15 April 2011

Big "Drop In" at High Island...TEXAS (14 April)

The High Island forecasts had been made (weather that is), and the bird predictions followed, so the dice had been thrown. All we needed now was to see how it actually panned out. And frankly it turned out pretty damn fine. Late morning and the strong fliers showed up with regularity: Orchard Orioles, Indigo Buntings (with a few spanking Painteds too to wow us all), and then by mid-afternoon the celebrity drop ins occurred: Blackburnian Warblers lit up the Pecan trees with their fiery faces, accompanied at times by a Yellow-throated Warbler or two for a color explosion. Then a Blue-winged Warbler would pop up out of the scrub, a little more furtive and less showy than the ostentatious Blackburnians but much appreciated all the same. Then a flash of red would bring us to a Summer Tanager hiding badly in the trees above, or brighter still the odd Scarlet Tanager with its jet-black wings would bring even more color to the occasion. Then the shout went up for Cerulean and I was thwarted in my first attempts to find it. Then popped up a touted cerulean, only to find a parulesque bird but lacking nay yellow at all and not olive back patch as all parulas should have. The possibility of a very rare hybrid (parula x Cerulean) went through my mind, and still linger on now, although without the photos I feel this will go nowhere. The rarest bird in town possibly, but trying telling that to the Cerulean chasers, they just wanted a pure, sky-backed male Cerulean to plant on their lists and a short time later the "real deal" showed up and decorated a few lists in town. The more furtive species were around too, and I managed to run into Kentucky Warblers, Hooded Warblers, although managed to somehow avoid the multiple Swainson's Warblers on High Island today. The showiest of them all, as they often are though, were the adorable Black-throated Green Warblers, that dangled so invitingly just daring us to shoot them! And on top of all of that I finally caught up with the Great Kiskadee that had been taunting for me for days, I mean who had ever heard of a shy and retiring kiskadee!

With northerlies persisting there is more hope for the 'morrow, and I for one will be up early with a stride in my step and hope in my heart..

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