Photo Gallery - 2013 Field Trips
2013 Index Page Photo Gallery Home
April 26, 2013 - South Padre Island (The Great 2013 Fallout)
It's been said that a spring migration fallout of this magnitude hasn't happened in the last 20 years! My wonderful boss let me take a last-minute vacation day to run out to South Padre on Friday, after the worst of the weather had passed through. Those that braved the actual storm reported masses of migrating songbirds stacking up off shore after their trans-Gulf flight from the Yucatan, and as they hit the storm front they dropped from the skies and filled every green thing! By Friday the front had passed, but the morning fog kept migrants grounded; I pulled into a parking spot at the Convention Centre, stepped out of the car, and this is what greeted me:
The bulk of these are Baltimore Orioles; there's a Painted Bunting on the bottom right edge!
Scarlet Colley and her husband George were the "maître d's" of this avian feast, along with their friends Robin and Troy, and they and many volunteers supplied and cut oranges for thousands of hungry and tired migrants, along with seed and live mealworms! (The kids really enjoyed helping with that last part... ☺) It was such an "event" that even non-birding families came out to see the spectacle!
The water feature
Female Redhead, an abundant winter visitor that should basically be gone by now...
Cattle Egret in the back of the building
Tricolored Heron out on the boardwalk
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are normally gone by now, but this lady knows a good deal when she finds it!
Eastern Wood Pewee
This female Northern Parula is wearing a little hat! ☺
Another female Northern Parula
Male Tennessee Warbler
Female Tennessee Warblers squabbling over an orange
Female Blue-winged Warbler
Female Cerulean Warbler
Male Blackpoll Warbler
A damp Prothonotary Warbler in the early morning
Female Black-and-white Warbler
A couple on the boardwalk ponder a very tame American Redstart (below)!
Her "hubby" was out there seeking out bugs as well!
The very skulky Swainson's Warbler, in natural habitat at left, and after banging into the Convention Centre, right (no worries--he recovered...)
The Kentucky Warbler is normally very skulky...
...but when mealworms are on the menu, they come out of hiding!
Male Hooded Warbler
Adult female Hooded Warblers can have a variable amount of black around the "hood". This one shows a tiny bit...
...while this one shows much more black.
First-year females show no black at all.
First year male Summer Tanager
Female Summer Tanager
"Hmm--where do I start?!"
"And what're you lookin' at?!"
Tourist capturing the Summer Tanager on his IPhone
Professional photo shoot (notice the Scarlet Tanager in the grass)!
A little boy captures a Scarlet Tanager on his IPhone!
Said Scarlet Tanager feeding in the grass
Tasty mealworms are on the sidewalk!
"Scarlet and Scarlet": a Scarlet Tanager (lower left) can't wait for Scarlet Colley to cut his orange!
Buntings and grosbeaks at a feeding station
Tree full of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Young male and non-breeding Rose-breasted Grosbeaks show various stages of mottled plumage before coming into their clean plumage!
Indigo Bunting gang
Male Painted Buntings (above and below)
Female Painted Buntings
Bobolink, rare in the Valley (above and below)
Baltimore Oriole (male)
"This is my orange!!" Two female Baltimore Orioles face off, while an immature Orchard Oriole (with the black throat) goes after his own orange!
Another male Baltimore Oriole with a female Orchard Oriole on the left.
Male Orchard Oriole
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