Sunday, May 16, 2010

Saturday at Sabine Woods

Yesterday, in the middle of a drenching thunderstorm, I decided to go to Sabine Woods.  By the time I reached Port Arthur the storm was clearing, and from then on the weather was fine.  The atmospheric disturbance probably improved the birding - from what John Wittle later told me, most of the migrants present at Sabine Woods in the afternoon weren't there in the morning.  

Driving through the saltmarshes near Sabine Pass I hit a small chunky-looking bird that tried to cross the highway at exactly the wrong moment.  It was a Seaside Sparrow, a bird I hardly ever get to see.  Here's a photo of the still fresh corpse, minus tail feathers:  

Saturday afternoon was pretty good at Sabine Woods, with plenty of birds but no other birders until John Wittle showed up just as I was leaving.  I had 10 species of warblers, including 1 Golden-winged, 1 Blackburnian, 2 Bay-breasted, 2 Blackpoll, 2-3 Black-throated Green, 1 Black-and-white, 2-3 Yellow, 1 Magnolia, several American Redstarts, and 3-4 Northern Waterthrushes. There were no tanagers or grosbeaks, but Yellow-billed Cuckoos and Red-eyed Vireos were common, and Eastern Wood-Pewees were conspicuous around the pond. otherwise the season was clearly winding down with just a few Gray Catbirds and Swainson's Thrushes and 1 female Indigo Bunting.  The deer flies are starting to get thick out there.

I snapped off some photos as I walked through the woods. Here's one of a Northern Waterthrush:
And a Gray Catbird...
And a Swainson's Thrush...


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