Friday, March 29, 2019

Little Gull and Merganser at White Rock Lake

This past weekend I went to White Rock Lake to see the new visitors that were being reported. I had never seen the Little Gull and the only Merganser I was yet to see in North America was Common Merganser. 

I was going through the ebird report to see if there was interesting sightings at one of my favorite birding spots in Dallas and I saw these birds were getting reported for last few weeks. So planned to try my luck. 

First went early to the Spillway area on the lake to look for the Little Gull. There were "Bonaparte", "Franlin", "Herring" and "Ring Billed Gulls" everywhere. It was tough to find a long Little Gull among them. I had never looked at the legs of the birds so closely. I had to use the distinct reddish legs of Little Gull to identify the bird. At last I found one whose legs looked a little Dark/Reddish. I still have to get it confirmed. After watching the Gulls did a quick walk around the Hatchery area to see the other birds. 

Little Gull?

Franklin and Bonapartes

Ring Billed Gull

After this I went to the Winfrey Point on the WRL to see if I can find the Merganser that we being reported. When I reached at around 10AM there were some "American Coots", "Mallards", "Northern Shovellers", "Blue Winged Teals", "American White Pelicans" and "Cormorants". I did see some "Rudy Ducks" and "Pied-billed Grebes" too and lone Wood Duck flew in to swim among the other ducks. After sometime I did see a lone "Cinnamon Teal" flew in to join the other Blue Winged Teals and Shovellers. At around 11:30AM the merganser showed up. It was amazing to see the bird. It was a lone bird swimming by itself away from the boardwalk. I felt lucky to have seen both the birds which I came to see.

Northern Shoveller

American White Pelican

Cinnamon Teal

American White Pelican

Pied-billed Grebe

Common Merganser

Wood Duck 
Monk Parakeet

While returning home saw an adult Bald Eagle fly over and settling on one of the big trees near the Arbotoreum. Still waiting to take a decent picture of this majestic bird and the wait continues :-(

Birds seen during the day.

  1. Blue-winged Teal  
  2. Cinnamon Teal  
  3. Northern Shoveler  
  4. Gadwall  
  5. Common Merganser
  6. Pied-billed Grebe  
  7. American Coot  
  8. Killdeer  
  9. Least Sandpiper  
  10. Spotted Sandpiper  
  11. Bonaparte's Gull  
  12. Little Gull
  13. Franklin's Gull  
  14. Ring-billed Gull  
  15. Herring Gull  
  16. Double-crested Cormorant  
  17. American White Pelican  
  18. Black-crowned Night-Heron  
  19. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron  
  20. Red-tailed Hawk  
  21. Red-bellied Woodpecker  
  22. Monk Parakeet  
  23. Eastern Phoebe  
  24. Blue Jay  
  25. Carolina Chickadee  
  26. Tufted Titmouse  
  27. Carolina Wren  
  28. Hermit Thrush  
  29. Northern Mockingbird  
  30. Cedar Wawing  
  31. Dark-eyed Junco  
  32. Yellow-rumped Warbler  
  33. Northern Cardinal  

Monday, March 25, 2019

Returning to Hagerman NWR

After year long hiatus from birding I got back to my favorite past time last week. I have been wanting to start again but kept pushing for multiple reasons. With onset of spring I wanted to start spending some time behind my Camera/Binoculars. I started with Hagerman NWR to see if I can see some of our wintering Geese but as luck would have it most have already left apart from a lone "Snow Goose". They are in hundreds and sometime in thousands at this refuge but usually they don't stay this late. I got to see atleast one for the year which is not a bad start.

Snow Goose

The water did not have huge number of waterfowl we see for the winter here. Since the spring has already started the birds have started migrating north. The only winter fowl I was able to see were some "Northern Shovellers", "Blue-winged Teal", "Lesser scaups", "Ring-necked Ducks", "Rudy Ducks", "Wigeons" and "Gadwall". I missed the Pintails for the season :-(

Northern Shoveller

Blue-winged Teal

Ring-necked Duck


The water also had lot of "Egrets", "Great Blue Herons" and few "American white Pelicans" on the far side. I did get to see some of the waders the "Yellow legs", "Spotted and Least Sandpipers" along with some "Killdeers".

There is a bridge while driving towards the Deavers pond trails and this has been the best place to see the "Belted Kingfisher". I have been able to spot this kingfisher in almost all my visits to this refuge. Even this visit the kingfisher did not disappoint. He was there waiting to catch its morning meal.


Great-blue Heron


Belted Kingfisher

Apart from this I wanted to see our wintering sparrows. I wanted to see the "Fox sparrow" and the best place is at one of the trails(Deaver's pond) at this park. Every winter I walked this trail I have this seen this sparrow. It's a large sized wintering sparrow for us here in Texas. I also saw the "Harris, Lincoln, Song and Savannah sparrows". Missed out on rest of the wintering sparrow species for the year. Along the trails I saw rest of the usual suspects("Hermit Thrush", "Carolina Wren", "Eastern Bluebird", "Chickadee's", "Tufted Titmouse", "Eastern Phoebe", "Downy and Red Bellied Woodpecker" and "Brown Thrasher"). "Carolina Wrens" were singing throughout the trail walk.

"American Pippit"

"Savannah Sparrow"

"Hermit Thrush"


"Fox Sparrow"

"Carolina Wren"

"Yellow-rumped Warbler"

"Tufted Titmouse"

"Eastern Phoebe"

"Harris Sparrow"

"Carolina Chickadee"

"Downy Woodpecker"

"Eastern Bluebird"

"Carolina Wren"

"Brown Thrasher"

"Red-bellied Woodpecker"
I also used to see a Northern Harrier at the refuge all the time. But this visit I did not see him but did get to see the Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks. Both Turkey and Black Vultures could be seen all around the refuge. On my way back I got to see the "Loggerhead shrike".

"Black Vulture"

Red-shouldered Hawk

"Loggerhead Shrike"

"Red-tailed Hawk"

ebird report :

Birds seen during the day :

  1. Snow Goose  
  2. Canada Goose  
  3. Blue-winged Teal  
  4. Northern Shoveler  
  5. Gadwall  
  6. American Wigeon  
  7. Mallard  
  8. Greater/Lesser Scaup  
  9. Ruddy Duck  
  10. Pied-billed Grebe  
  11. White-winged Dove  
  12. Mourning Dove  
  13. American Coot  
  14. Killdeer  
  15. Spotted Sandpiper  
  16. Greater/Lesser Yellowlegs  
  17. Double-crested Cormorant  
  18. American White Pelican  
  19. Great Blue Heron  
  20. Great Egret  
  21. Black Vulture  
  22. Turkey Vulture  
  23. Red-shouldered Hawk  
  24. Red-tailed Hawk  
  25. Belted Kingfisher  
  26. Red-headed Woodpecker  
  27. Downy Woodpecker  
  28. Eastern Phoebe  
  29. Loggerhead Shrike  
  30. American Crow  
  31. Carolina Chickadee  
  32. Tufted Titmouse  
  33. Carolina Wren  
  34. Eastern Bluebird  
  35. Hermit Thrush  
  36. Brown Thrasher  
  37. Northern Mockingbird  
  38. American Pipit  
  39. Cedar Wawing  
  40. Fo Sparrow  
  41. Dark-eyed Junco  
  42. Harris's Sparrow  
  43. Savannah Sparrow  
  44. Song Sparrow  
  45. Lincoln's Sparrow  
  46. Western/Eastern Meadowlark  
  47. Red-winged Blackbird  
  48. Yellow-rumped Warbler  
  49. Northern Cardinal