Sunday, April 27, 2014

The magic tree

While we were on Padre Island, we signed up for a birding tour guided by a park volunteer.  She clued us in to the location of 'the magic tree.'

Yep, that's it.  It doesn't look like much, but it's the most substantial tree for miles, and it attracts migrating songbirds looking for a siesta.  We watched for about ten minutes as thrushes, orioles, grosbeaks, and a few warblers and other guys used the 'rest area.'

Rose-breasted grosbeaks were common, as were Swainson's thrushes.

Orioles, though, they were all over the place, the entire trip.  Baltimores and orchards.  Maybe only indigo buntings were more common.

A few mystery birds were around, too, like this flycatcher that never sang, which is pretty much what I'd need to make an ID.  

The magic tree is next to the maintenance shed for the park, certainly not glamorous.  Our guide told us most of the park workers aren't there for long before they become birders; they just can't avoid it.  In any case, I never thought staring at a shrimpy tree next to a shed could be so interesting!

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