Photo Gallery - 2013 Field Trips

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All photographs ©2013 by Mary Beth Stowe

 

June 30, 2013 - Old Port Isabel Road (OPIR) & South Padre Island (SPI)

 

       

Both Cassin's and Botteri's Sparrows occur along OPIR, both very similar in appearance but with radically different songs.  The plainer appearance of this guy makes me lean towards Botteri's, but unfortunately he wasn't singing.

 

A short sample of one of the Botteri's Sparrow's songs (the wind ruined most of the recording)

 

Typical habitat along the north end of the road

 

Blue Grosbeak

 

On SPI, a Caspian Tern (left) poses with a smaller Royal Tern, with several Sandwich Terns in the background.

 

   

Second-year Common Tern (note the black nape and carpal bar), which isn't supposed to be here now!

 

Least Tern

 

    

These Marbled Godwits have also arrived early from the nesting grounds!  (Thanks, Joe, for the head's up!)

 

   

This is also the time of year for Magnificent Frigatebirds to show up on the coast; this is an immature bird.

 

   

A bird's plumage can get pretty beat-up by mid-summer, but these Roseate Spoonbills are still gorgeous!

 

    

 

      

Wilson's Plover, also pretty beat-up

 

A company of Great Blue Herons

 

One of those once-in-a-lifetime shots when a Least Bittern (upper right) just happens to fly into view while snapping momma Mottled Duck and her duckling!

 

Listen very carefully, and you'll hear the soft, hollow cu-cu-cu-cu of the Least Bittern's song (hint:  a Black-bellied Whistling Duck lets loose with its wheezy call right after the second bittern song...).  You can also hear a Clapper Rail "clapping" in the background, along with single calls from a Laughing Gull and "chucks" from a Great-tailed Grackle.

 

        

The normally secretive Clapper Rail out in the open!

I thought those were Great Blue Heron tracks at first, but now I'm wondering if the rail made them, although the shape doesn't look quite right--thoughts??

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