The past couple of days there has been a lot of action at Estero Llano Grande State Park. Guiding the bird walk yesterday morning, Huck Hutchens identified and someone photographed a Gray-crowned Yellowthroat. We received a call yesterday from friends who had seen it. I have a well-deserved reputation for not being very diligent about my birding, particularly target birding for an individual bird. We were both tired so we decided to wait until this morning. We were there with cameras and bins a little after 7:00. Because of the internet, the place was frickin' crawling with birders from all over. Intense, diligent birders.
Lorna and I were out all morning. I became bored of the waiting, standing around scanning the grass and shrubs, bird talking with the slow milling group of a dozen people in our portion of the larger flock. I eventually wandered off and managed to be in other places, missing the action when the little bugger finally did show up. Keeping all things in perspective, this is just a bird, a bird which has wandered off from where WE think it should be - evolution spinning off an outlier. Most fail: once in a while something works.
The last time a Gray-crowned Yellowthroat was spotted in the U.S. was in 2006 when a pair actually nested at Bengsten State Park over south of Mission. In an infamous incident (and I couldn't even make this one up) the nest was stepped on and crushed by a birder looking for the birds. The birds were never seen again. Jeez. I did notice that people seemed particularly vigilant about staying on the paths this morning. So ..... no Gray-crowned Yellowthroat pictures. Here's a couple I shot while I was busy NOT seeing the rare bird.
|Black-bellied Whistling Ducks|
Be vigilent, be diligent, - G.