This year in Central Texas, I’ve seen birds I’ve never seen here before. As always, Doves and Bluejays are in abundance, but seemingly more so than usual in my yard. I recently spotted an Eastern Starling, a common bird but not common in Austin. The state bird, the Southern Mockingbird, is everywhere I turn.
I have to assume the extreme drought once again covering the lower half of our huge state is driving birds northward that normally might spend summers at the Gulf Coast.
I also have to question this: We had a drought this severe two years ago, and I didn’t see birds like this during that drought. Is it possible that the British Petroleum horrific oil spill in the Gulf Coast has tainted the marshes along the Gulf Shores of Texas? The Texas shore near Brownsville and South Padre island is known worldwide for its bird-watching, summer and winter both.
Whatever the reason, today I saw one I’ve never seen before. This sweetie was taking a bath in my waterfall, having a grand old time. He flew away and came back quickly with two more buddies, who delightfully enjoyed their spa stay, splashing and playing for a while.
I managed to snap these pics through my glass doors, so forgive any lack of sharpness. I was just happy to have had my camera nearby.
After much searching of Google images, I believe he is a Pine Warbler. He was pretty wet at this point, but this is the best shot of his backside and wing coloring.
I compared the Pine Warbler with the Yellow Warbler, and finally came up with Pine Warbler as the ID. I certainly could be wrong.
Does anyone out there recognize this species definitively?