Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wildlife Weekends update, Post Park birding

Friday night was chilly, breezy, and a total of 4 moths showed up before 10 pm - only one of those even cooperated (if you count cooperation as landing on the back of someone's leg...) Now that total darkness isn't until nearly 8:30 there's less time for the moths to make it to the sheets before we head out around 10; but as long as things aren't too windy or cold, there should still be a better turnout than this Friday. We may try to set up a blacklight on grounds at the motel that can stay on overnight so we can check on Saturday mornings to see what moths showed up late.

Post Park bird walks on Sunday mornings have been rescheduled for 8:30 to make it more practical for folks coming in from Alpine.

This morning's walk only kicked up one 'first of season' bird, the Blue Grosbeak. Here's today's list in all of its ebirded glory:

1 Mallard (Mexican)
8 Turkey Vulture
1 Northern Harrier
1 Red-tailed Hawk
4 American Coot
1 Killdeer
1 Eurasian Collared-Dove
12 White-winged Dove
4 Mourning Dove
3 Black-chinned Hummingbird
8 Golden-fronted Woodpecker
1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
1 Black Phoebe
1 Eastern Phoebe
6 Vermilion Flycatcher
3 Ash-throated Flycatcher
5 Western Kingbird
1 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
1 Bell's Vireo
1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
1 Violet-green Swallow
5 Barn Swallow
3 Cave Swallow
2 Cactus Wren
1 Canyon Wren
1 Bewick's Wren
1 House Wren
2 Marsh Wren
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 Northern Mockingbird
2 Curve-billed Thrasher
4 European Starling
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)
1 Wilson's Warbler
6 Canyon Towhee
10 Chipping Sparrow
1 Vesper Sparrow
1 Lark Sparrow
1 Savannah Sparrow
2 Lincoln's Sparrow
2 Swamp Sparrow
10 White-crowned Sparrow
6 Summer Tanager
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Blue Grosbeak
1 Red-winged Blackbird
2 Brewer's Blackbird
2 House Finch

Total species reported: 48

Post Road on the way out:
Swainson's Hawk
Golden Eagle (young bird, sadly backlit)
Black-throated Sparrow

A side note from Saturday - the Zone-tailed Hawk with a broken primary feather was seen over the Marathon again, this time coursing over the grounds at the Marathon Motel (it tried to chase something near the pond, but missed). Friday night there had been an adult Little Blue Heron roosting near the pond, but it was already gone by the time we checked on Saturday morning.

Edit: here's a link from that shows the fires causing the current haze in west TX; we can barely see the mountains that surround Marathon, but the sunsets are amazing!

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