March 6, 2014 – Mini-Big Day in the Estero Llano birding van

Today was the last birding van trip for the winter season at Estero Llano Grande State Park. We did a Big Day kind of trip but we only had eight hours – a mini-Big Day.

The trip started and ended at Estero. We visited the grain silos at Progreso, then headed to South Padre Island with stops at Old Port Isabel Road, The Dump, and the Shrimp Basin boat ramp.

The highlights of the day were two Aplomado Falcons, one at Old Port Isabel Road and the other along Highway 100 near Los Fresnos. There were lots of other great birds, including lots of shorebirds at the Convention Centre and a decent selection of warblers on SPI. Here’s the full list:

  1. Gadwall
  2. American Wigeon
  3. Mottled Duck
  4. Blue-winged Teal
  5. Cinnamon Teal
  6. Northern Shoveler
  7. Northern Pintail
  8. Green-winged Teal
  9. Redhead
  10. Ring-necked Duck
  11. Red-breasted Merganser
  12. Ruddy Duck
  13. Plain Chachalaca
  14. Least Grebe
  15. Pied-billed Grebe
  16. American White Pelican
  17. Brown Pelican
  18. Neotropic Cormorant
  19. Double-crested Cormorant
  20. Anhinga
  21. Great Blue Heron
  22. Great Egret
  23. Snowy Egret
  24. Little Blue Heron
  25. Tricolored Heron
  26. Reddish Egret
  27. Cattle Egret
  28. Black-crowned Night-Heron
  29. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
  30. White Ibis
  31. White-faced Ibis
  32. Black Vulture
  33. Turkey Vulture
  34. Osprey
  35. Northern Harrier
  36. Cooper’s Hawk
  37. Harris’s Hawk
  38. Red-tailed Hawk
  39. Crested Caracara
  40. American Kestrel
  41. Aplomado Falcon
  42. Clapper Rail
  43. Virginia Rail
  44. Sora
  45. Common Moorhen
  46. American Coot
  47. Black-bellied Plover
  48. Semipalmated Plover
  49. Piping Plover
  50. Killdeer
  51. American Oystercatcher
  52. Black-necked Stilt
  53. Spotted Sandpiper
  54. Willet
  55. Yellowlegs sp.
  56. Long-billed Curlew
  57. Marbled Godwit
  58. Ruddy Turnstone
  59. Sanderling
  60. Least Sandpiper
  61. Pectoral Sandpiper
  62. Dunlin
  63. Short-billed Dowitcher
  64. Long-billed Dowitcher
  65. Laughing Gull
  66. Ring-billed Gull
  67. Herring Gull
  68. Caspian Tern
  69. Forster’s Tern
  70. Royal Tern
  71. Black Skimmer
  72. Rock Pigeon
  73. Eurasian Collared-Dove
  74. White-winged Dove
  75. Mourning Dove
  76. Inca Dove
  77. Common Ground-Dove
  78. White-tipped Dove
  79. Red-crowned Parrot
  80. Common Pauraque
  81. Buff-bellied Hummingbird
  82. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  83. Golden-fronted Woodpecker
  84. Ladder-backed Woodpecker
  85. Eastern Phoebe
  86. Great Kiskadee
  87. Couch’s Kingbird
  88. Loggerhead Shrike
  89. White-eyed Vireo
  90. Green Jay
  91. Chihuahuan Raven
  92. Tree Swallow
  93. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  94. Cave Swallow
  95. Barn Swallow
  96. Black-crested Titmouse
  97. Sedge Wren
  98. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  99. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  100. Gray Catbird
  101. Northern Mockingbird
  102. Long-billed Thrasher
  103. Curve-billed Thrasher
  104. European Starling
  105. Orange-crowned Warbler
  106. Northern Parula
  107. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  108. Yellow-throated Warbler
  109. Black-and-white Warbler
  110. Waterthrush sp.
  111. Common Yellowthroat
  112. Savannah Sparrow
  113. Lincoln’s Sparrow
  114. Northern Cardinal
  115. Red-winged Blackbird
  116. Eastern Meadowlark
  117. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  118. Great-tailed Grackle
  119. Bronzed Cowbird
  120. Brown-headed Cowbird
  121. Lesser Goldfinch
  122. House Sparrow

Spring migration is getting up some steam, especially for the shorebirds.