2021-05-08 SPI’s Friday Beaches

I spent much of my last day on South Padre Island on the sandy flat beach north of the Convention Centre. Until this day, I’d neglected this habitat for gulls, terns, skimmers and shorebirds, and I knew I’d find Black Terns there. I’ve met Black Terns in the Great Basin, but not here in Texas, … Read more

2021-05-04-5-6 SPI The Big Fallout That Wasn’t

This is a three day post. With my 2021 visit in south Texas drawing to a close, I’ve been pushing my limits to maximize my opportunities to meet migrating birds. This story is about Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday on South Padre Island. Besides the Convention Centre, I spent most of Thursday at the SPI Birding … Read more

2021-05-02 SPI On A Sunday

I spent Sunday at South Padre Island (Texas) and couldn’t resist shooting flycatchers. For most of us interested in learning to identify birds, small flycatchers are among the most difficult groups of birds to identify in the field by sight alone. I enjoy the entire flycatcher family, but as we meet more of them, we … Read more

2021-04-29 Mini-Fallout at SPI

Thursday morning started off slow, and stayed that way most of the day, but ended with a flurry of activity, when a new batch of warblers fell from the sky. I arrived at the Convention Centre early, but I didn’t take very many pictures. The birds I met were lovely, and other visiting birders were … Read more

2021-04-22 SPI On A Slow Thursday

My stay at the Convention Centre was relatively brief this Thursday. There was a lull in the migration, but even on a slow day, good things can occur here. In the few short hours I spent at the Convention Centre, I met the American Redstart, Black-and-White Warbler, Black-Throated Green Warbler, Dark-Eyed Junco, Least Bittern, Mottled … Read more

2021-04-20 SPI Tuesday’s Bright Sun

Addendum: I learned recently, with the help of more experienced birders, that the bird I identified as a Philadelphia Vireo was, in fact, a Warbling Vireo, and the guide I used for the original ID was misleading. Tuesday began with hardly a cloud in the sky, and barely a whisper of breeze. The crowds at … Read more

2021-04-18 SPI Sunday Bird Fallout, Round Two

Gone were the dense clouds and drizzling rain that plagued me early Saturday. The wind and the birds remained. There seemed to be even more birds on the island than yesterday. There were also more people. My first stop on the island was a brief visit to the Sheepshead Bird Sanctuary, where I captured respectable … Read more

2021-04-17 SPI, Geat Birds, Lousy Weather

Well friends, I said I would limit my photo shooting time in the field to half days. The strategy would allow me to process my images and tell my stories in time to meet an every-other-day in the field schedule. I also said if a warbler fallout should happen, all bets were off. Well, it … Read more

2021-04-15 SPI And Three Bags Full

I had an exceptional day at the SPI Convention Centre. I met three new bird species: Veery, Dickcissel, and Black-Billed Cuckoo. Not that the rest of the birds I met weren’t amazing, it’s just hard to beat the high I get when a new bird comes into my life. One new bird is enough to … Read more

2021-04-13 South Padre Fog

I left Brownsville in the darkness of pre-dawn, with plans to meet birds on South Padre Island as they began their morning rounds. It seemed a good idea to be present when the birds got busy. The heavy overcast sky was not apparent as I drove the road to Port Isabel and then continued east … Read more