Friday, May 7, 2010
This morning I passed a rice field being flooded for the 2nd time on 1289 just south of 238 in Calhoun Co what already has sprouted tiny rice. It will be a fantastic place to bird tomorrow (May 8) and the day after. I had little time to bird it as most of the water was way back in the field, but already there were hordes of Franklin's Gulls, Gull-billed Terns,m and White-rumped Sandpipers moving in. I heard bird I have never heard before coming in, but will keep that thought to my self as I can not be sure to ID. Saw 3 Black Terns over the field as well. The first of 1000's to come I hope. Made no effort to count species/individuals but this field as well as the and Magnolia Beach fields should be hopping now as there is no forecast for rain and the farmers appear to be forced to buy water from the . The rice is flooded late this year so the farmers will for sure have to contend with blackbirds after post season breeding by those birds, just as the grain is milky and soft.. A Purple in an irrigation ditch was nice.
Yesterday when we were with Tom and Kay Flores they had asked me about Yellow-headed Blackbirds. Kay Flores still wants one. I had a single SY male with Red- on the newly flooded 1289 field.
Folks reading this....If you want anything to do with rice fields this for year, this weekend may be your last shot before the rice gets too high or deep to see the smaller sandpipers. Our count over the past 3 days is up to 23 Shorebird species with the Whimbrel at least, and maybe 24 if someone had a Long-billed Curlew I do not remember. Also 3 Ibis species along with many other "wet spring" birds, including Grasshopper Sparrows, Dickcissels etc. etc..
The only recent birds I have added to my Port O'Connor Square Mile project was a Mississippi Kite and "Brewster's " Warbler, although I am pretty sure I got on a female yesterday evening though I could not be sure of the ID and it was wary given the number of folks present, I suspect it was Mourning, a bird I still need for POC this spring.... I just do not understand how certain areas on Galveston Is. can churn this genus out in numbers in the spring while I bust butt to find 1 or 2 every year. Oh well they will be no problem in the fall. The only other Wood Warbler I can hope to reasonably get is Black-throated Blue, but I may have missed that window now.
I have my BBS stuff in hand now and once the swallow/Black Tern migration is complete I will do those vast corn fields again :-)
Other counties just north and well east of Calhoun Co. seem very lackluster to me this spring while the brush lands of S. Texas rock! Spectacular.... Anyway just a quick unedited update for now.