Nojoqui County Park highlights

Rebecca Coulter

I birded Nojoqui County Park and a little way east down the road this morning; the gate was open before 8:00, and pretty much empty. Purple Martins are showing well, with at least 8 birds I counted together—there are certainly more around the park, and I had another 4-5 just east of the pastures along the road. They were chattering constantly so easy to find. The starlings are also doing well, and present in every tree where I saw martins. Other migrants: Pacific-slope Flycatcher and Warbling Vireo were abundant, with a handful each of Ash-throated Flycatcher, Western Tanager, Violet-green Swallow, Bullock’s Oriole, Wilson’s Warbler, and Black-headed Grosbeak; a couple of Black-throated Gray and Townsend’s warblers, a pair of Hooded Oriole nest-building in the palms, and a drowsy Barn Owl rounded out the list. ( )

To get home, I drove over Refugio Rd. along Quiota Creek, up and over the ridge. At the top, I tried to listen for Black-chinned Sparrow out West Camino Cielo Rd, but it was windy in that passage, so not ideal (I’ve had this species here before). As it was nearly midday, activity was pretty quiet all along the way, and the only addition to my day’s bird list was a calling Western Wood-Pewee near Circle Bar-B. 

Clarkia, globe lily, paintbrush, lupine, and some poppies were blooming highlights; Pale and Western Tiger swallowtails, Sara Orangetip, Buckeye, and a couple of California Sisters were an added spring butterfly bonus.

Rebecca Coulter