Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake

Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake
Sunrise over Lower Red Rock Lake

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

On the Hunt for Choke Canyon State Park Birds

Birds are in VERY short supply in all the places I've visited in both Louisiana and Texas. Choke Canyon State Park,  near Three Rivers, Texas, was no different, and the kinds and numbers of birds were both way down. Instead of seeing nearly seventy species of birds, I saw way less. And most of the birds were either coming to my oranges in my camp site or were on Seventy-Five Acre lake. Choke Canyon Reservoir had hardly any birds except for coots and a few great blue herons, and the ever present turkey vultures.

The reservoir was also some twenty feet low and, in places where I had taken pictures of birds on the water in other years, I could not see the lake edge. But I still had a great time hunting for them, sometimes with my birding pal Winnie, and sometimes by myself.


The only Vermillion flycatcher I saw - sometimes there are imatures, and females


A very tame blue wing teal pair - got within 20 feet without disturbing them


Very unexpected cinnamon teal


Coot and northern shovelre

A few of about 30 rudy ducks


Least grebes


White face ibis and blue wing teal

The great blue flew as soon as I saw him


These bufflehead were a surprise


Coots and shoveler pair - the only two around


Northern pintail

Harris hawk


Couch's kingbird


Caracara


Green wing teal


Common gallinule

Back at my campsite, I got several other neat species including the following birds and green jays. I also think I got one visit from the olive sparrow, one of the birds endemic to this area.


Bullock's oriole


Audubon's oriole


Verdin

My friend, Winnie, came up with a few other species, including yellow headed blackbirds, which I don't remember seeing there before.  We also had several green jays coming to the oranges and sunflower seed, but I never got good pictures of them.  We only saw two wild turkeys - we usually see twenty or more. There were probably twenty five species that we didn't find, including ducks, sandhill cranes, flycatchers, thrashers, and herons.

But I did enjoy several hours of hunting and photographing birds.

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday.  Click on the picture below to see many other great bird blogs from around the world.