Author Archives: the mogg blog

About the mogg blog

this blog is more of a journal of my thoughts and activities (actually more of activities than thoughts -- i don't do all that much thinking)

Green-breasted Mango


Last Friday, December 1, 2017, a Green-breasted Mango, a hummingbird normally found in eastern Mexico, was discovered in Quinta Mazatlán, a World Birding Centre in McAllen, Texas.  I went with a couple of friends on Saturday to see if we could see it.  We were in the location for several hours, with no luck.  On Sunday, the bird showed itself several times in the same area in which it was originally found.  Quite a number of birders were lucky enough to see it.  So this morning, Monday, I drove back to try my luck again.  This time I left the house early.  It is about a 45 minute drive from our place.  At 8:30 am, the Mango put in a short appearance.  I was able to see it with both my binoculars and my scope.  At 10 am, the Mango appeared again.  This time it hung around a little longer.  Still a long way off.  I took some photos but it was behind some branches and the camera focused on the branches and not on the bird.  But at least I was able to see it very well with my binoculars and my scope again.  This is the best picture I got.

Red-breasted Mango

While waiting for the Mango to appear, a Couches Kingbird flew into the Hackberry Tree (the tree that the Mango is favouring).  I took this picture of the Couches.

Couches Kingbird





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Posted by on December 4, 2017 in Uncategorized


Butterflies at my Texas place

Two years ago, I planted a bed of Mistflower beside my driveway.  This flower is a magnet to butterflies.  Mostly Queens, but also other butterflies.  Here is a picture of a Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak on my Mistflower.

Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak

Last week, I drove over to the Longoria Unit of a Wildlife Management Area nearby our place.  The first photo is of a sign over the entrance to the Longoria Unit.  The next picture is of Common Mestra,  a butterfly found in southern Texas.

Longoria Unit Entrance

Common Mestra

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Posted by on December 4, 2017 in Uncategorized


Another lifer. #570 in North America

It has been 6 or 7 years since Tamaulipas Crow has been seen in the United States.  It is normally found in northeastern Mexico.  They used to nest in the Brownsville Landfill and could be found regularly there.  But for some reason they stopped showing up at the Landfill.  But this year they are popping up in several locations here in Texas.  On Friday, November 24th, we went to the dump (where they are being reported this year).  Spent 4 hours looking and came away without seeing one.  I went back and spent another 3 hours looking again.  Still did not see one.  There are also 2 Tamaulipas Crows being reported on South Padre Island, at the World Birding Centre.  (Go figure)  So when I left the Landfill, I drove over to the Island.  Bingo.  Got the bird.  Worth the effort.  The photos on this post aren’t the best, but they are the best I could get.


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Posted by on November 27, 2017 in Uncategorized


Dickcissels west of Strathroy

Yesterday, July 18, 2017, I drove out Calvert Road, west of Strathroy.  My thought was to turn onto Kerwood Road and see if I could find an Dickcissels.  I have seen them here is past years, but as far as I know, none have been reported there this year.  The field on the west side of Kerwood Road and along the north side of Calvert is ideal habitat, tall grass with scattered scrubby bushes.  Before long I could hear Dickcissels singing.  I waited for awhile and finally saw one or possibly two.  I took a few pictures, but the light was not all that good.

Today, I went back.  Again, I could hear them singing.  But I could not see one.  I turned off Kerwood Road and onto Calvert, slowly driving along the edge of the road.  Before long, a Dickcissel popped up out of the grass and sat on the fence, right near the car.

Here is a picture I took.



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Posted by on July 19, 2017 in Uncategorized


Pt. Pelee and Strathroy area side roads

On Monday, May 8, 2017, Bob Turner, Ron Runstedler and I met up at the Visitor’s Centre at Pt. Pelee at 8 am.  We took the tram down to the tip.  We hung around the tip for awhile, hoping to get a glimpse of the Eared Grebe that has been reported there of late.  We saw a Horned Grebe and lots of Double-crested Cormorants, but no Eared Grebe.  There were numerous Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Blue Jays at the tip area.  Also quite a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets.  We took a seasonal trail back to the Visitor’s Centre.  Along the way, we Field Sparrows, a Cooper’s Hawk, a rather wet, female American Redstart and Tree Swallows at the “Sparrow Field”.  Further along on the seasonal trail we had Orchard Oriole, Blue-headed Vireo, a Broad-winged Hawk, Yellow Warblers, Red-breasted Nuthatches,

We also ran into an Mike Master and his wife, Sandy.  I worked with Mike for many years.  And we have gone birding together numerous times over the years.

Went we got back to the Visitor’s Centre, it was time for lunch.  There are lots of picnic tables around the perimeter of the main parking lot.  After a quick lunch, we headed down the Tilden Trail.  We head Hermit Thrush, an Eastern Screech-Owl, a Blue-winged Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Rusty Blackbird, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, more Orchard Orioles along this trail.

After Tilden’s, we drove down to the Delaurier Trail.  We saw a number of Wild Turkeys, displaying, White-throated Sparrows, a Swamp Sparrow and a couple of Bald Eagles,

When we finished this trail, we drove down to the Marsh Boardwalk.  Back during the winter a fire swept thru this marsh,  It was very obvious to see the damage left by the fire.  We got a pretty good look at a Marsh Wren as we walked along the boardwalk.

All this walking made for a pretty long day, so we packed it in and headed for home at 6:30 pm.

Today, Tuesday, I got in the car and drove out to the MacArther Road area.  Along Calvert Road, before MacArther, there was an Upland Sandpiper sitting on a fence post.  And the field on the north side of Calvert had numerous Bobolinks.  As I drove down MacArther, I had more Bobolinks, some Eastern Meadowlarks, some Savannah Sparrows and a Grasshopper Sparrow.  Further down MacArther, I had another Upland Sandpiper.  Then, in the field, at the corner of MacArther and Walker’s Road, there were lots of Bobolinks, more Eastern Meadowlarks, more Savannah Sparrows and yet another Upland Sandpiper.  Oh, I almost forgot, there were at least 4 Brown Thrashers together in the bushes along the road in one spot.  Very birdy morning.


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Posted by on May 9, 2017 in Uncategorized


Starting another book

Today I started reading another book.  INTO THIN AIR by Jon Krakauer.  This book is about climbing Mt. Everest, and particularly a personal account of the Mt. Everest disaster.  This is quite a departure for me.  I very seldom read non-fiction books.  Novels are more my thing.  But this book was recommended to me by my son, Cory.  Looking forward to getting into this story.  Should be interesting.

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Posted by on April 29, 2017 in Uncategorized


Starting a new book.

My son, Cory, recommended a few books that he thought I might enjoy reading.  Today, I am beginning one of them.  THE LIGHT BETWEEN THE OCEANS by M. L. Stedman.

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Posted by on April 7, 2017 in Uncategorized