29 April 2009

Cape May Day … (High Island, Texas): 29 April 2009

After yesterdays heady 28 warbler day on the High Island “Dome” today was a step down with much fewer species seen (16 or so). However, for me personally this was a killer day. After yesterdays lifer Cape May that turned out to be a female bird, I gorged shamelessly on a scorching male today, and it finally felt like I had got a “proper” Cape May.

The morning did not start too well though, when one of the other TB guides, Josh Engel, picked out a male Cape May as the very first bird of our free-guided walk for Houston Audubon. However, all I saw as I swiftly spun round was a warbler shape darting off into the distance. My mood was brightened considerably when after a days chasing of this mighty fine warbler we managed to finally pin a male down in Smith Oaks woods. Also dancing around the same warbler-draped area was several stunning Bay-breasteds, continuing Blackpolls (that have been reamed “trashpolls” after their overexposure on High Island this season!) Despite a fall in species numbers there is clearly some warbler “totty” to be had around High Island, even though some birders would already sound the death knells of spring already, (a very dangerous call when you consider that High Island can be hopping well into May).

Other choice sights were Piping and Wilson’s Plovers down at Bolivar Flats, and a mass of Bobolinks (250ish birds) in a roadside field along the highway 87 just beyond the Bolivar Flats turn. On the down side the highest numbers of mosquitoes I have ever encountered battered me senseless all day, and just proves that for all its diversity the tropics can sometimes be a much less tricky place to hang out!

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