Saturday, March 24, 2007

Birding King Ranch

I arrived at the King Ranch Visitor’s Center in the pre-dawn at 5:45 am. Yawn. There were 8 people milling around 2 vans. We would be driving an hour south to the Norias Division of the ranch and meeting 5 more people at the southern gate. On the list, the big 4—Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Audubon’s Oriole, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, and Tropical Parula. The scouting the guide had done several days before really paid off. We found a Tropical Parula and a Hooded Oriole right away. We looked long and hard for the owl though. We walked through live oak motte after live oak motte searching, listening, straining for any flicker of movement. Finally one owl started calling, coming closer, coming closer.... It popped out and we got great views. Fantastic.

The day passed with life bird after life bird flitting through. I ended up with 12 life birds on King Ranch. Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Northern Beardless Tyrannulet, Audubon’s Oriole, White-tailed Hawk, Olive Sparrow, Vermillion Flycatcher, Sprague’s Pippit, Green Jay, Harris Hawk, Black-crested Titmouse, Cave Swallow and Bronzed Cowbird.

I loved the Ranch and would highly recommend it to everyone.

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