Bell’s Vireo at Sheldon Lake State Park

After not catching up with any new county birds in a few weeks now I found two in as many days of birding. Before my night class I spent an hour at Sheldon Lake State Park. As usual things were fairly quiet with a single American Redstart and the inescapable horde of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. Among one of these little flocks I noticed a larger yellowish bird, getting on it at first I realized it was a vireo and based on the light-colored lores and drab overall color figured it was a warbling, but the shape seemed off and I quickly caught a glimpse of the faint wingbar with the bottom one fairly strong yellow. I tried to follow the bird, but it soon dropped from sight. I waited, I pished, and I waited, eventually after fifteen minutes it reappeared, perched conveniently in the open for a few moments. This time the wingbar was obvious in a side view, I noticed the white throat and yellowish flanks, and the relatively (for a vireo) small bill of slight pink color. The bird dove into thick yaupon and disappeared for good, but hopefully it will stick around for a few days. Taking the major trail straight back from the bathroom facilities, turn right towards the new observation tower at the T-intersection, just before the gravel trail turns into a short section of boardwalk was the area the Bell’s Vireo was spotted.

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