Journal archives for May 2019

26 May, 2019

Tony Amos Beach 2019-05-26

Tony Amos Beach

I started off my birthday birding the Tony Amos beach on Mustang Island just south of Port Aransas. Starting at Access Road 1, I drove south for just over 7 miles to Access Road 2 and counted birds along the way. It was the middle of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, and the beach was packed with campers. For the first 2 miles south of Access Road 1 the beach was full of cars, tents RVs, and travel trailers. It seemed like every third or fourth RV or trailer had a running generator. And sometimes folks were happily sitting right next to a running generator, seeming to not mind the noise at all! I had to look for gaps between all the vehicles and tents to check the edge of the water for birds. I'm sure I missed many. And I'm surprised there were still any birds using the beach among all those campers.

Between 2.5 and 3 miles south of Access Road 1, the campers finally started thinning out. By 3 miles the beach was mostly too narrow for camping and the birding was much easier. As expected, the dominant shorebird on the beach was the Sanderling. Many like this one were sporting their dramatically different alternate (breeding) plumage, making them a little harder for me to recognize since I'm so used to their gray basic (winter) plumage:


Surprisingly to me, the second most numerous shorebird on the beach was the White-rumped Sandpiper, a species on a long northward migration from southern South America up to the arctic. They were usually in groups ranging in size from 5 to 20. Sometimes one or two Semipalmated Sandpipers were with them.

White-rumped Sandpiper - 2

In the entire stretch of beach, just over 6 miles south of Access Road 1, I was excited to find 2 Red Knots. This is a migratory shorebird species that is in steep decline in population. I wish I'd found more, but I was glad to at least see these two:

Red Knot - 1 - 3

Here's my complete eBird list.

Posted on 26 May, 2019 21:41 by mikaelb mikaelb | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment