Thursday, October 25, 2012

At the corner of Omar and Bluegill?

A Ruddy Ground-Dove was reported on NARBA, North American Rare Bird Alert, at the corner of Omar and Bluegill in Crescent Bend Nature Preserve inTexas.

So, after John tried yet again for the Black-Capped Gnatcatcher in Arizona, he drove to San Antonio. Early Sunday, October 21st, he was at Crescent Bend in the repurposed trailer campground, no trailers allowed, at the corner of Omar and Bluegill. A couple were setting up chairs and coolers. They were going to sit there all day to see the dove. John didn't have that long. The dove didn't show up while he was there. The NARBA report for Sunday was negative from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM, probably that couple's report. Noble creatures!

Off John went to South Texas and Bentsen State Park. We had heard it was overflowing with Eastern Screech Owls. John was the only person camping in the primitive campground that night. Like Crescent Bend, Bentsen used to have an extensive trailer campground within it. The campers maintained feeders at their sites and the birding was terrific! The park staff do maintain a few feeding stations. We saw the Black-Vented Oriole there earlier in the year. Still, it isn't like the good old days.

Darkness fell, no owls called. John crawled into his sleeping bag, but not to sleep. He lay awake all night long listening. Perhaps the wind silenced them. Finally, at 6:45 AM, John heard a Great Horned Owl. Then, at 6:55, he heard an Eastern Screech Owl. 664 Phew!

John decamped. On the drive to Austin, he stopped by Omar and Bluegill, once again, to look for the dove. Nope.

NARBA reports all these tantalizing exotic sightings all over the place. Pretty frustrating really. We were lucky to be so near Watsonville CA when the Common Cuckoo showed up. A few days later, it was gone.

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