Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sam the Great and birding POC on Happy Hooker Weekend April 25, '10

   It is Happy Hooker weekend in Port O'Connor, which hosts a big fishing tournament.  The place is full of people which really limits access to a lot of my birding spots.  These tourney's will continue now thru September and I despise them on principle even though they claim be mostly be for one "good cause" or another. I suppose it does help the economy here, but they sure do nothing for these over-fished waters.  It mainly is just a high dollar fish slaughtering pastime.  The front beach is filled with people BBQ'ing and playing in the low tides.

   Well there is Sam the Great on his very favorite rock as you can likely tell from the white wash there. A grand looking animal is he not?  He has been there all winter and there each winter for at least the last 8-9 winters.  We like him.  I took this photo today fearing that he was going to leave us at any time.  But he could be here for 2 more weeks or just two more hours.  It is such a pleasure to look out the window every day and see him on his rock.  Only in the worst of weather or close approach by people and dogs force him to move elsewhere in town and usually not far.   Will miss him once he finally heads north.

  A lot of birds in town but like I said access to some areas was more difficult than during the weekdays. For instance the Bell's Vireo location from yesterday was busy.   I keep telling myself I will get up the next morning in search of rice fields but the birds here in my Square Mile keep me more interested....I am always afraid I will miss out on something big.

  Perhaps one of the odder finds was that of an American Robin this morning.   I have not seen one in a couple of months here and they just did not make it down this year....And to suddenly see one below a mulberry in POC in late April with other thrushes is a bit perplexing.  I have never known them to breed in Port O'Connor....Very little actually does. When I first spotted it in the shadows my heart skipped a beat thinking it was a Rufous-backed or perhaps Clay-colored so some disappointment there.

   New 2010 birds for the patch include

White-rumped Sandpipers
 Olive-sided Flycatcher
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Good to rare, lingering birds include

Yellow-green Vireo
Plumbeous Vireo
Black-headed Grosbeak
Western Tanager
Lazuli Buntings

Many warblers and thrushes, a Golden-winged, Blackpoll and a single Bay-breasted....Best of all (other than the continuing YGVI) a second Cape May has shown up, this time either a young male or female.  Also a good find here. However I am cursed with the Black-throated Blues this year and have yet to find a single one.

Baby Shrikes are starting to appear all over town from the first hatch with their irritating begging calls.

 It has finally warmed up enough so that I wore shorts for the first time this year today....Come 6:00P I will likely have to get back into real clothes.