[texbirds] Cameron County shorebird bonanza, photographs

  • From: Robert Becker <robertjbecker@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2012 11:45:18 -0700 (PDT)

I had some good birding in some of my favorite spots in Cameron County over the 
weekend. Best was Saturday morning at Boca Chica, where an impressive variety 
of shorebirds had gathered at the edge of the wetlands close to the road in the 
last flat stretch, a mile or two before you hit the beach. There were hundreds 
of shorebirds and fellow travelers, including Semipalmated Plover, Snowy 
Plover, Wilson's Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Black Skimmer, American Avocet, 
Black-necked Stilt, Roseate Spoonbill, Marbled Godwit,  Willet, Least 
Sandpiper,  Great Blue Heron, Tri-colored Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, 
Reddish Egret. Sanderling, Laughing Gull, Brown Pelican, Sandwich Tern, 
Forster's Tern,  and Horned Lark. On the way down I also saw a Botteri's 
Sparrow, Crested Caracara, White-tailed Hawk, and five or six Harris' Hawks. I 
am probably forgetting some species and may have missed ID'ing others, as the 
shorebirds were so numerous. 
One group of shorebirds stumped me: they were medium-sized, had black legs and 
straight black bills, and sported rufous patches on their sides and bellies. I 
posted a photo of two of them in flight and I welcome opinions on their 
Yesterday morning, I enjoyed Groove-billed Anis, Yellow-billed 
Cuckoos, Chachalacas and a Yellow-crowned Night Heron at Ester Llano Grande 
State Park, and a calling Verdin and a red-tailed Myiarchus (Ash-throated?) 
Flycatcher at Palo Alto National Historical Park. When I finally made it back 
to Boca Chica at mid-morning, I was greeted by rain and heavily overcast skies, 
and most of the shorebirds were gone. The larks, though, were very friendly.
Photo highlights are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13451078@N03/
and here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/13451078@N03/page2/
I welcome corrections on my identifications.
Bob Becker
Rancho Viejo

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