Spring Migration

Spring is in the air!  Here in South Texas the weather is in the mid-seventies, it’s light till 7:30 PM and the Catclaw Acacia Trees and Mesquites have fresh green leaves. Wildflowers are blooming everywhere, a living tribute to Ladybird Johnson.  Spring does the heart good.

To a birder nothing symbolizes spring and rejuvenates the soul more than the annual return of migrants winging their way over the Gulf of Mexico from their winter haunts in the neotropics.   The morning dawn soon will be punctuated with song. Shorebirds, raptors, flycatchers, warblers and more! All draped in their finest plumage, each racing against a biological clock that won’t stop till June.

To a “Big Year” birder spring migration is a blessing-a new opportunity to build your year list. Over the next two months, hundreds of new species arrive to be seen.  But it’s relentless and could turn into a time bomb.  You miss the migration and your Big Year is toast.  But that’s not an issue in the middle of March. I’ll save that for another discussion. Today it’s about the rebirth of spring. Today, on my way south to find an owl, spring was very visual. A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was in a tree at Joe Kleberg County Park.

I was driving south to see were a pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls at the San Miguelito Ranch north of Raymondville.  The owners have seven nest boxes in the large back yard.  It appears to me that the second owl is more rufous than the first.

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl #1 of a pair (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl #2 of a pair (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

The afternoon was less successful with the low point being an unsuccessful chase of a Masked Duck at the King Ranch.  However, the day ended on a better note.  A Bobcat at Bentsen State Park crossed my path.

Bobcat at Bentsen State Park (Photo by John Vanderpoel)

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One Response to Spring Migration

  1. Jim Vanderpoel says:

    Allright, another great bobcat picture!

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