Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Montezuma Quail and Balmorhea

No, the Montezuma Quail was not at Balmorhea. One adult male was crossing Hwy 90 about 11 miles west of Marathon at 9:36 am. It was along the curve in the gap between the Del Norte range and the Glass Mountains.

We were on our way to Balmorhea State Park and the lake. Sadly, the state park seems to have severely neglected the cienega under water viewing area and has some serious lack-of-management issues with the cattails. I'm sure its budget cuts haven't helped (yet the pool area is still well kept because it's the main tourist draw), but the cienega habitat is disappointing at best for now.

So, without further delay:
Location name: Lake Balmorhea, Reeves, US-TX
Observation date: 10/26/10
1 Snow Goose
1 Ross's Goose
5 Gadwall
15 American Wigeon
2 Mallard (Mexican)
82 Ruddy Duck
6 Scaled Quail
10 Pied-billed Grebe
13 Eared Grebe
1 Western Grebe
90 Clark's Grebe
5 Western/Clark's Grebe
1 Double-crested Cormorant
6 Great Blue Heron
1 Great Egret
1 Snowy Egret
1 Cattle Egret
3 Osprey
2 Northern Harrier
1 Red-tailed Hawk
1 Merlin
1 Prairie Falcon
40 American Coot
1 Sandhill Crane
5 Semipalmated Plover
1 Killdeer
6 Spotted Sandpiper
4 Greater Yellowlegs
1 Lesser Yellowlegs
1 Long-billed Curlew
1 Pectoral Sandpiper
10 Long-billed Dowitcher
20 Ring-billed Gull
3 Mourning Dove
1 Greater Roadrunner
2 Belted Kingfisher
1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
1 Northern Flicker
1 Black Phoebe
3 Say's Phoebe
2 Vermilion Flycatcher
4 Common Raven
3 Verdin
1 Cactus Wren
2 Rock Wren
2 Bewick's Wren
3 House Wren
1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
1 Northern Mockingbird
5 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)
1 Common Yellowthroat
5 Clay-colored Sparrow
5 Brewer's Sparrow
2 Vesper Sparrow
8 Black-throated Sparrow
30 Lark Bunting
2 Lincoln's Sparrow
4 White-crowned Sparrow
15 Pyrrhuloxia
1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Western Meadowlark
3 meadowlark sp.
15 Great-tailed Grackle
2 Brown-headed Cowbird
3 Lesser Goldfinch

Total species reported: 66

Report generated by eBird

Misc notes:
At least two pairs of the Clark's Grebes were still in courtship mode, 3 young grebes were so downy that they couldn't be narrowed to Clark's or Western, only one definitive Western was seen. It's a beautiful spot to bird, peaceful and very productive in terms of diversity. Wish I had more energy to elaborate!

On our way back into Marathon (sometime around 6 pm?) we did see one Aplomado Falcon fly over the road west of town. There were kestrels on the wires nearby, but there was no confusion over ID (kestrels never show a completely dark under-tail, Merlins lack the contrast).

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