Sunday, March 26, 2017

Nutmeg Mannikin at Bob Woodruff Park

This week I decided to try my luck at Bob Woodruff park to see if there were any early migrants. I joined Suresh from Audubon Dallas forum for today's walk. It was good birding with him.

We decided to meet at 7:15AM. The sunrise was at 7:30 today and we decided to reach just before the sunrise to use the time better. When I started from home I thought the day would be warm and there was no need for a jacket. But I realized immediately after stepping out that it was a cold morning. Had to carry the jacket and it was cold :-)

I met Suresh at Woodruff parking lot. And from there we decided to checkout the pond and start birding the park edges(My favorite birding spot in the park). The birding was slow today not sure if it was because of the cold but we saw very little activity. We started off with some Yellow-rumped warblers and big group of Cedar Waxwings. We were photographing some sparrows and suddenly a Red-shouldered hawk flew and perched on a tree behind us. It was as if he wanted to be photographed and it was just for a moment :-)

Red-shouldered Hawk

After photographing the hawk we kept walking along the edge when suddenly the bird activity picked up. Initially we saw some American goldfinches then there was Brown thrasher then came yellow-rumped warblers, few sparrows and a long Blue-gray Gnatcher. Couple of Bluebirds flew over us too. There were couple of titmouse's too. We did see about 4 Brown thrashers chasing each other.

Brown Thrasher

Eastern Bluebird

Blue-grey Gnatcher

Cedar Waxwing

Mourning Dove

Tufted Titmouse
After that it was quite period. We headed towards the Parula bridge and decided to walk the trails towards the Learning center.  You get a very good feel walking these trails. I always feel as if I'm back in India walking the forests there. Especially one stretch of the trail towards learning center. The trees are not huge but you do get a good forest feel. And in this trail we saw few Red-bellied woodpeckers, couple of Hermit thrushes and lot of Northern cardinals. We did see lot of Ruby-crowned Kinglets and White-throated sparrows while walking the trails.

Hermit Thrush

White-winged Dove

Northern Cardinal

Red-bellied Woodpecker

After walking the trails past the learning center. I came back to learning center to see if the humming bird was back. I did see the Ruby-throated humming bird. My first hummer of the season. After this I decided to walk the trail close to the stream. Even before that in small grass patch near learning center I saw couple of small birds. When I checked them through Binoculars I could not believe what I saw. It was Scaly-breasted Munias(Nutmeg Mannikin). I was confused how these birds could be found here. I have never read any reports of this bird here. I thought it would be some birds that escaped(pet birds). After coming back home I read about these birds and looks like my assumption was correct. And it was strange to read that there are good breeding colonies in California and Houston. Interesting piece of information learnt for the day.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Nutmeg Mannikin (Scaly-breasted Munia)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Also while walking the trail on my way back took some of the butterfly photographs. It was good day to see number of butterflies too.

Graphic Crescent?

Common Buckeye

Carolina Anole

Tiger Swallowtail

Dusky Blue?
Looks like my Tamron lens is having issues. Auto focus did not work today. I had to use manual focus during the day :-(

ebird :

Birds seen during the day.

1 Mallard  
2 Double-crested Cormorant  
3 Black Vulture  
4 Turkey Vulture  
5 Red-shouldered Hawk  
6 American Coot  
7 Killdeer  
8 White-winged Dove  
9 Mourning Dove  
10 Ruby-throated Hummingbird  
11 Red-bellied Woodpecker  
12 Downy Woodpecker  
13 Blue Jay  
14 American Crow  
15 Barn Swallow  
16 Carolina Chickadee  
17 Tufted Titmouse  
18 Carolina Wren  
19 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  
20 Ruby-crowned Kinglet  
21 Eastern Bluebird  
22 Hermit Thrush  
23 American Robin  
24 Brown Thrasher  
25 Northern Mockingbird  
26 Cedar Wawing  
27 Yellow-rumped Warbler  
28 White-throated Sparrow  
29 Savannah Sparrow  
30 Northern Cardinal  
31 Great-tailed Grackle  
32 American Goldfinch  

Monday, March 20, 2017

Birding at White Rock Lake

After a long time went to White Rock lake for birding. The best place to see the wintering ducks :-)

I reached a little early and went for walk. The weather was really good for trail walks today. I went to Spillway area of White Rock Lake. Wanted to check the ducks and Gulls near the spillway. Since I arrived a little early there were no Gulls but I did see some Gadwall's, Blue-winged Teals, Mallards and Least Sandpipers near the spillway. I also saw lot of Coots near the spillway and a lone Spotted Sandpiper and Killdeer as well.

Blue-winged Teal


Spotted Sandpiper

Red Admiral
I had ebird reports about White-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos and Thrushes in the same area. So I started walking the trails. I did see lot of Yellow-Rumped Warblers, White-Throated Sparrows and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. I also saw an orange-crowned Warbler and few White-eyed Vireos in the trail. I also saw Monk Parakeets and an American Kestrel which was too close to the Monk Parakeets roosting place. You could hear their calls a lot on the trails. And in one of the ponds I saw few Wood Ducks too.

White-eyed Vireo

Wood Duck

White-Throated Sparrow
After walking the trails in Spillway area decided to try my luck with American Black Duck which was reported at Winfrey point. I started the drive on Lawther drive, I wanted to see if I can see the Rudy ducks. I always see them on this drive hence wanted to see if they were still here. After reaching the Winfrey point, at the top I saw there were lot of Yellow-Rumped Warblers, Blackbirds and Mockingbirds there. I headed towards the lake to try my luck with the Black duck. I also saw there were lot of people looking for this duck. But no one had any luck with the same. I did check the NARBA report to see when was the last sighting of this duck and it was on March 17'th. I did not have much expectations but anyways wanted to try my luck. I did not get to see the duck though.

Anyways during the walk I saw lot of Mallards, Coots and Pelicans here. There were some Ring-billed Gulls and Terns flying over the lake. I also saw few Pied Grebes, Blue-winged Teals, Northern Shovelers and long Wigeon too. There were lot of Grackles and Red-winged blackbirds too. There were some White-throated sparrows and Savannah sparrows too.

Red-winged Blackbird

Chloe Wigeon(exotic)

Pied-billed Grebe

Savannah Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Red-eared Slider
I did walk the trail to see if I could see other birds and I did get to see lot more sparrows, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker and a lone Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. After this I head back home with another satisfactory day of birding. I started late this season but it has been good couple of weeks :-)

Painted Lady

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Northern Cardinal

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

ebird report :

List of birds seen during the day.

1 Canada Goose
2 Wood Duck
3 Gadwall 
4 Mallard   
5 Blue-winged Teal   
6 Northern Shoveler   
7 Ruddy Duck
8 Pied-billed Grebe
9 Double-crested Cormorant   
10 American White Pelican   
11 Great Blue Heron   
12 American Coot   
13 Killdeer   
14 Least Sandpiper
15 Spotted Sandpiper
16 Ring-billed Gull   
17 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)   
18 White-winged Dove 
19 Red-bellied Woodpecker   
20 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 
21 Downy Woodpecker   
22 American Kestrel   
23 Monk Parakeet   
24 White-eyed Vireo
25 Blue Jay   
26 American Crow   
27 Carolina Chickadee   
28 Tufted Titmouse   
29 Carolina Wren   
30 Ruby-crowned Kinglet   
31 Northern Mockingbird   
32 Cedar Wa wing   
33 Orange-crowned Warbler   
34 Yellow-rumped Warbler   
35 White-throated Sparrow   
36 Savannah Sparrow   
37 Northern Cardinal   
38 Red-winged Blackbird   
39 Great-tailed Grackle   

Monday, March 13, 2017

Birding in Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge

It's been almost 4 months since my last birding outing. Since I did not get a chance to look at any waterfowl in Hagerman this winter I thought I will try my luck before all the waterfowl leave for the summer.

Started home early at 6AM and reached the refuge center by 7:30AM. The access road to refuge center is laid new. When I reached I could already see people looking for birds and some of the folks with fishing lines in the water too. I did not see any Geese on the fields. The first pool I checked had good number of ducks. It had Shovelers, Blue-winged teals, Gadwalls and Coots. There were lot of ducks around but not in the same number as we see in December and January.

I could see Shovellers, Blue-winged teals, Green-winged teals and Coots everywhere. I saw only one Pintail among all these other ducks. There were lot of Wilson's snipes and few Yellowlegs scattered across the pools too.

Blue-winged Teal

Ross's Goose?


I saw a group of Pelicans at the back of the lake right next to a group of Terns. Just behind them I could see there were group of dowitchers too.

Wilson's Snipe

American Golden plover



Pelicans and Terns

After birding the lake decided to walk the Meadow pond trail. Just before I entered the trail, I did some birding right next to the gate. There I saw couple of nuthatches, lot of Yellow-rumped warblers and sparrows. The near by stream had a lone Belted Kingfisher too.

The walk on Meadow pond trail was great. I saw almost all the sparrows I had seen earlier(Savannah, Lincoln, Harris, Fox, Vesper and Chipping). It was great to see all these sparrows again. The other birds I saw on the trail were Brown Thrasher, lot of Ruby crowned Kinglets, Chickadees and Titmouses.

Red-bellied woodpecker

Northern Cardinal

White-breasted Nuthatch

Brown Creeper

Harris Sparrow

Vesper Sparrow

Lincoln Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Tufted Titmouse

Brown Creeper

After walking this trail I decided to try a Crow Hill Trail for the first time. And it was good idea to try this since I got to see first Black and White warbler for the season.

Black and White Warbler

And started photographing butterflies too :-)

Goatweed Leafwing

Dusky-blue Groundstreak?

Southern Dogface

Elada Checkerspot?

Mournful Duskywing?

Red Admiral


ebird :

Birds seen during the day :

1 Snow/Ross's Goose  
2 Canada Goose   
3 Gadwall   
4 Blue-winged Teal   
5 Northern Shoveler   
6 Northern Pintail  
7 Green-winged Teal   
8 Pied-billed Grebe  
9 American White Pelican   
10 Great Blue Heron   
11 Great Egret  
12 Black Vulture   
13 Turkey Vulture   
14 Northern Harrier  
15 Red-tailed Hawk   
16 American Coot   
17 American Golden-Plover   
18 Killdeer   
19 Least Sandpiper   
20 Short-billed/Long-billed Dowitcher   
21 Wilson's Snipe   
22 Greater/Lesser Yellowlegs   
23 Ring-billed Gull  
24 Mourning Dove   
25 Belted Kingfisher  
26 Red-bellied Woodpecker   
27 Downy Woodpecker   
28 American Kestrel   
29 Eastern Phoebe   
30 Blue Jay   
31 American Crow   
32 Carolina Chickadee   
33 Tufted Titmouse   
34 White-breasted Nuthatch   
35 Brown Creeper  
36 Ruby-crowned Kinglet   
37 Eastern Bluebird   
38 Brown Thrasher  
39 Northern Mockingbird  
40 American Pipit   
41 Black-and-white Warbler  
42 Yellow-rumped Warbler   
43 Field Sparrow   
44 Fo  Sparrow  
45 Dark-eyed Junco   
46 White-crowned Sparrow   
47 Harris's Sparrow   
48 White-throated Sparrow   
49 Vesper Sparrow   
50 Savannah Sparrow   
51 Lincoln's Sparrow   
52 Northern Cardinal   
53 Red-winged Blackbird   
54 Western/Eastern Meadowlark