Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Friday, March 19, 2010

Laguna Atascosa NWR

I hadn't been to Laguna Atascosa NWR for many years.  It hasn't changed much and neither has the bumpy road you take to get there.  The real story, however, was the wind which was howling as I inquired about the status of the previously reported Blue Bunting.  It had been seen not too long ago, but the wind took away any possibility I would have an easy time.  After making the effort in the area of the recent sightings, I took a walk down a trail to see a huge, I mean HUGE, alligator.  This is Texas after all, and this gator put anything I've seen in Florida to shame.  I ran into the young birder from Galveston whom I had met a couple of days ago at Bentsen SP.  This was his last day on spring break and he was also trying to score the bunting.  While walking back to the car, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher flew over.  What's not to like about a Scissortail?  Pink.  Long tail.  Delicate in flight.  It also added a year bird to the list.  Laguna has a great wildlife drive loop.  It's one of those one-way drives that once you get on it, you have to stick with it until the end.  Howe ver, today the drive fit the bill.  Dicky birds were out of the question and the drive's strength lies in its views of the water.  At one point there was a nice group of terns including Caspian, Forster's, and Gull-billed, the latter being the second year bird of the day.  After the wildlife drive, I visited the bunting site again with the same windy outcome.  So I did what any sane person would do: I drove to the nearest Starbucks and got a cup of bold (and a scone!).  I contacted Carolyn Stenberg who is a volunteer at Santa Ana NWR about getting together tomorrow for a birdwalk at that refuge.  She was out doing a survey, but she called back to say she'd love to.  She and her husband have served as volunteers at Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR where she accompanied me on several of my Fisherman Island surveys in the fall.  It will be great to see her on her stomping grounds.  The two new year birds bring the total to 419.

1 comment:

  1. Guess it's too late for me to send a message via you to Carolyn. John & I did a bird walk with her at Santa Ana when we were down there. We got the Black-tailed Gnatcatcher with Carolyn. Renee