Andree Clark Bird Refuge and Devereux
Because the only breeding record from ACBR this spring was Larry Ballard’s house sparrow, I thought there was a need to gather some breeding evidence. I walked and scoped the entire lagoon edge except for that on the Zoo property. Lots of half-grown to full-grown Mallards of course, maybe 15 Ruddy Duck fledglings, approximately 10 baby Pied-billed Grebes and only a couple of American Coot babies. Puzzling was the Great Blue Heron that carried a large, multi-branched stick from the Euc at the east side westwards. The only Acorn Woodpecker I saw was a dark-eyed fledgling or independent juvenile. An adult Black Phoebe fed three fledglings.
I wonder where the large number of Northern Rough-winged Swallows came from, many fledglings among them. Starling babies were begging, a Munia pair were carrying nesting material, and Hooded Orioles were feeding kids.
Not yet showing fledglings were Great-tailed Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds, though there were plenty of adults of both.
Unexpected was a Ring-necked Duck. Checklist and photos here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S70723030
At Devereux, a lone Great Egret nestling remains. I witnessed a 2 TuVu in a GBHe nest feeding on a dead youngster. The adult (parent?) heron was a couple branches above trying to evict the scavengers. I heard especially harsh calls during that aggression from the adult heron. 6 Wilson's Phalaropes were present.
I need help identifying a sandpiper seen in the main channel. At first I thought it was a Sanderling, but the plumage should have shown more reddish. When it flew the wingstripe was not very bold. So, I’m left with Western Sandpiper, but I’d like some opinions. There is just too much of a dark bib to fit WeSa nicely.
San Marcos Pass