Saturday, December 07, 2013

Valley Trip 2: Estero Llano (contd.)

The feeders behind the Visitor Center were attracting a steady stream of birds: Orange-crowned Warblers, Black-crested Titmice, House Sparrows, Plain Chachalacas and Green Jays.

An Olive Sparrow made a very brief appearance.

A Curve-billed Thrasher flew onto a seed-table and posed.

A few minutes later a Long-billed Thrasher turned up. 

It was a treat to see both Thrashers because we don't get either species around Houston. The closest we get to them is the Brown Thrasher,  a bird with a much brighter, more rufous back.

The Tropical Area was busy with Green Jays (below) and Great Kiskadees. 

We sat down for a while and watched as a succession of birds came to feeders and to some half-grapefruits nailed to tree trunks. Plain Chachalacas seemed to find the grapefruits irresistible.

Here, as everywhere on our trip, we saw both Ladder-backed and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers. The Ladder-backed is rather similar to the Downy Woodpecker, a species that we see in our area. The Golden-fronted (below) is a larger, bolder and more common bird and it strongly resembles the Red-bellied Woodpecker of southeast Texas.

Walking back to the exit, we came across a bird I'd been hoping for: Clay-colored Thrush, which is another Valley specialty bird. Unfortunately, it refused to come out of the undergrowth to let me get a photo.

As we had enjoyed our visit, we decided to return to Estero Llano at 8:30 the following morning to participate in a guided birdwalk. Among other things, I was hoping that the walk would turn up a Common Pauraque and an Eastern Screech-Owl.

1 comment:

Dorothy Borders said...

This brings back many happy memories of my visit there a few years ago. So many wonderful birds!