Corpus Christi CBC 2015-2016

I participated in the Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 19. I birded by myself all day on the Nueces River Delta Preserve. The weather was near perfect: low 40s in the morning and high 60s in the afternoon with partly cloudy skies and a southeast breeze that finally picked up to about 15 mph by late afternoon. I've had great luck with weather for my CBCs this year! I didn't realize until the end of the day that the preserve only offers public access through scheduled guided events, so being able to tromp around on the place by myself was a real privilege. I spent the day driving about 5 miles of truck trail through the grasslands and wetlands, spending most of my time on foot on short excursions from my SUV.

Truck Trail and Truck

This preserve is great for wildlife tracking! All the exposed sandy soil was covered with tracks, mostly from coyotes and White-tailed Deer. I also found tracks from raccoons, jackrabbits, cottontails, and even a few bobcats. Here's one of the bobcat tracks I was excited to find:

Birding highlights included large numbers of Sandhill Cranes and geese. There was another team strategically placed on the preserve to count geese, ducks, and cranes in flight until 9:00 AM, so my eBird list did not include these birds in flight before then. But it sure was fun seeing and hearing them! Here's a large group of Sandhills that I did count, which flew in late afternoon:

Sandhill Cranes

Other favorite birding moments included a hovering White-tailed Kite, finding a Cassin's Sparrow, watching a group of 8 or 9 Hooded Mergansers feeding, and seeing a Long-billed Thrasher. Here the images I captured:

White-tailed Kite Hovering - 3

Cassin's Sparrow - 2

Hooded Mergansers

Long-billed Thrasher - 2

I found two of these Horse Crippler cacti (Echinocactus texensis), one by stepping on it. I was wearing heavy rubber boots and a little later I started feeling something under my heel. One of the spines from the cactus I stepped on had worked its way through heel of my boot. I hope it's still waterproof! Here's the one I didn't step on:

Horse Crippler Cactus (Echinocactus texensis) - 2

Just as much fun as the birding was experiencing the landscape:

My Start of the Corpus CBC

Lake Pano

Washed Out Trail

Wind Generators and Birds

On the north edge of my area I reached a quite definite end of the road here, where oil workers were digging a trench:

The End of the Road

Here's my complete eBird checklist.

Here are most of these photos and a few more on Flickr.

And attached are all my iNaturalist observations which have a few more things.

Posted by mikaelb mikaelb, December 24, 2015 22:13

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Bobcat Lynx rufus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 09:19 AM CST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Coyote Canis latrans

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 09:26 AM CST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 09:27 AM CST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Common Raccoon Procyon lotor

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 10:20 AM CST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Hares and Rabbits Family Leporidae

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 10:29 AM CST

Photos / Sounds

What

Horse Crippler Cactus Homalocephala texensis

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 11:55 AM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

I found two of these distincive cactus plants. I only photographed the first because the second I discovered by stepping on it. Later I felt what I thought was a burr under my heal, inside my heavy rubber boot. On further inspection, a spine from the second Horse Crippler had penetrated the heel of my boot and was finally protruding on the inside!

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Cottontail Rabbits Genus Sylvilagus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 01:39 PM CST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Sandhill Crane Antigone canadensis

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 08:57 AM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

Photos / Sounds

What

White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 09:28 AM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

Photos / Sounds

What

Cassin's Sparrow Peucaea cassinii

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 09:37 AM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Ladder-backed Woodpecker Dryobates scalaris

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 09:41 AM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Variegated Meadowhawk Sympetrum corruptum

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 09:46 AM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

Photos / Sounds

What

Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 09:59 AM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

These are just a few of a group of about 8 actively feeding Hooded Mergansers I was able to digi-scope.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

American White Pelican Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 10:01 AM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Northern Sedge Wren Cistothorus platensis ssp. stellaris

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 10:23 AM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

Photos / Sounds

What

Long-billed Thrasher Toxostoma longirostre

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 10:53 AM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Snow Goose Anser caerulescens

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 10:57 AM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

Photos / Sounds

What

New World Sparrows Family Passerellidae

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 11:43 AM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

These photos are probably not good enough, but I thought I'd post them just in case anyone is able to identify this sparrow.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

White-tailed Deer Odocoileus virginianus

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 02:29 PM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Sandhill Crane Antigone canadensis

Observer

mikaelb

Date

December 19, 2015 02:49 PM CST

Description

Taken during the 2015 Corpus Christi Christmas Bird Count. I covered section 3 of the Nueces River Delta Preserve.

Comments

No comments yet.

Add a Comment

Sign In or Sign Up to add comments