In October of this year, a Dusky-capped Flycatcher was spotted at Pedernales Falls State Park. I haven't spent much time in the Hill Country this year, so I picked him as my next chase bird. It's the first official record in this part of Texas, so he was rare indeed.
I arrived late Friday, and thought I saw him almost immediately, but he wasn't calling. His unique call was what I was depending upon for a positive id and I had been listening to a recording on the way. I also didn't get any photos.
Campsites had been booked since spring per the park headquarters, so I headed into town and found a room with plans of returning in the morning.
I spent several hours the next morning in and around the bird blinds. I have great difficulty distinguishing the American Goldfinch from the Lesser Goldfinch. A fellow birder helped with the id. The back is a little different and they don't have the white undertail coverts of the American, I can see after studying the pictures and my field guides.
|Western Scrub Jay|
We had heard the Dusky-capped Flycatcher calling and he made a few brief appearances, but I still didn't have a photograph. I left the area for awhile to see some of the rest of the park. There wasn't much water in the falls. It was just a trickle that looked like a wet spot on the rocks in my photographs. The view downstream made a better picture.
I did some hiking on and around the river, but didn't find any birds away from the blinds except by the headquarters. The feeders there were attracting Cardinals and Titmice.
I returned to the blinds and watched the butterflies in the garden. The other birders could identify all of them, as well. "If we can't find birds, we do butterflies," they said. Sounds a lot like me. I'm considering starting a life list for them.
I went back inside one of the blinds and was informed he was in a tree in the center. "He is? Then what am I looking at over here?"
"Oh, that's him," and they all rushed over to take pictures through the photography window. Normally, you expect to have your turn at the window without everyone else crowding in. I happily made an exception in this circumstance. We all finally got our photographs.
Linking with Saturday's Critters.
10/31 Evening and 11/1 Morning-Noon
Low 47, High 66
Clear and Sunny
Species identified (13): Carolina Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, White-winged Dove, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Orange-crowned Warbler, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Northern Mockingbird, Black-crested Titmouse, Western Scrub Jay, Turkey Vulture, Lesser Goldfinch, House Finch
Also Butterflies: Monarch, Queen, Gulf Frittillary, Pipevine Swallowtail
Mammals: Eastern Fox Squirrel, Hispid Cotton Rat