Saturday, January 12, 2013

Day One On the Hunt

84F degrees today and very humid and windy. Very windy. Stilts in the wind.
Black-necked Stilts

Our Canadian neighbors here at Birdwatchers International Complex believe they saw a rare Glossy Ibis. Maybe they did. The common dark Ibis here in the Rio Grande Valley is the White-faced Ibis, which is virtually identical to a Glossy Ibis in it's winter plumage. Probably no one, other than an Ibis, knows for certain. The professional birders would claim to know, but as a group they are known to be wishful. I very likely took a photo of a White-faced Ibis, but I would like to think it was a Glossy. And in a year or two it will probably will become one.
White-faced Ibis

The duck with his head under the water is a Northern Shoveler. They have a large, flat, spoon-shaped bill, that helps them make a living in shallow water, working the muddy bottom for small aquatic invertebrates. It's sidekick here is a Wilson's Phalarope. The Phalarope stuck by his side all day, picking off little critters the Shoveler dredged up. The Shoveler didn't seem to get much out of the relationship, but company. Maybe the Phalarope is a good story teller.

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