Monday, April 11, 2016

White Rock Lake and Palo Pinto Mountain State Park

There was a rare bird alert for our Dallas area and on checking it looked like the Green tailed towhee was back in White rock lake. This bird had visited us few months back, then I did not have any luck in visiting the lake and missed out on seeing this rare bird for this part of the country. So when I saw this alert last week, decided to try my luck. The spot was clearly updated in some of the ebird reports, that helped me in getting to the right spot.

I reached the lake at around 7AM and decided to head directly towards the spot to try my luck. I was looking for the bird for around 15 min and then I saw an unusual movement but the movement of the bird was very similar to the spotted towhee that I keep seeing at my office. That was enough. I stood there with my binocs for sometime to see if the bird comes out and out he came. It was a beautiful bird. Took couple of pictures and decided to leave him in peace. Since most of the birds are in migration did not want to disturb him too much. Got my wish fulfilled though :-)

Green-tailed Towhee
The other bird I saw during the day were Spotted sandpipers near the dam area. Lot of Least Sandpipers, Ring-Billed Gulls and Blue-Winged Teals. In the woods I saw lot of wood ducks and teals swimming in the ponds. There were lot of hermit thrushes around. There were Savannah, Lincoln and White-Throated sparrows too. I also got to see my first Yellow-Crowned Night Heron. It was try to collect nest material and later I realized the nest of the bird was close by.

Spotted Sandpiper

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Wood Duck

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

White-throated Sparrow

Least Sandpiper
Near the Winfrey point of the lake I saw lot of Coots, Mallard, Blue-Winged teals and Northern Shovelers. A fellow birder had luck with a humming bird there but I did not have any luck in spotting that bird.

Cedar Waxwing

Blue-winged Teal

Northern Shoveler

Red-winged Blackbird
It was a great day at WRL :-)

ebird :

Birds seen during the day.

1 Canada Goose
2 Wood Duck
3 Mallard
4 Blue-winged Teal
5 Great Blue Heron
6 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
7 Turkey Vulture
8 Red-shouldered Hawk
9 American Coot
10 Spotted Sandpiper
11 Least Sandpiper
12 Ring-billed Gull
13 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
14 Downy Woodpecker
15 Eastern Phoebe
16 White-eyed Vireo
17 Blue Jay
18 American Crow
19 Barn Swallow
20 Carolina Chickadee
21 Tufted Titmouse
22 Hermit Thrush
23 American Robin
24 Northern Mockingbird
25 European Starling
26 Cedar Waxwing
27 Yellow-rumped Warbler(Myrtle)
28 White-throated Sparrow
29 Savannah Sparrow
30 Green-tailed Towhee
31 Northern Cardinal
32 Red-winged Blackbird
33 Brown-headed Cowbird

On April 9'th I went to Palo Pinto Mountain state park with Jim Sipiroa who was leader leading the group walk. I read about this field trip in FWAS portal and sent an email to Jim if I could join the walk. He was kind enough to include me for the walk. I have not done much of birding west of dallas and this was my first. I met Jim in DFW area and from there I car pooled with Jim. Thanks for the ride Jim :-)

We reached the park at 7AM and most of the group members joined us directly over there. We were total of 6 people for the days walk. The day was cold and overcast when we started. Very little work for the camera :-) We saw quite a number of birds for the day. The highlight being Canyon wren, Black-Crested Titmouse and Ladder-backed woodpecker. I was seeing these birds for the first time :-) The other 2 birds that were new for me were Ash-Throated flycatcher and Golden-cheeked warbler  but we could only hear them during the walk. We did see lot of siskins, Gnatcher and Orange-crowned warbler chasing each other, Towhees and sparrows. Infact few of the group members did get to see a Rufous-crowned sparrow. I was one of the unlucky ones to miss out on seeing the bird. It started to rain continuously and we had to end our birding sooner than planned. It was first birding experience in rain. At one place we heard a call and some of the group members thought it could be a Black-capped Vireo. We stayed there when Jim and Missy tried to get a glance of the bird but with no luck. 

Canyon Wren

Ladder-Backed woodpecker

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Decided to call the day and we headed back home.

Birds seen during the day.

1 Blue-winged Teal
2 Double-crested Cormorant
3 Great Blue Heron
4 Great Egret
5 Little Blue Heron
6 Turkey Vulture
7 Red-shouldered Hawk
8 Red-tailed Hawk
9 American Coot
10 Mourning Dove
11 Belted Kingfisher
12 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
13 Ash-throated Flycatcher(Heard)
14 White-eyed Vireo
15 Blue Jay
16 American Crow
17 Carolina Chickadee
18 Black-crested Titmouse
19 Canyon Wren
20 Bewick's Wren
21 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
22 Eastern Bluebird
23 Brown Thrasher
24 Northern Mockingbird
25 Black-and-white Warbler
26 Orange-crowned Warbler
27 Golden-cheeked Warbler(Heard)
28 Field Sparrow
29 White-crowned Sparrow
30 White-throated Sparrow
31 Lincoln's Sparrow
32 Spotted Towhee
33 Northern Cardinal
34 Brown-headed Cowbird
35 Pine Siskin

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