Friday, May 09, 2014

Texas Coast Trip 4: The Final Leg

When we left Mario's at 4:30 on Friday, the plan was simple: Go to Lafitte's Cove, add 10+ birds to my list and then head back home with my first-ever day list of 100+ species.

The visit to Lafitte's started well when we saw the wetland area had plenty of birds. Of course, most of these were birds we'd already seen: for example, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, Blue-winged Teal, Black-necked Stilt, Pectoral Sandpiper and Short-billed Dowitcher.

However, two species were new: Mottled Duck and Stilt Sandpiper (below).

So with my list at 95 species, I walked into the wooded area - which turned out to be almost empty of birds.

Twenty minutes of focused birding produced only four more new birds: Olive-sided Flycatcher, Bay-breasted Warbler, Baltimore Oriole and a young Summer Tanager (below).

There were also a couple of birds that I already had on my list, like this male Scarlet Tanager.

My list now stood at 99 species (a day total I'd reached once before, in California) and I had less than 30 minutes to go before my deadline.

We drove up to Settegast Road, where I was sure we'd see at least two of Little Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Loggerhead Shrike and Eastern Meadowlark. 

None of these birds were present. 

At 5:50 we admitted defeat and drove back onto Stewart Road. As we turned the corner onto Stewart, an Eastern Meadowlark perched and sang on utility wires across the road. So I'd finally hit the 100 mark, with 7 minutes to go!

A few yards further along Stewart, Dee said we'd just passed a Loggerhead Shrike on the roadside wires. I did a quick U-turn to check out what she'd seen, and she was right. So my big day total ended up at 101 species.


Dave said...

Fantastic..... great result mate.

Go on, 110 next year, don't stop for lunch!

Jeff said...

It wasn't bad for about 5.5 hours of birding, Dave. Of course, the Big Day record here is 294 species! That's about what I see in a year.

Stewart M said...

Brilliant set of birds!

You would be more the welcome to join in with Wild Bird Wednesday that runs on my photo-blog on (!) Wednesdays - about 60 bird bloggers from around the world are already linking up.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne