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February 20th, 2015
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Patagonia Lake Free Bird Walk

I led a very large group of over 40 people on the weekly free bird walk along the birding trail at the eastern end of Patagonia Lake State Park. It’s always a bit tricky with such a large group, although it did dwindle down to a more manageable size later in the morning. The birding was slow in general, so our total of 49 species wasn’t too bad, considering.

The highlight was a HAMMOND’S FLYCATCHER, which began calling and eventually gave us decent views. There were fewer ducks than recently, but they did include the COMMON MERGANSER flock, and the teal trifecta (starring a superb male BLUE-WINGED TEAL). Also, NEOTROPIC CORMORANTS, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, several BLACK VULTURES, BROAD-BILLED HUMMINGBIRD at the visitor center, a flock of about 20 VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS, several GRAY and VERMILION FLYCATCHERS, the continuing EASTERN PHOEBE (part of the group saw and photographed it while I was chasing a HERMIT THRUSH with another part of the group), a PLUMBEOUS VIREO, BLACK-THROATED GRAY and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, and singing RUFOUS-WINGED SPARROW.

Vermilion Flycatcher


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