56 miles + 3 horsing around and eating in Port Lavaca for 59 total
Original 3 Whooping cranes in field (Sandhills on left edge)
Year bird #611!
Orignal 3 flying off
The 4 replacements coming in!
Sprague's pipit - white eye ring, bright pink legs!
Tomorrow is the big flamingo chase! It looks as though the wind is going to cooperate to at least some degree. I am being met by a local birder tomorrow morning. We will then kayak the 4 miles out and return to search for the birds. This same local birder saw the birds on Saturday in this same area. Hopefully they are still present....
Now, this part will take a bit of explanation. There are actually two flamingos that have been hanging out together on the Texas coast for the last few years. The first of these birds is a wild American flamingo that was banded in 2005 as a juvenile at Ria Lagartos Reserve on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. This bird is affectionately known by the letters on his yellow leg-band, "HDNT". People have hypothesized that this bird was carried around/across the Gulf of Mexico by a tropical storm or hurricane. This is a 100% wild bird and as such is completely countable. The second bird is an Old World Greater flamingo that managed to escape from the Sedgewick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas on June 27, 2005. As this is a known escaped bird, it is not countable. This bird wears yellow leg-band "492". What is really mind-boggling is how these 2 needles in the proverbial haystack found one another. They are apparently now best friends as they are always seen in each other's company. They seem to roam up and down the Texas Coast, but they return periodically to the Port Lavaca area where they are only accessible by boat. Where they go when they aren't here is not known. Here is a photo of the two birds taken by Bob Friedrichs last year.
Left: Dark pink, wild, countable, American Flamingo HDNT
Right: Light pink, escaped, not countable, Greater flamingo 492
Tomorrow is going to really exciting as we look for these birds!