Postcards from Texas: Migration highlights

Posted by Matthew Sim

Last time I wrote a ‘Postcards from Texas’, I bemoaned the weather and fate for whisking away any migratory birds from my binoculars and my camera. This time, however, weather and fate were both on my side for a full 3 days, bringing warblers, thrushes, flycatchers, orioles, buntings, catbirds and cuckoos to my very neighborhood.

Saturday morning, something told me to go out birding. Trusting instinct, I went out to the neighborhood patches that occasionally turn up good birds. When I got to the pond, I heard a distinctive ‘chirp’ coming from the trees and shrubs lining the pond. Then came another ‘chirp’. And another. I soon was in a very excited mode, dashing this way in that, my camera turned up at the trees. A storm the night before had slowed migration, forcing migratory birds to land at the first green patch they saw, and for this reason, there were now dozens of migrants here at my local pond.

Male Chestnut-sided Warbler

Female Magnolia Warbler

Male Magnolia Warbler

Female American Redstart

As I gazed upwards into the bushes and trees, I managed to see Wilson’s, Canada, Kentucky, Black-throated Green, Magnolia, Yellow, Tennessee and Chestnut-sided Warblers, American Redstart and Common Yellowthroat. Soon, I was seeing Gray Catbirds and even a male Baltimore Oriole.

Baltimore Oriole

As I admired the oriole, an even bigger surprise came up in the form of my first ever Indigo Bunting, They are quite stunning birds!

Male Indigo Bunting

After that, I found a Olive-sided Flycatcher, identified by the  two white spots on its back.

Olive-sided Flycatcher

And then some of the regulars too…

At one point, upon seeing a large bird in one tree, I investigated, expecting to find some rather unusual bird. Instead, I found a rather common Green Heron- but in a tree?!

Green Heron-in a tree!

So maybe migration wasn’t so bad after all!

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