Sunday, March 27, 2011

Texas lifers -- quickie post

So just to get these birds on the blog --

Here are the lifers from Texas:Pyrrhuloxia

White-tipped Dove

White-tailed Hawk (photo by Mary)

Eurasian Collared Dove

Clay-colored Thrush

Black-vented Oriole

Wilson's Snipe

Green Kingfisher

UPDATE--that other photo was a Willet, but here is one that I'm 99.9% sure is the Short-billed Dowitcher--the one in the middle:
Short-billed Dowitcher

How's that one feel? I should've known the other one was a Willet by the thickness of its bill; I usually look for that weird nostril but didn't see it on that photo, and was just anxious to get a better picture than this lame one. Assuming this was a SBDO, which a few other people on the boardwalk agreed with me that it was, this was Lifer #300, which inspired a little photo:the SBDO is in the background, as is the alligator previously seen on this blog.

I didn't get a snapshot of the Clapper Rail, sad to say. I did get some mystery bird photos, though -- you've seen some terns and gulls, but here's a warbler:I wish I'd gotten a better photo. I thought at first that it was (what else, down there?) an Orange-crowned Warbler, but I don't think so. Perhaps it's "probably just a butter-butt," were this Cape May. But I just couldn't figure it out. UPDATE: John is thinking OCWA, and I really think he's right. There is some weird dark coloring on the throat there, but I think that was just the wind in his feathers.

I also took this photo of what I think is a Louisiana Waterthrush:what do you think? UPDATE: Yay, John thinks it's a Louisiana Waterthrush too! Boo, though, it's not a lifer. I have yet to see a Northern Waterthrush, despite the fact that I live UP NORTH.

UPDATE even more! More mystery birds, with my tentative IDs now that I've finally unpacked my copy of The Shorebird Guide -- an AWESOME book with a capital AWE -- to go along with my Sibley and my Crossley Guide (more AWE):

Get a load of this little guy:the best damned shot of the bunch and OF COURSE it came out blurry!
Okay. I was feeling "sparrow" here, given the general size, shape, and coloring, but I just don't think so. Note the bold yellow supralorals, which I'd only seen on White-throateds before this. But this is no WTSP. Then I thought (read: prayed) it might be a Seaside Sparrow! Right place, right time, yellow supraloral! But the ones I've seen online just look a lot more drab, like this one and their beaks are longer. I've gone through the finches and buntings with no luck. Look at those crazy huge pink feet, by the way. What is this bird? It's probably something super-simple. I'm always a beginning birder, you know?

Tune in next time for more mystery birds as well as the thrilling yet heart-breaking tale of The Hunt for the Aplomado Falcon.


John said...

I'm pretty sure that dowitcher is a Willet. It's not so much a matter of plumage as proportions.

I'm not sure about the warbler, but what I see looks consistent with Orange-crowned. The one thing that bothers me is the apparent blackish coloration around the face, but that could just be a result of molt or feathers being disheveled.

The last bird looks good for Louisiana Waterthrush.

dguzman said...

John--dangit, well, I did the ID on that one and it was the better photo, but I have another terrible photo of what others helped me ID as a SBDO, so I'll post that one. Thanks!

Susan Gets Native said... went to TX? I'm so behind.
Great lifer list there, D.

dguzman said...

Susan--I didn't post about it on Facebook, so maybe you didn't know? (hee hee hee)

John said...

Yeah, the new photo looks more like a Short-billed Dowitcher.

The mystery sparrow looks like a Savannah Sparrow.

dguzman said...

John--Savannah???? That's what Hap in New Hope said too. Hmph. I never get that one right. But this is the first time I've seen one with the yellow; I read in Crossley's that it's a great distinguishing mark IF it happens to show. Is it a matter of maturity or molt or what?