Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Black-capped Vireo

The luxury of the motel rapidly evaporated as we hit the road heading to the Austen TX area. We forewent breakfast in the hope of finding a cafĂ© with personality. In Lockhart TX, the county seat, we indeed did find one just off the square. It appeared to have been a retail store remade into a nice restaurant. As a bonus we had chattering Western Kingbirds on the wires when we exited the restaurant. After the eats, it was on to Balcones Canyonland NWR north of Austen where a gazebo for viewing Black-capped Vireos has been constructed. Normally these things don’t work very well, but in this case after waiting while a couple of couples took each others pictures in front of a sign, we got down to the business of looking for the vireo. A small bird popped into view and darted away. John got on it and confirmed it to be the vireo (web photo). It took a while before I got a satisfactory view, but it happened. Great little bird. It’s endangered and getting quite bit of help from local groups to save it. Next we went looking for Golden-cheeked Warblers which are also in the area. After driving around we finally located a bird singing a song very different from those I had heard last month in Emma Long park in Austen. Instead of having four buzzy notes with a rising ending, this bird had two buzzy notes followed by two sweet notes which were very similar to the two notes in the song of the Carolina Chickadee, a spcies which occurs where we were in Texas. Different locale, different dialect. It was then pedal to the medal and heading west to Fort Davis. We made good time partially because the speed limit in West Texas is 80 mph. A word of caution. I received a warning ticket from Texas’ finest for doing 82mph. They cut no slack in Texas. A brief stop at a rest stop with some trees produced a migrating group of six Bullocks Orioles. Once at Davis Mountains SP we checked in and set up the tent and went for dinner at the Indian Lodge in the park. After dinner we took a walk during which John saw some high flying quail and I saw a Lesser Nighthawk. At our campsite an Elf Owl in a hole in a stub called constantly while two bikers in the next site loaded their bikes into a trailer. After they left, the owl was quiet the rest of the night. Great night’s sleep. The four new birds raised the total to 536.

1 comment:

  1. Next year I will get that Black-capped Vireo!! Renee BTW, good to see your posts!