Monday, January 14, 2013

Coffey, Reid and Sekula - West Tx highlights

Emphasis on "RBA" birds has been added, some formatting changes have been made.

10 Jan 2013 Female Evening Grosbeak at Dog Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains National Park - Willie Sekula
"Today Willie Sekula, Martin Reid and I are at Dog Canyon in the Guadalupe 
Mountain NP. Willie found a female Evening Grosbeak between the ranger station 
and the corral. We hiked up the canyon and found Stellers Jays, Mountain 
Chickadee, and two Townsend's Solitaires." - Sheridan Coffey, 19 January 2012
Posted with permission from Willie Sekula - we're not really sure how to 'tag' this post because we've had so little coverage of the Guadalupe Mountains and Pecos County on this blog before! We're quite grateful to this intrepid crew for their coverage of the region and allowing us to post their sightings and photographs here. Many, many thanks!

Red Bluff Lake is just south of New Mexico, so a bit of a trek from our proverbial neck of the woods, but is similar to Lake Balmorhea in terms of strange and wonderful things turning up... which brings us to Willie's post:

Red Bluff Lake, Friday January 11th

Martin Reid, Sheridan Coffey and I birded Red Bluff Lake (~38 miles north of Pecos) today. We had a good day of birding with the highlight being an immature Northern Shrike which was on the northern (no pun intended) of the lake off County Road 453. The bird was pretty flighty. Martin and I had to work to get some record photographs of the bird but we finally succeeded. Other highlights included two Red-throated Loons and 1900 Common Mergansers.

Selected Bird List:
37 Snow Goose
25 Northern Shoveler
12 Northern Pintail
2 Greater Scaup
50 Bufflehead -- Probably a low estimate
100 Common Goldeneye -- Probably a low estimate
157 Hooded Merganser -- Large group at dam. Well seen
1900 Common Merganser -- Counted by both Martin Reid and Willie Sekula.
Massive rafts
100 Red-breasted Merganser
100 Ruddy Duck
2 Red-throated Loon -- Photographed
300 Double-crested Cormorant -- Low estimate
140 Bonaparte's Gull -- Feeding with mergansers and cormorants
40 Ring-billed Gull
10 Herring Gull -- Well seen
1 Northern Shrike -- Photographed. Young bird.
1 Say's Phoebe
25 American Pipit

Please note that Sandy Beach (other side of dam) was not accessible. The gate was locked.

Willie Sekula
Falls City

This is the FIRST Trans-Pecos record for Northern Shrike in 25 yrs!  This young bird is the fourth Trans-Pecos record.  Prior records coming from El Paso County (2) and the Guadalupe Mtns (1).

For further Texas Northern Shrike discussion, including this bird, see Martin Reid's page -

Northern Shrike, Red Bluff Lake, Friday January 11, 2013 - Willie Sekula

Northern Shrike, Red Bluff Lake, Friday January 11, 2013 - Willie Sekula

Northern Shrike, Red Bluff Lake, Friday January 11, 2013 - Willie Sekula

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