This spring migration has been the best I have seen over the course of 16 years of birding in southern Texas. Huge numbers of migrants were seen at south Texas hotspots like South Padre and High Islands, and there have been times when I have had so many photography opportunities that it was hard to decide where to point the camera.
Although we are heading towards the end of spring migration, I am still getting a good number of birds every time I head into the field! Everything is in breeding plumage, the birds are singing, and it’s a beautiful time to be outdoors. One bird that has been making local birding news is a male Lazuli Bunting on South Padre Island.
This pretty little bunting is a rare migrant in the area and has sky blue and rust colored plumage to complement the stunning shining blue of the Indigo Bunting and multicolored plumage of the Painted Bunting.
Two other finch-like birds show up at the water drip at most of my photography sessions. The Northern Cardinal is quite colorful for being a common backyard bird.
The Pyrrhuloxia is just as handsome as the Cardinal although it isn’t as much of a backyard bird.
The best thing about the water drip might be its ability to attract various warbler species. While buntings and cardinals often perch long enough to gt pictures of them, hyperactive and skulking warblers are another story. Even uncommon species like the Mourning Warbler will make an appearance at a water drip for excellent photos.
The Bay-breasted Warbler is a common migrant that travels between South America and the boreal zone each year. It makes a striking portrait with its chestnut, black, and buff plumage.
The beautiful Magnolia Warbler is another common migrant in southern Texas.
Less colorful migrants also show up at the water drip, including birds such as the Swainson’s Thrush.
Ground Squirrels show up too and temporarily scare the small birds away!
I wonder how many more migrants will show up for these spring photography sessions?