pipit 1, Orange-crowned Warbler 3, Yellow-rumped Warbler 2, Common Yellowthroat 1, Olive Sparrow 4, Savannah Sparrow 5, Northern Cardinal 4, Western Meadowlark 115, Altamira Oriole 1.
 
Jan 10 Anzalduas for lunch with Larry.  We failed to find our target (a gray-crowned yellowthroat  and  ruddy ground-dove) but did get: WHITE-FACED IBIS, Gadwall 19, American Wigeon 12, Mottled Duck 1, Blue-winged Teal 12, Lesser Scaup 27, Double-crested Cormorant 16, Great Blue Heron 1, Great Egret 1, Cattle Egret 5, Black Vulture 5, Turkey Vulture 16, Gray Hawk 2, ZONE-TAILED HAWK, American Kestrel 3, American Coot 6, Spotted Sandpiper 1, Ring-billed Gull 1, Black Phoebe 1, Vermilion Flycatcher 1, Common Yellowthroat 3, Pyrrhuloxia 3.

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Jan 11 Sabal Palm Audubon Sanctuary This is not my week to bird. I was zero for three for my target birds (dusky-capped flycatcher, black-headed grosbeak, macgillvaries warbler): Gadwall 30, American Wigeon 6, Mottled Duck 12, Blue-winged Teal 8, Northern Pintail 6, Ring-necked Duck 3, Ruddy Duck 2, Plain Chachalaca 18, Northern Bobwhite 9, Least Grebe 18, Pied-billed Grebe 3, Great Egret 2, Turkey Vulture 6, Northern Harrier 1, Sharp-shinned Hawk 2, American Kestrel 1, Common Moorhen 2, Sandhill Crane 312, Killdeer 1, Mourning Dove 4, White-tipped Dove 6, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 5, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 2,Eastern Phoebe 6, Great Kiskadee 6, Tropical Kingbird 1, White-eyed Vireo 4, Green Jay 6, Black-crested Titmouse 2, Carolina Wren 1, Bewick's Wren 2, House Wren 1, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2, Hermit Thrush 1, Northern Mockingbird 2, Long-billed Thrasher 4, Orange-crowned Warbler 16, Common Yellowthroat 6, Wilson's Warbler 1, Olive Sparrow 10, Northern Cardinal 11. Beautiful day

Jan 12 Failed with the orange-crowned warbler (on par with the week!) at Progreso Lakes.. Tiocano Lake was wonderful, of course: Mottled Duck 4, Blue-winged Teal 1 Northern Shoveler 3, Ruddy Duck 3, Neotropic Cormorant 2, Double-crested Cormorant 4, Great Blue Heron 4, Great Egret 1, Snowy Egret 4, Turkey Vulture 6, American Kestrel 1, American Coot 4, Killdeer 14, Black-necked Stilt 38, American Avocet 21, Least Sandpiper 1, Stilt Sandpiper 38, Long-billed Dowitcher 173, Rock Pigeon 19, Mourning Dove 1, , Red-winged Blackbird 22Great-tailed Grackle 8, as was Dixieland Park: Ring-necked Duck 58, Lesser Scaup 433,Ruddy Duck 4, Pied-billed Grebe 4, Eared Grebe 1, American White Pelican 9, Neotropic Cormorant 16, Great Egret 1, White-tailed Kite 1, Harris's Hawk 2, American Kestrel 2, American Coot 22, Laughing Gull 20, Forster's Tern 13,Rock Pigeon 16, Mourning Dove 2, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 3, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1, Eastern Phoebe 1, Tropical Kingbird 2, Couch's Kingbird 1, Loggerhead Shrike 1, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1, Northern Mockingbird 7, Curve-billed Thrasher 2, American Pipit 3, Orange-crowned Warbler 9, Yellow-rumped Warbler 12, Yellow-throated Warbler 1, Pine Warbler 1, House Sparrow 3

Jan 14 Bentsen Gadwall 6, Blue-winged Teal 6, Ring-necked Duck 6,Lesser Scaup 1, Plain Chachalaca 90, Least Grebe 1, Pied-billed Grebe 2, Anhinga 1, Great Blue Heron 1, Great Egret 4, Cooper's Hawk 1, Harris's Hawk 3, Gray Hawk 3, Crested Caracara 4, American Kestrel 1, Common Moorhen 2, American Coot 111, Killdeer 22, Spotted Sandpiper 1, Solitary Sandpiper 1, Mourning Dove 5, Inca Dove 1, White-tipped Dove 8, Eastern Screech-Owl 2, Common Pauraque 1Buff-bellied Hummingbird 1, Black-chinned Hummingbird 1, Rufous Hummingbird 1, Allen's Hummingbird 1 (it's back!), Ringed Kingfisher 1, Belted Kingfisher 1, Green Kingfisher 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 6, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 8, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 1, Eastern Phoebe 4,Great Kiskadee 6, White-eyed Vireo 2, Green Jay 15, Tree Swallow X, Cave Swallow X, Black-crested Titmouse 3, Verdin 2, House Wren 1, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 13, Northern Mockingbird 5, Long-billed Thrasher 1, American Pipit 25, Orange-crowned Warbler 17, Common Yellowthroat 3, Olive Sparrow X, Northern Cardinal 13, Red-winged Blackbird 8, Great-tailed Grackle 12, Altamira Oriole 6

Jan 21 Bentsen Blue-winged Teal 10, Ring-necked Duck 2, Lesser Scaup 1, Plain Chachalaca 131, Least Grebe 2, Pied-billed Grebe 8, American White Pelican 2, Anhinga 2, Great Blue Heron 1, Great Egret 1, Black Vulture 8, Turkey Vulture 2, Osprey 1, White-tailed Kite 2, Northern Harrier 1, Cooper's Hawk 1, Red-shouldered Hawk 1, Broad-winged Hawk 1, Gray Hawk 2, Red-tailed Hawk 3, Crested Caracara 4, American Kestrel 1, Common Moorhen 1, American Coot 98, Solitary Sandpiper 1, Greater Yellowlegs 1, Lesser Yellowlegs 22, Stilt Sandpiper 6, White-winged Dove 1, Mourning Dove 8, Inca Dove 8, Common Ground-Dove 2, White-tipped Dove 4, Greater Roadrunner 1, Eastern Screech-Owl 2, Rufous Hummingbird 2, Allen's Hummingbird 1, Ringed Kingfisher 3, Belted Kingfisher 1, Green Kingfisher 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 6, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 4, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 1, Eastern Phoebe 2, Great Kiskadee 6, White-eyed Vireo 2, Green Jay 22, Tree Swallow X, Cave Swallow X, Black-crested Titmouse 4, Verdin 1, House Wren 1, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 14, Northern Mockingbird 4, Long-billed Thrasher 6, American Pipit 25, Orange-crowned Warbler 9, Yellow-rumped Warbler 3, Black-and-white Warbler 1, Common Yellowthroat 2, Olive Sparrow 4, Lincoln's Sparrow 1, Northern Cardinal 9, Pyrrhuloxia 1, Red-winged Blackbird 40, Great-tailed Grackle 6, Altamira Oriole 6

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Jan 22 Bentsen MARINE BLUE! Amazing that I even got a photo!! But just one before he flitted away. Other species included Southern Dogface and Lyside Sulphur, Little Yellow, Mournful AND Funereal Duskywings, Little Yellow, Laviana White, Red Admiral, Queen, Checkered White, White Checkered-Skipper, Tailed Orange, Buckeye, Brown Longtail, Silver Banded Hairstreak, Fatal Metalmark, Carolina Satyr, Ceraunus and Reakirt's Blue, Phaon and Pearl Crescents, Whirlabouts, Southern Skipperlings, Snouts, Dusky Blue Groundstreak, Monarch, Mallow Scrub-Hairstreaks, and Great Southern White.

Jan 23 Bentsen Night Hike-- 6-8pm started off with an Armadillo, then six Pauraques.  Owls were pretty quiet-- 6 or so Eastern Screech-Owls, a short call from a Ferruginous.  The van (full) was delighted with the regular mammals, too:  Javelina, Raccoon, Cottontail Rabbits, howling Coyotes.  Too cold for geckos, moths and scorpions, too cloudy/misty for stars, but not for frogs:  Rio Grande Leopard Frogs croaked at the Hawktower.

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Jan 26  At 8am I was out the door enroute to the spillway on the Cameron/Hidalgo County Line just north of Harlingen to meet with William S. Clark and Mary Gustafson to band hawks. Mr Clark is the co-author of the highly-acclaimed A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors, A Field Guide to the Raptors of Europe, the Middle East and South, The Peterson Field Guide: Hawks of North America, Field Guide to Hawks of North America, and others! The experience was truly amazing. A House Sparrow and a pet-store mouse (some white, some black, some brown) in each wire square about 12x12x2, with probably 40 monofilament slip-knotted loops tied to the top. I couldn't believe it would work, but I was told it originated long ago in India. Sure enough, a Western juvenile RedTailed Hawk was first. Awesome. Then a Western adult RedTailed Hawk, with the big red tail. Amazing. Then an Eastern juvenile RedTailed Hawk. Great to look at the differences in this highly variable species. Common in Texas in winter only, it was very common back home in Ohio all year-round. Same with the female Kestrel caught next. Then a large female Cooper's Hawk, same winter Texan, common Ohioan. We saw THREE FERRUGINOUS HAWKS and TWO SWAINSON'S HAWKS! Oh, if only we could've caught them! Lots of WhiteTailed Hawks. Incredible morning.

For the afternoon we switched over to the Sugar Cane factory near Santa Rosa. Lots of Whitetailed Hawks as well as a Peregrine and others! Many, many Snow Geese in the field here, with Sandhill Cranes. We weren't successful catching anything here though, so we rushed to beat dark skies to Weslaco 1015 and 1945. Amazing field with many, many Turkey Vultures, THREE SWAINSON'S HAWKS, as well as many WhiteTailed Hawks. We caught three WhiteTailed Hawks-- a nearly adult female, an adult male and a juvenile second-basic. Amazing. Just gorgeous. At the end of the day, we found a Cattle Egret had been accidentally caught also. The sun was setting, and I was supposed to be home for supper!

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Jan 27 Bentsen The first bird walk: Greater White-fronted Goose , 15, Blue-winged Teal X, Northern Shoveler X, Ring-necked Duck 3, Lesser Scaup 1, Plain Chachalaca 20, Least Grebe 1, Pied-billed Grebe 5, Anhinga 2, Great Egret 2, Osprey 1, Broad-winged Hawk 3, Gray Hawk 3, Red-tailed Hawk 1, American Kestrel 1, Common Moorhen 1, American Coot 118, Solitary Sandpiper 1, Lesser Yellowlegs 4 Western Sandpiper 1, Least Sandpiper 20, Mourning Dove 8, Inca Dove 2, Common Ground-Dove 2, White-tipped Dove 3, Buff-bellied Hummingbird 1, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1, Black-chinned Hummingbird 1, Rufous Hummingbird 1, Allen's Hummingbird 1, Ringed Kingfisher 1, Belted Kingfisher 1, Green Kingfisher 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 13, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 7, Eastern Phoebe 1, Great Kiskadee 7, Green Jay 18, Tree Swallow X, Cave Swallow X, Black-crested Titmouse 1, Verdin 1, House Wren 1, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 5, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 15, Northern Mockingbird 4, Long-billed Thrasher 7, American Pipit X, Orange-crowned Warbler 5, Yellow Warbler 2, Yellow-throated Warbler 1, Black-and-white Warbler 1, Common Yellowthroat 2, Olive Sparrow 2, Northern Cardinal 10, Indigo Bunting 1, Red-winged Blackbird 12, Great-tailed Grackle 6, Altamira Oriole 10, American Goldfinch 23 (one leucistic) as well as another look at the TROPICAL PARULA.

Jan 28 Bentsen The morning Bird Walk: Blue-winged Teal 8, Ring-necked Duck 2, Lesser Scaup 1, Plain Chachalaca 20,Pied-billed Grebe 7, Neotropic Cormorant 1, Great Blue Heron 1, Great Egret 1, Snowy Egret 1, Black Vulture 2, Turkey Vulture 2, Harris's Hawk 2, Gray Hawk 1, Red-tailed Hawk 2 (one very white!), Crested Caracara 2, Common Moorhen 2, American Coot 97, Solitary Sandpiper 1, Greater Yellowlegs 5, Lesser Yellowlegs 28, Stilt Sandpiper 1, Mourning Dove 4, Inca Dove 4, Common Ground-Dove 25, White-tipped Dove 12, Greater Roadrunner 1, Barn Owl 1 (in broad daylight), Rufous Hummingbird 1, Allen's Hummingbird 1, Ringed Kingfisher 1, Belted Kingfisher 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 8, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 3, Eastern Phoebe 4, Great Kiskadee 4, White-eyed Vireo 1, Green Jay 12, Cave Swallow 2, Black-crested Titmouse 3, House Wren 1, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 7, Northern Mockingbird 10, Long-billed Thrasher 2, American Pipit 25, Orange-crowned Warbler 8, Yellow-rumped Warbler 3, Black-and-white Warbler 1, Olive Sparrow 1, Lincoln's Sparrow 1, Northern Cardinal 15, Pyrrhuloxia 1, Red-winged Blackbird 80, Great-tailed Grackle 6, Altamira Oriole 3, American Goldfinch 30 (including the leucistic one).   For lunch I went to Anzalduas Park: Gadwall 10, Least Grebe 4, Pied-billed Grebe 8, Neotropic Cormorant 1, Great Egret 2, Black Vulture 6, Turkey Vulture 100, Harris's Hawk 2, American Kestrel 1, Common Moorhen 4, American Coot 56, Long-billed Curlew 8, Rock Pigeon 2, Ringed Kingfisher 1, Green Kingfisher 1, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1, Black Phoebe 1, Vermilion Flycatcher 4, Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1 (my FOS), Northern Mockingbird 2, Orange-crowned Warbler 3, Yellow-rumped Warbler 2 (one of them an Audubon's), Common Yellowthroat 2, Northern Cardinal 4, Western Meadowlark 20, Great-tailed Grackle, all in only 15 minutes!

Jan 29 Bentsen With temperatures in the 80's butterflies were back, including a YELLOW ANGLED-SULPHUR again at the olive trees just outside my window. Rick had a list of today's butterflies: Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) , Southern Dogface (Colias cesonia) , Yellow Angled-Sulphur (Anteos maerula) , Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) , Large Orange Sulphur (Phoebis agarithe) , Lyside Sulphur (Kricogonia lyside) ,Little Yellow (Eurema lisa) , Mimosa Yellow (Eurema nise) , Dainty Sulphur (Nathalis iole) , Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon istapa) , Dusky-blue Groundstreak (Calycopis isobeon) , Western Pygmy-Blue (Brephidium exile) , Ceraunus Blue (Hemiargus ceraunus) , Reakirt's Blue (Hemiargus isola) , Fatal Metalmark (Calephelis nemesis) , American Snout (Libytheana carinenta) , Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) , Phaon Crescent (Phyciodes phaon) , American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) , Carolina Satyr (Hermeuptychia sosybius) , Queen (Danaus gilippus) , Brown Longtail (Urbanus procne) , White-patched Skipper (Chiomara asychis) , Mournful Duskywing (Erynnis tristis) , Funereal Duskywing (Erynnis funeralis) , White Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus albescens) , Tropical Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus oileus) , Laviana White-Skipper (Heliopetes laviana) , Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius) , Southern Skipperling (Copaeodes minimus) , Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus) Anzalduas for lunch:  Neotropic Cormorant    1, Black Vulture    2, Turkey Vulture    X, Zone-tailed Hawk 1, Long-billed Curlew    5, Rock Pigeon    30, Mourning Dove    6, White-tipped Dove    9, Golden-fronted Woodpecker    7, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker    2, Ladder-backed Woodpecker    3, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet    1, Eastern Phoebe    1, Green Jay    19, Ruby-crowned Kinglet    2, Northern Mockingbird    3, Orange-crowned Warbler    X, Black-throated Green Warbler    1, Yellow-throated Warbler    1, Black-and-white Warbler    1, Western Meadowlark    50, Great-tailed Grackle    3, American Goldfinch    10

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Jan 30 Bentsen Night Hike We right away had six or so Pauraques near the gatehouse, and as we pulled into the Resaca, we had stereophonic Ferruginous Pygmy Owls, one from the Brand camp, and one from the pavilion. We searched briefly for the Ferruginous until a dark ominous shadow overhead insisted we move on-- a Great Horned Owl was looking for the Ferruginous too! At the restrooms a Screech Owl flew up to eye-level and posed for photos! Some even had excellent photos of him flying around us.
In the beginning, Ann had insisted upon looking for scorpions since it was her last day in the Valley. I had warned her that it was rather cool for scorpions, but had went back for the blacklight-on-a-keychain anyway. I had told her if she found one she would be our Designated Hero. Well, all the time we were doing the above she was searching trees and rocks and buildings for a scorpion. The whole mile from the headquarters to the Green Jay Blind, she had feverishly looked but found nothing. We rounded into LaComa circle and still none. We always check the brightly-lit restroom windows for Mediterranean Geckoes, and of course had been unsuccessful up to this point-- it was just too cold at 70 degrees. BUT Ann's husband found one frozen to his spot (usually they rush away at the first flashlight), a lifer lizard for reptile-loving Ann! We continued on Acacia Loop, when Ann yelled for us: pieces of debris were glowing phosphorescent yellow in the blue glow of her light. These were all that remained of some scorpion that was evidently eaten here. And THEN we found what had eaten him: ANOTHER SCORPION, this one whole and alive, if somewhat tiny. She had done it! She was Designated Hero. Now nothing could stop her from searching and she found two more before we got back to the van-- promoted to Scorpion Queen.

A visit to the Hawktower, where Ann yipped and an expert coyote-caller from Minnesota all tried to get our Coyotes to howl unsuccessfully. It was fun though. Armadillos, Raccoons, Cottontails were all fun, but the birds reigned supreme.

Anzalduas for lunch: Least Grebe 8, Pied-billed Grebe 8, Neotropic Cormorant 3, Double-crested Cormorant 1, Great Egret 2, Black Vulture X, Turkey Vulture X, Mourning Dove 11, Inca Dove 8, Common Ground-Dove 3, Green Kingfisher 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 6, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 6, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 1, Eastern Phoebe 1, Green Jay X,Black-crested Titmouse 2, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 10, Eastern Bluebird 6, Northern Mockingbird 2, Orange-crowned Warbler X, Yellow-throated Warbler 1, Chipping Sparrow 20, Northern Cardinal 25, Pyrrhuloxia 5, Red-winged Blackbird 20, Western Meadowlark 25, Great-tailed Grackle 20, American Goldfinch 10, but no black-headed grosbeaks.

Jan 31 As usual, I got to work way too early (a tribute to my Dad) so I dropped by the Home Depot drainage pond on Shary Road in Mission: Mottled Duck 1, Ruddy Duck 10, Pied-billed Grebe 1, Great Egret 1, American Coot 50, Great Kiskadee 1, Tropical Kingbird 1, European Starling X, Great-tailed Grackle X, House Sparrow X

Anzalduas at lunch was the highlight of today's workday: Gadwall X, Lesser Scaup X, Least Grebe X, Pied-billed Grebe X, Neotropic Cormorant X, Double-crested Cormorant X, Great Egret X, Black Vulture X, Turkey Vulture X, Common Moorhen X, American Coot X, Spotted Sandpiper X, Rock Pigeon X, Green Kingfisher X, Golden-fronted Woodpecker X, Ladder-backed Woodpecker X, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet X, Black Phoebe X, Vermilion Flycatcher X, Eastern Bluebird X, Northern Mockingbird X, European Starling X, Yellow-rumped Warbler X, Yellow-throated Warbler X, Black-and-white Warbler X, Chipping Sparrow X, Northern Cardinal X, Red-winged Blackbird X, Eastern Meadowlark X, Western Meadowlark X, Great-tailed Grackle X, American Goldfinch X, House Sparrow X but no black-headed grosbeaks.

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