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The Hobble Wobble Gang has begun to reassemble in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
Highlights beginning January 1.

1 January: Very warm morning birding the Fort Brown resaca, didn't find some of the "usuals".  Fireworks may have scared some off.  Lots of Neotropical Cormorants more than a dozen Black-crowned Night-Herons, a couple Least Grebes, one Tropical Kingbird (vocalized right on cue).

Front came in.  We drove to Boca Chica with hopes of finding reported Lesser Black-backed Gulls and other beach goodies.  Met with 8 foot surf.  Watched from end of road, no beach driving today.  A few shorebirds--Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Forster's Tern.  Good day for raptors:  Crested Caracara, White-tailed, Swainson's and Harris's Hawks.

At the shrimp basin fishing access on TX 48 we found birds hunkered from the wind.  Black Skimmers, 4 American Oystercatchers, Long-billed Curlew, Caspian and Royal Terns.


2 January:  Upriver to Salineno for Brown Jay.  Zone-tailed Hawk overhead.  3 oriole species, 4 dove species, great looks at multiple Orange-crowned Warblers. We left for lunch at Falcon SP to warm up--jay not seen.  Had good looks at roadrunner, Curve-billed Thrasher at park feeders.  Up to Zapata--20 minutes late for seedeater sighting.  Black Phoebe was the best we could do.  Back to Salineno to learn the Brown Jay had come in 20 minutes after we left for lunch and 20 minutes before our return. 


3 January: Bentsen Rio Grande SP.  Black-vented Oriole showed less than 15 minutes after our arrival and gave good looks.  While waiting we were treated to 2 Clay-colored Thrushes and a group of Plain Chachalacas.  Anhinga and a Ringed Kingfisher were on the resaca.  No tyrannulet could be found.

We drove back to Salineno and were rewarded with great looks at an adult Brown Jay.  What beautiful eyes--almost deer-like.  Another futile attempt for seedeaters rounded out the day.


4 January:  Frontera Audubon Thicket at Weslaco.  A Buff-bellied Hummingbird greeted us.  A bit of thicket watching produced good looks at a Golden-crowned Warbler that really likes to be near the ground.

Santa Ana NWR had 2 Mountain Bluebirds; one is gone.  Della and I took a 3.5 mile hike for it and were rewarded with sights of a MOBL feeding from 3-ft. stalks in the middle of a dry lake bed.  Nearby, watching the lake bed was an attentive Gray Hawk.

Tally:
Barb Duncan 22 lifers
Della Rhoades 1 lifer; 1 new Texas bird
Edge Wade 1 new Texas bird

Smiles all around; y'all come on down!

Edge Wade
Brownsville, TX

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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Spring Meeting: April 27, 2012 in Joplin, MO
http://www.mobirds.org/ASM/Meetings.aspx