New county birds close to home

El Franco Lee Park was quiet as it has been for the past several visits. Except for several Eastern Kingbirds and two Indigo Buntings there were no migrants. A pair of Ring-necked Ducks remains, but otherwise the wetlands are empty. To use the rest of daylight I made a mad dash to Russ Pitman Park from home and found a handful of migrants. Things started well with a male American Redstart and Acadian Flycatcher, before quieting. I came across a secretive Kentucky Warbler. With a few minutes of light remaining a male Summer Tanager appeared and at the 11th hour the hoped for Blue-winged Warbler, two hyperactive birds that were difficult to observe. Looks like Spring is well under way.

This weekend I spent three days leading tours at FeatherFest in Galveston under difficult conditions. With strong south winds the birding was slow, except Whimbrels, Upland Sandpipers, and American Golden Plovers. I actually found the best birds Sunday (04/15) afternoon after the festival, when about 30 Red Knots showed very well on east beach among hundreds of shorebirds, gulls, and terns.

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