[texbirds] Corpus Christi - Oso Bay shorebirds

  • From: Clay Taylor <Clay.Taylor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2012 00:09:05 -0400

Hi all -

Today I had to drop Grace off at the mall for her summer job, so after that I 
went over to the Oso Bay to see what shorebirds were in.    There were some 
pretty decent thunderstorms that went through the area yesterday, so I figured 
the flats would have some water on them.

Yup, they did.  Thankfully, the mud was not all that deep, just the usual gooey 
consistency that soon gave me Herman Munster shoes.

There were quite a few shorebirds out on the flats, along with a good number of 
terns, herons, egrets, etc.    In all, I had 12 shorebird species, 8 gulls / 
terns, 8 herons / egrets, and 5 web-footed species (both pelicans, both 
cormorants, and Fulvous Whistling Ducks).

The shorebirds were;
100+ Short-billed Dowitchers - I did not hear any Long-billed, and to be honest 
with you, I refuse to drive myself crazy looking for one in situations like 
84 (!!!) Marbled Godwits - I looked for "weird" ones, but did not find anything 
1 Long-billed Curlew
Bunches of Willets and Black-necked Stilts - probably locals
A thin scattering of Least Sandpipers and one gaudy-plumaged Western Sandpiper. 
   It was feeding all by itself, and it took a lot of my self-control to not 
try and make it something better.
A few Sanderlings, a few of both yellowlegs, and initially 3 Stilt Sandpipers.  
Later, as I was out at the edge of the water scanning the godwits, a group of 
23 Stilt Sandpipers flew in, calling, and landed about 100 feet away.  Awesome!
I thought I heard a Solitary Sandpiper call, but it seems rather early for one, 
and since I did not hear it again, I did not count it.
Surprisingly, the only plovers present were Black-bellies, all in basic 
plumage.   I was surprised at no Wilson's, Snowy, or even Parking Lot Plover.

There were quite a few White Pelicans on the open water, and large herons were 
scattered everywhere.    A few White Ibis and Roseate Spoonbills were around 
the edges of the marsh.

The Gull-billed Terns repeatedly came by and gave me some grief, while the 
Royals and Caspians sat together on the mudflats with a sprinkling of Sandwich 
and Leasts.   I did see one Forster's / Common-sized tern, but did not get a 
good look at it before it flew - however, my impression was NOT Forster's.   

On the way home I stopped at Tule Lake, but the rain had covered ALL of the 
flats, so the only shorebirds I saw were a few Marbled Godwits waaayyy out 
there, but 22 Wood Storks were fun, and I did finally pick up a Killdeer.  

The local t-storms missed us today, so hopefully I get one tomorrow for a 
birthday present.

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

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  • » [texbirds] Corpus Christi - Oso Bay shorebirds - Clay Taylor