Monday, March 24, 2008
A Forked Tale
This past week I have been down in south Texas doing my annual spring tours there. This year, a Fork-tailed Flycatcher was discovered the week prior to my visit. Each and every day since its arrival at the Lennox Southmost Nature Conservancy property southeast of Brownsville, the flycatcher would put in regular morning appearances. With special arrangements made for birders to gain access to this normally off-limits site, I decided to try and see this rare find. The day of our visit finally arrived - along with a powerful cold front. For the first morning since it arrived, the flycatcher went unseen. Bummer! To make things worse, we found out later that evening that it had been seen in the afternoon! Fortunately, the next morning I got a call giving us permission to make a second visit. Since we were nearby, we decided to go. One of the first birds to greet us was the spectacular Swallow-tailed Kite. We watched as two of them performed some amazing aerial acrobatics. A little while later, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher darted across the resaca with a similar bird trailing behind. There it was! The Fork-tailed Flycatcher! We spent the next half hour enjoying the antics of this rare visitor from South America. The was a first for me for this species north of Mexico. The icing on the day was a visit to the yard of Allen Williams in Pharr, where we were treated to excellent views of White-throated Robin and a singing Clay-colored Robin. Sweet!