Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Apr 23 (Day 113) - A Veery nice day on the Bolivar

Today I leisurely pedaled the 28 miles from the southwest end of the Bolivar Peninsula back to High Island. I made several birding stops that yielded the expected terns and shorebirds, and it was an altogether enjoyable morning despite the very humid conditions. The south wind picked up over the course of the day which meant that High Island was on the quiet side this afternoon. I was able to scrape out 15 warbler species including Kentucky, Cerulean, Worm-eating, and Blackburnian. Numbers of cuckoo and orioles were certainly down today, but I did notice an increase in Empid numbers.

28+3 unmapped = 31 total today

"Empid" is an abbreviation that birders use for the 11 flycatchers of the genus Empidonax. To the amateur eye, members of this group of flycatchers will look essentially identical. Even many accomplished birders must rely on their distinctive calls to distinguish them. I have been able to track down Acadian and Least Flycatchers so far in 2014. I am also hoping to find Yellow-bellied, Willow, and Alder Flycatchers. These last 3 birds birds migrate very late, so I may to leave the Texas coast before the birds arrive. All 3 of these birds fall into the late migrating "northern migrants" category that I described yesterday.

I did find a lone Veery near the end of the day for species #328. It took a bit of patience to cull through endless wood thrushes (and a single gray-cheeked) to find this bird, but as usual my persistence paid off. Veery is also a late migrant, so I imagine I will see a few more of these in the next few days. Regardless, it was a nice addition to the year list! Tomorrow I will hunt for Blackpoll, Bay-breasted, and Mourning warblers. I also need to find Black-billed cuckoo, but this is a notoriously difficult bird to locate. I think birding tomorrow will be very slow, but Friday looks a bit better. I'll just have to get out and repeatedly pound the same trails until I find some of these birds. I am staying in High Island for tonight and the next 2, so I am positioned right next to the prime birding areas for tomorrow and Friday.

Lunch on the road....yummy.

I am sorry for the short post, but I have a number of administrative things to which I must attend tonight. I will hopefully get these done so that I can have a more involved post tomorrow. 

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