[texbirds] Corpus Christi - 21 shorebird species 7/15/12

  • From: Clay Taylor <Clay.Taylor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2012 11:40:23 -0400

Hi all -

Buoyed by my initial shorebirding foray on Saturday, and knowing that I could 
waste all the time I wanted on Sunday  (my birthday) without Debbie giving me 
grief, I resolved to up my shorebird list from 13 to 20 species.

I started at Hazel Bazemore County Park, where my least favorite shorebird 
greeted me - Killdeer (1).   Also present were a Lesser Yellowlegs (2) in the 
pond, and a gimpy Long-billed Curlew (3) in the grassy picnic areas.

Back to the Oso Bay, where the standing water was already visibly reduced from 
the day before.   The Marbled Godwits (4) were up to 175+ (I lost count toward 
the end, as a group moved twice), but still none that looked different enough 
to become a Bar-tailed.    Hmmmm.    An American Avocet (5) was new for my 
weekend, and there were both Yellowlegs present (Greater is 6) as well as Least 
Sandpiper (7).

I did definitely hear a Long-billed Dowitcher (8) go "kik, kik" a few times, 
but I did not visually pick it out of the mass of Short-billeds (9) on the 
mudflats.    There was a Black Tern that evidently had bill-envy, as whenever I 
saw it, it was sitting on the mudflats in the middle of the dowitcher flock.   
However, I could not count it as a shorebird.   I did find Semipalmated (10) 
and Wilson's Plovers (11) that were not seen on Saturday to accompany the 
Black-bellied Plovers (12) and Killdeers, but dipped on the Stilt Sandpipers 
and the Western Sandpiper.

There were about a dozen Long-billed Curlews, up from two on Saturday, and many 
Black-necked Stilts (13) and ever-noisy Willets (14).

I drove down the street to Han & Pat Suter Nature Reserve and was rewarded with 
a Spotted Sandpiper (15)!

Heading home, I looped out to Indian Point Park and nabbed three Ruddy 
Turnstones (16) on the shell beach, and an American Oystercatcher (17) out the 
spit a ways.

Coming back towards Corpus Christi, I veered off on the Joe Fulton Trade 
Corridor road, intending to bird the big mudflats toward the west end, but a 
dark shorebird feeding deeply in a roadside puddle made me pull a U-turn to 
investigate.   Ooohhh....a Stilt Sandpiper (18!!) in near-totally breeding 
plumage.   Awesome!   Lots of digiscoped photos and videos!!!    Up the road, I 
pulled over to find another Stilt Sandpiper, as well as a bunch of Western 
Sandpipers (19), including one by itself that had such a honkin' big bill that 
I tried to turn it into a Dunlin.   Oh, well....

Leaving Joe Fulton, I looped back around the Ship Channel to stop at Tule Lake, 
where the water was starting to recede from the near mudflats.   There were 
more peeps as well as a few Wilson's Plovers and a smaller, lighter-backed 
plover - Snowy Plover (20).     Niiice....

OK, here is where I screwed up - I had mis-counted earlier in the day, so I 
thought I was stuck at 19 species, and I really wanted to get to 20.   So, 
later that afternoon, Debbie and I drove down to Port Aransas to check out 
stuff (and hopefully find either a Sanderling, a Red Knot, or a Solitary 
Sandpiper).  The Birding Center was totally flooded, so no shorebirds.    
Charlie's Pasture was Charlie's Desert - no joy.     So we went to the beach at 
Mustang Island - surely there were a few Sanderlings there, right?

Um, a hot Sunday afternoon in July at the beach - lots o' people, no 
shorebirds.    Ugh.    We set sail for North Padre and eventually home, but 
took a chance at Access Road 3, just south of the Mustang Island State Park.   
Still lots of people, and the sand was definitely NOT hard-packed for exploring 
with the vehicle, but I did finally spot a Sanderling (21) and two turnstones 
weaving their way around the gas grills and lounging beachgoers.

The final birthday surprise was the recount afterward, finding out that I 
really DID have 21 species.   Cool!

Clay Taylor
TOS Life Member
Calallen (Corpus Christi),  TX

Other related posts:

  • » [texbirds] Corpus Christi - 21 shorebird species 7/15/12 - Clay Taylor