Archive for Texas
April, and it’s still chilly here in north Jersey. What to do, where to go…?
The Texas Ornithological Society gathered this past weekend in Laredo, and I joined the 60-odd registrants as field trip leader and banquet speaker.
The weather was cool, the company cooler, and the birding non-stop. With all those skilled and eager eyes afield, the weekend tally exceeded 200 species; but one above all others made my day — three days in a row.
I haven’t spent all that much time in the Rio Grande Valley, but I’ve certainly been there often enough and looked hard enough to make White-collared Seedeater one of the most conspicuous gaps on my US list. So the instant we arrived in Laredo, Lee and I set off for the wonderful Zacate Trail.
And there, singing from the tree tobacco, was a fancy little male seedeater, duller than the birds one sees so easily and so often in Middle America, but more contrasty than I had prepared myself for. The bird perched up for a good ten minutes, whistling away with a song that, interestingly, never once broke out into the expected final trill.
I would hear seedeaters each day, and had outstanding views again on Saturday, when my group found no newer than four individuals along the river. After Laredo, I’m never going back to the scenes of earlier failures in Zapata and San Ygnacio!
Thanks to TOS and its members for a fantastic weekend and some really fine birding. Hope to see everybody again soon — come to New Jersey sometime.
KT has very generously updated me to the newest blog software, including an easy RSS feed right here in the upper left corner of the page. Could I impose on all of you to spare me the embarrassment of a single-digit subscriber count by signing up for the feed? Thank you!