So Long to Texas for Now

It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do for your disposition.  Recharged and optimistic once again, I’m currently in Houston listed standby to Denver this evening on the 5:40 PM Continental Flight.  This morning I birded with two experienced Texas birders, Randy Pinkston and Fred Collins.  Before dawn we had a singing Botteri’s Sparrow (just northeast of Pt. Isabel).

Botteri's Sparrow northwest of Pt. Isabel (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

This was followed by a handsome Masked Duck at Sabal Palm and four confirmed Yellow-green Vireos also at Sabal. There appeared to be a family of two adults and a fledgling as well as it least one (most likely 2) additional singling male.  The vireo is an ABA lifer and the Masked Duck was only the second time I’ve seen this species.

Masked Duck at Sabol Palm Sanctuary (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

Today was a very successful conclusion to a Texas trip that lasted just over 24 hours.  These standby-tickets have paid immediate dividends. I struck out in Arizona, but now freed up at least two additional days before the North Dakota trip; I plan to begin working on the remaining 13 Colorado birds I need for the year, but if a rarity hits anywhere in the lower 48, I’m out of here!  By the way, you can always keep track of my remaining targets by state by viewing the “Target Birds Remaining”  document in the “Lists” column.

Adult Yellow-green Vireo at Sabol Palm (photo by John Vanderpoel)

I leave Texas now knowing that if I return this year (and I hope for multiple visits) it will be for the Tamaulipas Crow, Brown Jay, N. Jacana, Rose-throated Becard or a megamarity.  For now my attention will turn to the Rocky Mountains and the prairies of North Dakota.  Though Larry Manfredi and I are scheming about a Red-footed Booby in Key Biscayne.

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