Bird Walk July 22, 2014


Ladder-backed Woodpecker Erik

Photo by Erik Bruhnke

Hello all! It was a busy morning out at Quinta Mazatlan, both in terms of people and birds. We had volunteers, campers, and all the resident bird species each doing their own thing. The male Ladder-backed Woodpecker above certainly paid the bird walk little heed – its main focus was drilling off pieces of bark in search of prey (see short video clip here).

Photo by John Brush

Everyone enjoyed the beautiful, seemingly unstructured melody of this Long-billed Thrasher near the amphitheater. We noticed on this bird that the trail was starting to look pretty ratty, but soon enough it will be replaced when the bird undergoes its pre-basic molt.

Swainson's Hawk Erik

Photo by Erik Bruhnke

A pair of Swainson’s Hawks exhibited some interesting behavior. We saw the first bird coming in high from the west, and after a few moments it proceeded to perform a series of stoops. In response, a second Swainson’s (which we hadn’t noticed before) started calling from a much lower flight trajectory. There has been a pair seen in and around the park all summer, so its likely these are the same birds seen previously.


Photo by John Brush

There was a large group of volunteers doing work at the entrance to Ebony Grove, and just as the bird walk was leaving the area we had this pair of Green Parakeets come in and land on a palm directly above the volunteers. Despite all the activity the parakeets still gave us great looks, although they did seem a little anxious to have all the people beneath them.

Crimson Patch Erik

Photo by Erik Bruhnke

As always, our bird walk wasn’t just limited to focus on our feathered friends. We took time to smell the leaves of the aromatic White Brush (to which Lesser Goldfinches are attracted). Some of the group also got to see this South Texas specialty butterfly – the Crimson Patch (spotted and identified by Estero Llano Grande naturalist John Yochum). Another butterfly of note was a Guava Skipper that was attending Duranta flowers.

Have a great weekend and enjoy nature!

Bird List below:

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck  2
Plain Chachalaca  6
Great Egret  1
Swainson’s Hawk  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  3
White-winged Dove  10
Mourning Dove  1
Inca Dove  4
Buff-bellied Hummingbird  4
Golden-fronted Woodpecker  8
Ladder-backed Woodpecker  2
Green Parakeet  4
Great Kiskadee  2
Couch’s Kingbird  2
Western Kingbird  1
White-eyed Vireo  1
Green Jay  1
Purple Martin  4
Black-crested Titmouse  2
Carolina Wren  4
Clay-colored Thrush  3
Curve-billed Thrasher  3
Long-billed Thrasher  2
Northern Mockingbird  4
European Starling  1
Olive Sparrow  3
Northern Cardinal  1
Great-tailed Grackle  2
Bronzed Cowbird  2
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
Lesser Goldfinch  3
House Sparrow  15



Bird Walk May 24, 2014

Bird reports are written and photographed by John Brush

Hello all,

Another beautiful morning at Quinta Mazatlan. We had some light sprinkles for a moment and partly cloudy skies, but our south Texas sun broke through for most of the walk. There has been a Long-billed Thrasher that is always singing from the top of the same Anacua tree near the amphitheater. He, as always, wowed all of us on the walk with his musical prowess.

While we were watching the thrasher, a Couch’s Kingbird came up and perched nearby. While Couch’s Kingbirds are tyrant-flycatchers and eat many insects, they also are frugivores. This individual was making short sallies and plucking anacua fruits off the tree.

The Plain Chachalaca is what I would say the most seen bird at Quinta Mazatlan. In fact, our top three birds with the highest frequency of sightings are: Golden-fronted Woodpecker (84.3%), Plain Chachalaca (83.8%), and Great Kiskadee (82.0%).

As usual, full bird list from the walk is below:

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 2     flyover

Plain Chachalaca 7

Cattle Egret 1

White-winged Dove 12

Inca Dove 2

Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1

Eastern Screech-Owl (McCall’s) 1

Chimney Swift 5

Buff-bellied Hummingbird 1

Golden-fronted Woodpecker 5

Green Parakeet 3

Red-crowned Parrot 2     eating anacua fruits

Brown-crested Flycatcher 2

Great Kiskadee 4

Couch’s Kingbird 2

Green Jay 1

Clay-colored Thrush 1

Curve-billed Thrasher 2

Long-billed Thrasher 1

Northern Mockingbird 1

European Starling 4

Common Yellowthroat 1

Magnolia Warbler 1

Olive Sparrow 2

Northern Cardinal 1

Great-tailed Grackle 3

Bronzed Cowbird 1

Brown-headed Cowbird 1

Lesser Goldfinch 1

House Sparrow 50