Texas Coast - 21st November - 1st December 2001

Published by Surfbirds Admin (surfbirds AT surfbirds.com)

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Trip Participants: Steve Arlow & Tim Jones

Route Taken:

Wed 21st Nov: Arrival at Houston George Bush International Airport with evening drive to Winnie.

Thurs 22nd Nov: Morning at Whites Memorial Park with late morning to evening at Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. Night at High Island

Fri 23rd Nov: Morning at Smith Oaks bird sanctuary. Late morning drive to Bolivar. Peninsular with stops at Rollover Pass, Yacht Basin Road and Bolivar Flats Bird Sanctuary. Afternoon ferry to Galveston and evening birding at Brazos Bend State Park.

Sat 24th Nov: Morning birding at Brazos Bend State park and nearby areas with drive south with evening birding at Aransas.

Sun 25th Nov: Rockport bay followed by Whooping Crane Tour onboard the Pisces with afternoon drive south the Brownsville.

Mon 26th Nov: Morning Sabal Palm Sanctuary followed by side trip to Brownsville dump with drive to coast at South Padre Island.

Tues 27th Nov: Morning at Anahuac with afternoon at Santa Ana.

Wed 28th Nov: Morning at Santa Ana with drive west along Rio Grande to Falcon Dam.

Thurs 29th Nov: Morning Falcon State Park and Chapeno with most of day around Falcon Heights and State Park with late afternoon / evening at Salineno.

Fri 30th Nov: Morning Salineno then west to San Ygnacio with drive north to Houston.

Sat 1st Dec: Morning WG Jones State Forest with afternoon flight to UK.

THE BIRDING SITES

SMITH OAKS BIRD SANCTUARY, HIGH ISLAND

This famous location is obviously better during migration but a number of good birds were noted including some that were not seen elsewhere during the trip, these being Brown Thrasher, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Tennessee Warbler and Wilson’s Warblers. The area that was the most productive was the main track leading from the car park to the main wood. Many small birds were found here whilst the wood itself was rather quiet. The lakes also seemed to lack birds with only the odd duck present. The best lake was that viewed from the wetland-viewing platform where Little Blue Herons and Anhinga were amongst the highlights.

WHITE MEMORIAL PARK

Situated west of the town of Winnie, just south of Interstate 10 and just north of Anahuac this area is mainly open parkland with predominantly pine trees mixed with a few broad leafed trees with scrubby undergrowth. The most productive area that we found was adjacent to the main lake and mid way around the loop track. Here we had 5 species of Woodpecker, some really bright Pine Warblers in the company of some Yellow-rumped Warblers, 4 Eastern Bluebirds by the car and many of the woodland birds that could be expected.

ANAHUAC NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

The park entrance is located 3 miles south of White Memorial Park along the FM1985 road and is clearly sign posted. The area is mostly marshland with a few large open areas of water that were visible from the road. These open areas held substantial counts of wildfowl.

The best place we found was a large flooded area along the track known as Cross Road, the 2nd turning on the right after passing the visitor centre. Many birds were present here with hundreds of Long-billed Dowitchers, dozens of both species of Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers, White and White-faced Ibis and many ducks and geese.

The next best spot was the Shoveler pond loop track reach by the 1st turning after passing the visitor centre. Here is an even larger flooded area with an elevated viewing ramp about the third of the way around. This area was good for Cormorants, including Neotropic, herons and egrets such as Night Heron, American Bittern, Snowy and Great Egrets while the reed fringed edges held American Purple Gallinule. The main track out to East Bay was better for sparrows with Nelsons Sharp Tailed Sparrow near the windmill while Savannah Sparrows were common. The bay is easily visible with Pelicans, Slavonian Grebes, Royal Terns and Cormorants all present.

BRAZOS BEND STATE PARK

This park has a series of lakes that vary in size but we soon found that they were becoming overgrown and resemble more like swamps than lakes. We birded 40-Acre Lake the first evening as far as the Observation Tower that over looks Pilant Lake. We had several Cardinals along the route but it was more worth the visit for the huge numbers of "Blackbirds" that roost in this area. It was estimated around a million Grackles, Cowbirds and Blackbirds swarmed over the reeds here, a must see spectacle. The next morning we walked from the Elm Lake car park to the Observation Tower. Between the car park and New Horseshoe Lake we discovered good birds such as Marsh Wren, White-throated Sparrow and Belted Kingfisher. Swamp Sparrows inhabit in reed lined tracks and Yellow-rumped Warblers were common in the larger trees mid way to Pilant Lake. The small bridge mid way across Pilant Lake had our only Song Sparrow as well as several Yellowthroats and Swamp Sparrows. A superb American Bittern was seen very well from the Tower. The small area of water behind the tower had both adult and white juvenile Little Blue Herons, Pied Billed Grebes and Night Herons. Elm Lake itself is very difficult to see from anywhere and what we could see was mostly overgrown. Alligators were common here.

BOLIVAR PENINSULA

The peninsula has several access points at which to observe the waterbirds that team around this area.

Rollover Pass was a little disappointing due to it being high tide and there was only a little shingle island visible in the water. This small island did, however, have many Laughing Gulls, Royal and Forsters Terns, American Avocets, Black-necked Stilts, Black Skimmers and at least 30 Short-billed Dowitchers. Presumably the area is far better when the tide not at its highest.

Yacht Basin Road is a little further along the Peninsula on the right hand side and cuts north across marshland. Here we located around 15 Long Billed Curlews feeding on either side of the road while a small pool near the end of the road had 8 roosting Marbled Godwits. Willets and Snowy Egrets were rather tame here allowing us to drive right up to them.

Bolivar Flats Bird Sanctuary is the best place for shorebirds with many thousands present on the mudflats here. From Retillion Road drive along the beach until you reach the large posts of the reserve and walk out along the beach to view the waders. In the short grass just past where you park we found 25 or more Shorelarks. The small lagoon and the extensive mud flats further on were teaming with birds though we didn't venture on to far as not to flush them. From our position, though, we could identify a fair number of the closer birds with 250+ Black Skimmers, 150+ White Pelicans, egrets, including several Reddish, Osprey, hundreds of Royal, Forsters and Sandwich Terns, Knots, Sanderlings, Dunlin, Dowitchers, Semipalmated Plovers and American Oystercatcher. The closer lagoon had 2 Wilson's Plovers, 5+ Snowy Plovers, 20+ Semipalmated Sandpipers, 170+ Western Sandpipers, 5 Baird's Sandpipers, and 50+ Least Sandpipers. This was a wader watchers paradise.

ARANSAS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

This is the place for Whooping Cranes. We made a stop here in the evening and drove straight to the observation platform. A large concrete monstrosity that over looks Mustang Lake. We had distant views of an adult and juvenile Whooping Crane here but the whole thing felt like being at Titchwell, people pointing out American Avocets and calling them Stilts. The long loop trail was taken where numerous birds of prey were found including the target bird, Crested Caracara, of which 2 were seen.

We walked the Heron Flats trail in the evening which was an excellent area and would probably be at its best in spring. We had class views of a pair of Sandhill Cranes mid way along the trail. On leaving the reserve we came across 8 Turkeys feeding next to the roadside. There are several other birding trails around the reserve with the best one possibly being Dagger Point which we unfortunately ran out of time to do.

ROCKPORT & WHOOPING CRANE TOUR

Rockport was the best town we visited with plenty of duck in the bay. There are several areas that you can view from by the road but you end up looking into the sun which is a little unfortunate as most of the ducks are closest here. Amongst the flocks of Redheads we managed to find a few Canvasbacks and Buffleheads while White Pelicans, Pied-billed Grebes and Cormorants were also abundant. The beach side of the lagoon has another bird area and good views of an American Kestrel sat a wire next to a much larger Merlin were obtained. Offshore were several Great Northern Divers while Ring-billed and Laughing Gulls are common.

We took the Pisces Whooping Crane Tours out to Aransas from Rockport Harbour. There are several operators that run these trips but we had a small, quick boat that allowed us to reach the marshes at least half an hour before that much larger and slower catamaran. The crossing to the marshes takes an hour but the views of the Whooping Cranes makes it worth while. Out of the 32 birds seen 4 were seen very well, 20 yards, feeding in the open. On a calm day a scope can be used on deck. This trip is a must.

BROWNSVILLE RUBBISH DUMP

The rubbish dump used to be the place to get Mexican Crow but changes in tip practises have meant you will now be hard pressed to find any, we had none. Chihuahuan Ravens, Gulls and Vultures were fairly abundant though.

SABAL PALM SANCTUARY

A reserve that could have been left out of the trip as most, if not all, of the birds seen here were seen elsewhere. There are several trails of which we tried the one through the regeneration area first. This fairly open area produced White Eyed Vireo, Olive Sparrow, both Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, our first Kiskadees and some large spiders in webs stung out across the path. Uuurrgghhh. At the visitor centre Green Jays were numerous around the feeders, as were White Tipped Doves on the ground below. The trails through the Palms to the pools was hard work with only a few birds noted with best being a Black-throated Green Warbler. There were a few duck on the main pool along with 4 Least Grebes but nothing startling while a new muddy pool further along only had a single Solitary Sandpiper on it.

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND

We drove north through the coastal resort of South Padre to the last beach access before the road ran out. We made a short walk along the beach which resulted in close views of Willet, Sanderling, Ring-billed Gull, Royal Tern and a couple of roosting Forsters Terns. Offshore a group of 8 immature Gannets flew south.

LAGUNA ATASCOSA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Our visit turned out to be a bit of a disappointment in that the loop trail was closed for construction work, although we sneaked a look just to get Aplomado Falcon, and the Laguna Atascosa itself was bone dry. That said we managed to dig out a few good birds from the bushes around the visitor car park and nearby road with best being Long-billed Thrasher, Black and White Warbler, Couch's Kingbird. Overhead several hundred Sandhill Cranes flew off from their roosts to feed. The area also held the most Northern Mockingbirds of any site visited.

SANTA ANA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Perhaps the best location visited during the 11 days although the second day here was bitterly cold. We birded the trails around the visitor centre and it is strongly recommended to speak to the visitor centre staff for what's about as they put us onto many good birds, including some Scissor-tailed Flycatchers along the main road. Willow Lake is apparently now dry but Pintail Lake and the lakes around it certainly had plenty of water. These lakes had many Long-billed Dowitchers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, 3 Stilt Sandpipers, Blue-winged Teals, a couple of Cinnamon Teal, Stilts, American Avocets and a "Wilson's" Snipe. The trail between the visitor centre and road was scrubby and held numerous small bird species such as Tropical Parula, Black-throated Grey Warbler, Titmice, Clay-coloured Robin, Long-billed Thrasher and Eastern Screech Owl peering out of his hole in the dead palm. Along the footpath labelled C at the path cross roads were many Kiskadees, Couch's Kingbirds, Ladder-backed Woodpeckers and 2 stunning Altamira Orioles. Birds of prey were abundant here with both the vultures, Red-tailed, Red-shouldered and Harris Hawks, Coopers Hawk and Hook-billed Kite. The bird list here went on and on. At least 2 whole days should be spent at this gem of a place.

FALCON: DAM / STATE PARK / HEIGHTS

The dam was visited on a cold evening and very little was actually seen here the best being a Sprague's Pipit in the grassy areas by the compound that you drive past on your left on the way in. Ospreys were common here and often soared directly overhead.

The state park was our site for Roadrunner but it was a long time before we finally found one. The park is mainly dry dense scrub on the shores of the Falcon Reservoir which itself attracted White Fronted Geese and other wildfowl. In our search we discovered many birds that we may not have been even stopped for in our travels such as Pyrrhuloxia's, Cactus Wren at the nest and Bewick's Wren. Along the roads around Falcon Heights, a small community outside the park, we found flocks of Lark Sparrows with several other less common sparrows suck as Lark Bunting, Field and Vespers Sparrows while a Curve-billed Thrasher shared a gate with a Pyrrhuloxia.

SALINENO

A couple have set up a series of feeders in a small copse next to their trailer which was teaming with birds on our first afternoon visit and both Altamira and Audubon's Orioles were seen next morning. Birds here are used to birders and can be rather approachable with the best views of Long-billed Thrasher you could hope for. Chipping Sparrows, White-winged and White Tipped Doves, Green Jays, Yellow-rumped and Orange Crowned Warblers were common. The Rio Grande nearby should not be overlooked as Kingfishers were seen regularly. A small area with many great birds with in a short distance of the car.

CHAPENO

This location is possibly the most reliable for Brown Jay in Texas, of which we had about 6 or more down by the river. There are feeders set up at the RV park which attract many birds but our biggest success was along the river where all 3 Kingfishers were seen within 10 minutes of each other. Altamira Oriole was present along with Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers and Green Jays.

SAN YGNACIO

A small site stopped at only for White-collared Seedeater of which 2 were seen after much effort.

WG JONES STATE FOREST

A fairly large woodland area of pines is possibly the best place in North America for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. Located north of Houston close to the Interstate cars can be heard from deep in the forest. Our woodpeckers were found at the Peoples Ranch site, the nest trees have blue rings painted on them. Other woodpeckers throughout the wood were in evidence with Pileated , Red-bellied, Hairy, Downy and Sapsucker all being seen. Brown Creepers were along the track to the main lake but Brown-headed Nuthatch was particularly hard to find. A dawn visit is essential as the Red-cockadeds soon flew off to feed in the forest.


Species Lists

1. GREAT NORTHERN DIVER

Whites Memorial Park - 1 flew over 22nd Nov. Rockport - 2 present off of the beach, possibly same 2 from the Pisces Whooping Crane Tours boat with a single in the harbour: 25th Nov.

2. LEAST GREBE

Sabal Palm Sanctuary - 4 were present on the main pools 26th Nov. Santa Ana - 4 birds were seen very well on the pool next to the road 28th Nov

3. PIED BILLED GREBE

Fairly common in suitable habitat such as the lakes of Brazos Bend, Anahuac, Santa Ana park and the Rio Grande river for example. Seen 8 out of the 10 days.

4. SLAVONIAN GREBE

Seen on coastal lagoons such as that at Anahuac 15+ 22nd Nov and Aransas 2 24th & 25th Nov

5. GANNET

South Padre Island - 8 immatures 26th Nov

6. AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN

Fairly common but local along the coast with the main concentrations at Bolivar Flats 100+ 23rd Nov and Rockport 70+ 25th Nov. Other notable double figure counts came from along the Rio Grande.

7. BROWN PELICAN

Common along the coast with the highest counts coming from Rockport harbour. Generally fairly common along the coast but absent from the Rio Grande valley.

8. DOUBLE CRESTED CORMORANT

The commonest Cormorant along the coastal waterways and along the Rio Grande where flocks could often be watched at close quarters.

9. NEOTROPIC CORMORANT

A lot scarcer than Double Crested Cormorant with singles being noted at Anahuac 22nd Nov. Two's and three's were noted along the Rio Grande Valley at Salineno and Chapeno on 28th and 29th Nov.

10. ANHINGA

Only noted as singles at Smith Oaks, High Island 22nd Nov and on Pilant Lake, Brazos Bend 23rd Nov.

11. AMERICAN BITTERN

A secretive bird that was seen in flight over Shoveler Pond at Anahuac 22nd Nov and 2 at Pilant Lake, Brazos Bend from the Observation Tower 23rd Nov, one of which showed very well feeding at close range in the reeds.

12. GREAT BLUE HERON

A fairly common heron that was found around most water courses from coastal marshes and lagoons to the small ponds in the WG Jones State Park.

13. GREAT EGRET

A common and widespread Egret found in all wetland habitat from Coastal lagoons to small dykes in more forested habitat. Counts of 10 or more were noted at Anahuac, Rockport, and the Rio Grande Valley.

14. SNOWY EGRET

Another common and widespread Egret found in lesser numbers than Great Egret but could be very approachable with birds down to a few feet along the Yacht Basin road and Rockport harbour.

15. LITTLE BLUE HERON

Smith Oaks, High Island 5 23rd Nov. Brazos Bend - A white juvenile in the broad dyke by the Observation Platform on 23rd or 24th Nov with an adult a little further along the same path on the 24th... Singles were seen from the Whooping Crane Tour boat, South Padre Island and Santa Ana. Between 25th and 28th Nov.

16. TRICOLOURED HERON

Scarcest of the herons. A fine adult flying over the Shoveler Pond, Anahuac on 22nd Nov.

17. REDDISH EGRET

An uncommon heron with bird's being noted at: Bolivar Flats - 3 23rd Nov. Route 48 east of Brownsville - An adult was in the canal south of Port Isabel 26th Nov

18. CATTLE EGRET

Surprisingly scarce with birds being noted only on 22nd Nov with 30+ north of Anahuac and 25+ at Brownsville Rubbish Dump on 26th Nov.

19. BLACK CROWNED NIGHT HERON

Anahuac - An adult on Shoveler Pond 22nd Nov. Brazos Bend - 2 Adults in the dyke by the Observation Tower on 23rd Nov with an immature along the south side of Elm Lake on 24th Nov. Salineno - 1 flew along the Rio Grande 29th Nov. San Ygnacio - 2 Adults and 2 immatures 30th Nov

20. WHITE IBIS

Fairly abundant around coastal and wetland areas with peak counts coming from Anahuac where 50+ were on the floods along Cross Road on 22nd Nov.

21. WHITE FACED IBIS

A lot scarcer than White Ibis with most being found at Anahuac on the floods along the Cross Road with around 20 - 25 birds on 22nd Nov. Singles were noted around Brazos Bend on 23rd Nov.

22. ROSEATE SPOONBILL

Scarce with 1 or 2 at Anahuac on 22nd Nov with 1 over Smith Oaks, High Island on 23rd Nov.

23. WHITE FRONTED GOOSE

A widespread goose with 40+ seen on the floods along Cross Roads, Anahuac on 22nd Nov while smaller numbers of fly overs were noted south to Rockport. On 29th and 30th Nov up to 150 were seen in the bays of Falcon State Park.

24. SNOW GOOSE

Commonest of the geese with many skeins noted from many places such as 50 over White Memorial Park 22nd Nov, 100 over Davis Estate Road near Brazos on 24th Nov. The highest count though came from Anahuac were in the region of 500 were seen on 22nd Nov. This number is still low considering there's supposed to be 10,000 wintering annually here.

25. CANADA GOOSE

Aransas, Whooping Crane Tour from Rockport - 8 on 25th Nov. Route 83 west of McAllen - 10+ fly overs 27th Nov.

26. RUDDY DUCK

Anahuac - female in dyke 22nd Nov. Sabal Palms Sanctuary - 4 26th Nov. Chilean, Rio Grande Valley - 1-2 29th Nov

27. GREEN WINGED TEAL

A fairly common duck with majority around the larger areas of wetland habitat: Anahuac - 120+ on Cross Road floods 22nd Nov. Santa Ana - 50 on Pintail Lake 27th and 28th Nov.Rio Grande, Chapeno - 20 29th Nov.

28. MOTTLED DUCK

Uncommon with birds seen at Anahuac on 22nd Nov, Brazos Bend 24th Nov, Rockport 25th Nov, and Santa Ana 28th Nov.

29. MALLARD

Fairly common around the larger wetland areas such as Anahuac, Brazos Bend and Santa Ana. 2 "Mexican Ducks", the Mexican race, were along the Rio Grande at Salineno on 29th Nov.

30. PINTAIL

A widespread duck with small groups around wetland areas with the largest counts at: Rockport - 10+ on the lagoon 25th Nov. Padre Island - 25+ 26th Nov. Laguna Atascosa - around 200+ flew over the car park around early morning 27th Nov. Rio Grande, Chapeno - 15+ along the river 29th Nov.

31. SHOVELER

Widespread with varying numbers. The highest counts of 25+ on the floods along Cross Road, Anahuac 22nd Nov, 20 on Pintail Lake, Santa Ana 27th & 28th Nov and 70 at both Salineno and Chapeno along the Rio Grande 29th & 30th Nov.

32. BLUE WINGED TEAL

Anahuac - around 15 on 22nd Nov. Santa Ana - up to 60 on Pintail Lake. Rio Grande - about 20+ on the river at both Salineno and Chapeno 29th & 30th Nov.

33. CINNAMON TEAL

Scarce duck restricted to the Rio Grande Valley with: Santa Ana - male and female on Pintail lake 27th Nov. Chapeno - 2 males 29th Nov. Salineno - 5 30th Nov

34. GADWALL

Widespread dabbling duck with birds seen 7 out of 10 of the birding days with largest numbers at Anahuac on 22nd Nov, Santa Ana 27th & 28th Nov and Rio Grande at Chapeno and Salineno on 29th & 30th Nov.

35. AMERICAN WIGEON

Commonest and most widespread of the dabbling ducks with largest counts from the larger wetland locations: Anahuac - 150+ on the floods along Cross Road 22nd Nov. Rio Grande Valley - 250+ at Chapeno 28th Nov and 200+ at Salineno on 28th & 29th Nov.

36. CANVASBACK

Rather scarce diving duck: Rockport- 4 25th Nov. Chapeno, Rio Grande Valley - 8+ 29th Nov. Falcon Heights - 10+ on the large pool 29th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - 5 30th Nov

37. REDHEAD

Rockport Bay - 200+ 25th Nov, Laguna Padre - 100 26th Nov. Chapeno, Rio Grande Valley - 5 29th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - 10+ 30th Nov

38. RING NECKED DUCK

Smith Oaks, High Island - female 23rd Nov. Bolivar Flats - flock of 150+ flew along the beach 23rd Nov. Sabal Palm Sanctuary - 5 26th Nov.

39. LESSER SCAUP

Most abundant diving duck although localized: Bolivar Flats - flock of 100+ flew along the beach 23rd Nov. Aransas, Whooping Crane tour - large raft of 400+ in the main saltmarsh channel 25th Nov.

40. BUFFLEHEAD

Rockport - 12 present in the bay including 7 fine drakes 25th Nov. Falcon Heights - 5 on the large pool 29th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande - pair 30th Nov

41. RED BREASTED MERGANSER

Yacht Basin Road, Bolivar - 2 females 23rd Nov. Rockport - female 25th Nov.

42. BLACK VULTURE

Common, often seen with Turkey Vultures. Large numbers were present at Brownsville Dump 26th Nov

43. TURKEY VULTURE

Common, seen nearly every where often in the company of Black Vultures.

44. OSPREY

Seen at various coastal locations and inland along the Rio Grande valley. From a single at Bolivar Flats 23rd Nov to a maximum of 7 birds at Falcon Dam 29th & 30th Nov.

45. WHITE TAILED KITE

This dainty raptor was noted on 4 dates with the first 2 birds at Anahuac 22nd Nov with singles south to Laguna Atascosa.

46. HOOK-BILLED KITE

Santa Ana - 1 28th Nov

47. NORTHERN HARRIER

A fairly common and widespread raptor with birds seen on 7 dates from a variety of habitats from the marshes of Anahuac to farmland along Route 77. Most birds were ringtails with only a handful of males.

48. SHARP SHINNED HAWK

Brazos Bend - a single was seen from the Observation Platform 24th Nov. Brownsville - a single on 27th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - 1 29th Nov.

49. COOPER'S HAWK

Santa Ana - a single flew over Pintail Lake 27th Nov.

50. HARRIS'S HAWK

A common, large raptor found south of Corpus Christie with multiple sightings from Santa Ana, Laguna Atascosa and along the Rio Grande Valley to Falcon State Park between 25th & 30th Nov.

51. RED SHOULDERED HAWK

Santa Ana - 1 seen briefly 27th Nov.

52. WHITE TAILED HAWK

Seen on only one date when 2 birds were noted on roadside telegraph poles along route 77 south of Corpus Christie 25th Nov.

53. RED TAILED HAWK

The commonest and most widespread large raptor with many noted on roadside telegraph poles and many present in the larger reserves.

54. CRESTED CARACARA

Localised southern Texas species with the first birds, 2, noted at Aransas loop trail 24th Nov. Birds were then noted daily until 30th Nov with a peak of 5 at Falcon State Park.

55. MERLIN

Scarce small raptor with birds noted on two dates at: Anahuac - 1 22nd Nov. Rockport - female 25th Nov.

56. AMERICAN KESTREL

Common and widespread small falcon seen daily from 22nd Nov to 1st Dec with several double figure counts.

57. APLOMADO FALCON

Laguna Atascosa - 1 was seen distantly 27th Nov

58. PEREGRINE

Scarce large falcon with birds seen on three dates at: Anahuac - male over Shoveler Pond 22nd Nov. Laguna Atascosa - 1 27th Nov. Chapeno, Rio Grande Valley - 1 29th Nov.

59. WILD TURKEY

Aransas - 8 were seen along the road around dusk 24th Nov

60. AMERICAN PURPLE GALLINULE

Anahuac - 1 possibly 2 were seen on the Shoveler Pond, Anahuac 22nd Nov.

61. MOORHEN

Uncommon and fairly widespread with birds noted at the Shoveler Pond-Anahuac, Brazos Bend and the Rio Grande.

62. AMERICAN COOT

Common around the wetland locations with often fairly large numbers: Anahuac - 250+ on the floods by Cross Road and Shoveler Pond 22nd Nov. Brazos Bend - 25+ 24th Nov. Rockport - 140+ on the lagoon 25th Nov. Santa Ana - 30+ 27th & 28th Nov. Chilean, Rio Grande - 20 29th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande - 20+ 30th Nov.

63. SANDHILL CRANE

Brazos Bend - 5 were seen flying at the nearby Davis Estate Road on 24th Nov. Aransas - 2 were seen well on the saltmarsh at the Heron Flats birding trail 24th Nov. Aransas - 8 from the Whooping Crane Tours 25th Nov. Laguna Atascosa - about 150 were seen flying over calling soon after first light near the visitor centre 27th Nov.

64. WHOOPING CRANE

Aransas - an Adult and a juvenile were seen from the viewing platform in the evening of the 24th Nov while 32 birds were counted from the Pisces Whooping Cranes trip out of Rockport on the 25th Nov.

65. GREY PLOVER

Several were noted at coastal locations such as Bolivar Flats, Rockport lagoon and South Padre Island.

66. SNOWY PLOVER

Bolivar Flats - 6+ 23rd Nov.

67. WILSON'S PLOVER

Bolivar Flats - 2 23rd Nov

68. SEMIPALMATED PLOVER

Bolivar Flats - 170+ 23rd Nov

69. KILLDEER

Common plover with many locations, such as Anahuac, Rockport, Bolivar and Santa Ana, having counts in excess of 15 birds

70. AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER

Noted at only a few coastal locations with a single bird at Bolivar Flats 23rd Nov and 6+ from the Whooping Cranes tour 25th Nov.

71. BLACK NECKED STILT

Fairly abundant in suitable wetland and coastal habitats with high counts of: Anahuac - 40+ 22nd Nov. Rollover Pass, Bolivar - 10 23rd Nov. Canal along route 48 west of Port Isabel - 25+ 26th Nov. Santa Ana - 50 27th & 28th Nov

72. AMERICAN AVOCET

Anahuac - 40 seen distantly from the main track out on Deep Marsh from by the windmill 22nd Nov Rollover Pass, Bolivar - 4 23rd Nov. Aransas - 2 from the elevated platform 24th Nov. Canal along route 48 west of Port Isabel - 10 26th Nov. Santa Ana - 4 27th & 28th Nov

73. GREATER YELLOWLEGS

Anahuac - about 15 on the floods by Cross Road 22nd Nov. Santa Ana - 7 27th & 28th Nov

74. LESSER YELLOWLEGS

Anahuac - 15 on the floods by Cross Road 22nd Nov. Canal along route 48 west of Port Isabel - 1-2 26th Nov. Chapeno, Rio Grande - 1 29th Nov.

75. WILLET

Fairly numerous along the coast with a peak of 12 along the Yacht Basin Road, Bolivar 23rd Nov.

76. SOLITARY SANDPIPER

Sabal Palm Sanctuary - 1 26th Nov. Santa Ana - 1 27th Nov

77. SPOTTED SANDPIPER

Singles at various locations: Aransas, Whooping Crane Tours - 4 25th Nov. Chapeno, Rio Grande Valley - 2 29th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - 3-4 29th & 30th Nov

78. LONG BILLED CURLEW

Anahuac - 1 22nd Nov. Yacht Basin Road, Bolivar - 12 23rd Nov. Aransas, Whooping Crane tour - 5+ 25th Nov. Canal along route 48 west of Port Isabel - 1-2 26th Nov.

79. MARBLED GODWIT

Yacht Basin Road, Bolivar - 5 23rd Nov. Aransas, Whooping Crane Tour - several 25th Nov.

80. RUDDY TURNSTONE

Noted at coastal beaches such as Bolivar Flats, Aransas Whooping Crane Tours and South Padre Island

81. KNOT

Only noted at Bolivar Flats were several hundred were present 23rd Nov.

82. SANDERLING

Found on beaches at Bolivar Flats, Rockport and South Padre where birds were very approachable.

83. SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER

Anahuac - 10+ on floods by Cross Road 22nd Nov. Bolivar Flats - 10 23rd Nov. Santa Ana - 20 on Pintail Lake 28th Nov.

84. WESTERN SANDPIPER

Bolivar Flats - 50+ minimum 23rd Nov.

85. BAIRDS SANDPIPER

Bolivar Flats - 5 23rd Nov

86. LEAST SANDPIPER

Anahuac - 40+ present on the floods along Cross Road 22nd Nov. Bolivar Flats - 70+ 23rd Nov. Aransas, Whooping Crane Tour - 2-4 25th Nov.

87. DUNLIN

Anahuac - 35+ on the floods by Cross Road 22nd Nov. Bolivar Flats - hundreds 23rd Nov. Rockport - 10+ 25th Nov. South Padre Island - 10 26th Nov

88. STILT SANDPIPER

Santa Ana - 3 on Pintail Lake 27th & 28th Nov.

89. SHORT BILLED DOWITCHER

Rollover Pass - 30+ 23rd Nov. Bolivar Flats - 170 23rd Nov. Rockport - 4 25th Nov. Canal along route 48 west of Port Isabel - 20-25 26th Nov

90. LONG BILLED DOWITCHER

Anahuac - 250+ on flood by Cross Road 22nd Nov. Santa Ana - 100 27th & 28th Nov

91. WILSON'S SNIPE

Santa Ana - 1 flushed by Pintail Lake 27th Nov.

92. LAUGHING GULL

Very common along the coast with individuals along the Rio Grande Valley as far as Falcon Dam. High counts came from Bolivar Flats with 170+ 23rd Nov, 200+ from the Galveston Ferry 23rd Nov, 120+ Rockport 25th Nov and 250 -300 on Brownsville Dump 26th Nov.

93. RING BILLED GULL

Numerous along the coast with 20+ birds at Bolivar Flats 23rd Nov, several from the Galveston Ferry 23rd Nov, 20+ Rockport 25th Nov, 40+ Brownsville Dump 26th Nov and 10 along the beach at South Padre Island 26th Nov.

94. "AMERICAN" HERRING GULL

Small numbers, of mostly immatures, at Bolivar Flats 23rd Nov, Rollover Pass 23rd Nov, Rockport 5 (including 3 adults) 25th Nov and South Padre Island 26th Nov.

95. CASPIAN TERN

Found along coastal shorelines: Anahuac - 1 22nd Nov. Bolivar Flats - 50+ 23rd Nov. Rockport - 10 at the lagoon 25th Nov. Aransas, Whooping Crane Tour - 6+ 25th Nov.

96. ROYAL TERN

Fairly numerous along the coast with 4 at Anahuac 22nd Nov, 150+ Bolivar Flats and Peninsula area 23rd Nov, Aransas 6 24th Nov and Rockport / Aransas Whooping Crane tour 10-15 25th Nov.

97. SANDWICH TERN

Bolivar Flats - 10+ 23rd Nov. South Padre Island - 4 26th Nov

98. COMMON TERN

Rockport - 1 flew over the beach area 25th Nov.

99. FORSTER'S TERN

A common tern along the coast, often in loose flocks following boats. Highest counts were of 25 at the end of Yacht Basin Road, Bolivar 23rd Nov, 20+ from the Whooping Crane Tour out of Rockport 25th Nov and 30+ from the beach at South Padre Island 26th Nov.

100. BLACK SKIMMER

Rollover Pass, Bolivar - 3 23rd Nov. Bolivar Flats - 250+ distantly on mudflats 23rd Nov. Canal along route 48 west of Port Isabel - 20+ 26th Nov

101. ROCK DOVE / FERAL DOVE

Abundant around towns and urban areas

102. COLLARED DOVE

Rockport - 1 25th Nov

103. WHITE TIPPED DOVE

Only seen along the Rio Grande Valley and north to Laguna Atascosa with around 10 birds seen at the feeders of Sabal Palm Sanctuary on 26th Nov and 10+ at Salineno on 29th & 30th Nov.

104. WHITE WINGED DOVE

Another dove only found along the Rio Grande and north to Laguna Atascosa. A total of 20 birds were around the car park at Laguna Atascosa on 27th Nov while the 15 or so at Salineno on 29th & 30th were far more confiding

105. MOURNING DOVE

The commonest and most widespread of the doves being seen many places, often in small flocks i.e. 12 at Rockport 25th Nov.

106. INCA DOVE

A widespread dove that was commoner in the south than the north. From 2 birds at White Memorial Park on 22nd Nov to larger flocks in the region of 10 or more birds along the Rio Grande.

107. COMMON GROUND DOVE

A scarce small dove in the south of the state with generally only singles being seen at Santa Ana and the Rio Grande Valley west to San Ygnacio.

108. RED BILLED PIGEON

Salineno - 1 flew over along the Rio Grande 29th Nov

109. GREATER ROADRUNNER

Falcon Dam State Park - 1 29th Nov

110. EASTERN SCREECH OWL

Santa Ana - 1 at nest hole in dead Palm 27th Nov

111. RUBY THROATED HUMMINGBIRD

Smith Oaks, High Island - 1 23rd Nov

112. BELTED KINGFISHER

Fairly widespread with birds being seen at many large wetland and coastal locations with a maximum of 3 at Anahuac on 22nd Nov.

113. RINGED KINGFISHER

Found only along the Rio Grande Valley with 1 at Chapeno on 29th Nov and Salineno with 2 on 29th Nov with 1+ still present next morning.

114. GREEN KINGFISHER

Chapeno- 1 briefly on 29th Nov

KINGFISHERS - All 3 species kingfishers were seen at Chapeno in a space of about 15 minutes 29th Nov.

115. RED HEADED WOODPECKER

White Memorial Park - Adult and Immature 22nd Nov

116. GOLDEN FRONTED WOODPECKER

Found only in the south of the State where it replaces the very closely related Red-bellied Woodpecker: Sabal Palm Sanctuary - 4 26th Nov. Laguna Atascosa - 2+ 27th Nov. Santa Ana - 3 27th Nov with about 5 on 28th Nov. Falcon Dam - 2 28th Nov. Chapeno, Rio Grande Valley - 2 29th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - 3 29th Nov & 3 or 4 30th Nov

117. RED BELLIED WOODPECKER

Found only in the north of the state with 5 seen at White Memorial Park 22nd Nov, 2 at Smith Oaks, High Island 23rd Nov and 3 at Brazos Bend on 24th Nov.

118. YELLOW BELLIED SAPSUCKER

White Memorial Park - 2 22nd Nov. Smith Oaks, High Island - 1 23rd Nov. WG Jones State Park - 4 1st Dec

119. LADDER BACKED WOODPECKER

Common along the Rio Grande Valley north to Laguna Atascosa: Sabal Palm Sanctuary - 1 26th Nov. Laguna Atascosa - 2 27th Nov. Santa Ana - 2+ 27th Nov with 3 28th Nov. Falcon Dam - 1 28th Nov. Falcon State Park - 2 29th Nov. Chapeno, Rio Grande Valley - 2 29th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - 2+ 29th & 30th Nov.

120. DOWNY WOODPECKER

Found in the north of the state: White Memorial Park - 3 22nd Nov. Brazos Bend - 1 23rd Nov. WG Jones State Forest - 1 1st Dec

121. HAIRY WOODPECKER

Found in the north of the state: White Memorial Park - 1 22nd Nov. Brazos Bend - 1 24th Nov. WG Jones State Park - 1 1st Dec

122. RED COCKADED WOODPECKER

WG Jones State Forest - 3 at the Peoples Ranch nesting trees 1st Dec

123. PILEATED WOODPECKER

WG Jones State Forest - 2 1st Dec

124. EASTERN PHOEBE

Common. Seen at many locations from the pine parkland of White Memorial Park to wire fences in the middle of the marshes of Anahuac. Generally singles south to the Rio Grande Valley.

125. ASH THROATED FLYCATCHER

Falcon State Park - 1 along the loop road 29th Nov

126. GREAT KISKADEE

Common along the Rio Grande Valley west to San Ygnacio and north to Laguna Atascosa. Largest count came from Santa Ana where at least 25 were seen on 28th Nov.

127. COUCH'S KINGBIRD

Restricted to only a handful of locations with 2 at Laguna Atascosa on 27th Nov, 3 at Santa Ana 28th & 29th Nov and 1 very showy bird at Falcon State Park 29th Dec.

128. SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER

Route 83 west of Weslaco - 3 on roadside wires 27th Nov.

129. HORNED LARK

Bolivar Flats - 20+ in the short vegetation near the beach car park 23rd Nov.

130. TREE SWALLOW

Smith Oaks, High Island - 4+ 23rd Nov. Brazos Bend - 3+ 24th Nov. Santa Ana - 4+ 27th & 28th Nov.

131. "BARN" SWALLOW

Brazos Bend - 1 24th Nov

132. BLUE JAY

Smith Oaks, High Island - 4 23rd Nov. Brazos Bend - 2 23rd Nov. WG Jones State Forest - 3 1st Dec

133. BROWN JAY

Chapeno, Rio Grande Valley - 5-7 29th Nov

134. GREEN JAY

Fairly common in the Rio Grande Valley. Sabal Palm Sanctuary - 12+ around the visitor centre 26th Nov. Laguna Atascosa - 6+ around the visitor centre 27th Nov. Santa Ana - 6 28th & 29th Nov. Chapeno, Rio Grande Valley - 8 29th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - 20 29th & 30th Nov

135. AMERICAN CROW

Fairly common in the north of the state with double figure counts from various locations i.e. 20+ 22nd Nov. Less common in the south of the state with only the odd singles being noted.

136. CHIHUANHUAN RAVEN

Sabal Palm Sanctuary - 2 26th Nov. Brownsville Dump - 30+ 26th Nov. Route I35 - 4 30th Nov

137. CAROLINA CHICKADEE

Fairly numerous species often seen with Tufted Titmouse in mainly coniferous habitats: White Memorial Park - 8 22nd Nov. Brazos Bend - several noted 24th Nov. WG Jones State Forest - 10+ 1st Dec

138. TUFTED TITMOUSE & Black Crested TUFTED TITMOUSE

Commonly seen in woodland habitats such as White Memorial Park and WG Jones State Forest in the north to more open scrubby locations such as Sabal Palm Sanctuary and Santa Ana along the Rio Grande Valley in the south.

139. BROWN HEADED NUTHATCH

WG Jones State Park - 2 1st Dec

140. BROWN CREEPER

WG Jones State Park - 2 1st Dec

141. CACTUS WREN

Falcon State Park - 1 at nest 29th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - 1 30th Nov

142. CAROLINA WREN

White Memorial Park - 2 heard singing but not seen 22nd Nov. Brazos Bend - 1 sat in the open on an exposed log 24th Nov. Sabal Palm Sanctuary - 1 26th Nov. WG Jones State Forest - 1 or 2 heard singing 1st Dec

143. BEWICKS WREN

Falcon State Park - 1 29th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - 1 30th Nov

144. HOUSE WREN

The most widespread wren with birds noted at Brazos Bend by New Horseshoe Lake on 24th Nov. Numerous other individuals were seen at several locations south to Laguna Atascosa and west along the Rio Grande Valley to Falcon State Park.

145. WINTER WREN

WG Jones State Park - 1 1st Dec

146. MARSH WREN

Brazos Bend - Individuals were found in brush by New Horseshoe Lake and at the bridge by Pilant Lake on 24th Nov.

147. RUBY CROWNED KINGLET

Common in suitable habitat with birds noted at many locations with the largest counts from the pine woodlands of White Memorial Park and WG Jones State Forest. Birds were however noted at most locations with substantial cover.

148. BLUE-GREY GNATCATCHER

A common and widespread bird which became a personal favourite. Many birds were seen in mixed flocks with Kinglets, Titmice and wood warblers. Good counts were made from Smith Oaks - High Island, Brazos Bend, Sabal Palm Sanctuary and Santa Ana where about 15 birds were seen on 28th Nov.

149. EASTERN BLUEBIRD

White Memorial Park - 4 22nd Nov. North of Anahuac - 2 22nd Nov. WG Jones State Forest - 2 1st Dec

150. HERMIT THRUSH

W G Jones State Forest - 1 bird seen by the Peoples Ranch road Red Cockaded Woodpecker trees 1st Dec.

151. AMERICAN ROBIN

Smith Oaks, High Island - 2 23rd Nov. Brazos Bend - 2 24th Nov. WG Jones State Forest - 20+ 1st Dec

152. NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD

Common and widespread in all areas of the state with the largest concentration being at Laguna Atascosa where at least 50 birds were note on 27th Nov.

153. BROWN THRASHER

Smith Oaks, High Island - 1 23rd Nov

154. LONG BILLED THRASHER

Laguna Atascosa - 1 by the visitor centre 27th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - 1 29th & 30th Nov

155. CURVE BILLED THRASHER

Falcon Heights - 1 29th Nov

156. AMERICAN PIPIT

Santa Ana - 3 were present on the drying out lake east of Pintail Lake 28th Nov. Falcon Dam - 8 birds were present on the spillway 28th Nov with 3 on the short grass by the car park next day.

157. SRAGUE'S PIPIT

Falcon Dam - 1 28th Nov

158. LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE

A widespread shrike that was most often seen on roadside wires and was noted on 6 days with several dates in excess of 8 birds.

159. EUROPEAN STARLING

A common and widespread species that was often seen in the company of Blackbirds and Grackles.

160. SOLITARY VIREO

White Memorial Park - 1 22nd Nov. Smith Oaks, High Island - 2 23rd Nov. Sabal Palm Sanctuary - 1 26th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - 1 29th Nov. WG Jones State Forest - 1 1st Dec

161. WHITE EYED VIREO

Sabal Palm Sanctuary - 3 26th Nov. Laguna Atascosa - 1 27th Nov. San Ygnacio - 1 30th Nov

162. ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER

The commonest and most widespread of the wood warblers being noted a virtually every location with birds often seen down to a few feet. The most obvious birds, though, were those that came to the feeders at Salineno, Rio Grande Valley with about 8 present 29th Nov.

163. TENNESSEE WARBLER

Smith Oaks, High Island - 1 seen from the viewing platform 23rd Nov

164. YELLOW RUMPED WARBLER

A fairly common wood-warbler with individuals seen many places with 15+ White Memorial Park 22nd Nov, 5+ Smith Oaks, High Island 23rd Nov, 30+ Brazos Bend 24th Nov and Salineno feeders with 10 or more on 29th Nov with only 3+ next morning.

165. PINE WARBLER

Only found in areas of extensive Pine woodland: White Memorial Park - 10 22nd Nov. WG Jones State Forest - 10 - 12 1st Dec

166. BLACK THROATED GREEN WARBLER

Santa Ana - 1 in the company of the Tropical Parula 28th Nov

167. BLACK THROATED GREY WARBLER

Sabal Palm Sanctuary - male 26th Nov

168. BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER

Laguna Atascosa - 1 27th Nov. Santa Ana - 1 28th Nov

169. COMMON YELLOWTHROAT

Anahuac - A cracking full adult male and female at the "Willows" 22nd Nov. Brazos Bend - 2 males and 2 females 24th Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - male 29th & 30th Nov. Falcon State Park - male 29th Nov

170. WILSON'S WARBLER

Smith Oaks, High Island - 2 males 23rd Nov

171. NASHVILLE WARBLER

Santa Ana - 3+ birds found in a mixed flock of Kinglets, Titmice and Gnatcatchers 28th Nov

172. TROPICAL PARULA

Santa Ana - male 28th Nov

173. NORTHERN CARDINAL

A common bird of low undergrowth with first birds at Smith Oaks, High Island 23rd Nov with a count of 10 or more birds at Brazos Bend same day. Birds were noted south to the Rio Grande Valley

174. PYRRHULOXIA

Falcon State Park & Falcon Heights - These locations held the only birds with about 5 seen 29th Nov

175. OLIVE SPARROW

Sabal Palm Sanctuary - 3 26th Nov. Santa Ana - 1 27th Nov & 2 28th Nov. San Ygnacio - 1 30th Nov.

176. CHIPPING SPARROW

White Memorial Park - 15+ 22nd Nov. Salineno, Rio Grande Valley - at least 5 birds 29th & 30th Nov

177. FIELD SPARROW

Falcon Heights - 4+ 29th Nov

178. VESPER SPARROW

Falcon Heights - 1 29th Nov

179. SAVANNAH SPARROW

The most widespread of the sparrows: Anahuac - 25-30 22nd Nov. Brazos Bend - 2+ 24th Nov. Aransas - several 24th Nov with at least 2 seen from the Whooping Crane Tour 25th Nov. Falcon Heights - 5+ 29th Nov

180. LARK SPARROW

Falcon State Park - 100+ 29th Nov. Falcon Heights -120+ 29th Nov

181. BREWERS SPARROW

Falcon Heights - 1 29th Nov

182. LARK BUNTING

Falcon Heights - 3 29th Nov

183. HENSLOW'S SPARROW

Brazos Bend - 1 seen along the road south of the park entrance 24th Nov

184. NELSONS SHARP TAILED SPARROW

Anahuac - 3 birds seen in low bushes at the end of main track 22nd Nov

185. SONG SPARROW

Brazos Bend - 1 24th Nov by the small bridge by Pilant Lake

186. LINCOLN'S SPARROW

Santa Ana - 2 28th Nov

187. SWAMP SPARROW

A fairly numerous sparrow in suitable habitat although elusive: Anahuac - 2+ birds were found at the "Willows" 22nd Nov. Smith Oaks, High Island - 10 23rd Nov. Brazos Bend - 6+ 24th Nov. San Ygnacio - 1 30th Nov.

188. WHITE THROATED SPARROW

White Memorial Park - 2 22nd Nov. Brazos Bend - 3 males 24th Nov

189. RED WINGED BLACKBIRD

Very common. Often seen in large flocks, such as 400+ at Anahuac 22nd Nov and 150+ Falcon State Park 29th Nov. However the largest counts came from Brazos Bend 23rd Nov - see below

190. BREWERS BLACKBIRD

Uncommon. Only reliable recorded at Brazos Bend 23rd Nov. - see below

191. GREAT TAILED GRACKLE

Common and Widespread being seen daily in large numbers and often in the company of Common Grackle. Largest counts came from Brazos Bend 23rd Nov - see below.

192. BOAT TAILED GRACKLE

Localised being seen only along the Bolivar Peninsula with a maximum of 40 birds on 23rd Nov.

193. COMMON GRACKLE

Common, seen daily with a peak at Brazos Bend 23rd Nov - see below

194. BROWN HEADED COWBIRD

Fairly common with small groups noted all along the coast and west along the Rio Grande Valley to Falcon State Park. The largest counts came from Brazos Bend 23rd Nov - see below.

BIG BLACKBIRD DAY

Brazos Bend - It was estimated that at least a million birds came into roost in the reeds and trees around Pilant Lake and was best viewed from the Observation Platform.

195. EASTERN MEADOWLARK

Fairly common in open grassland such as that at Anahuac and would often be seen along roadsides and was noted on 7 dates.

196. WESTERN MEADOWLARK

Falcon Heights - 12-15 birds were noted along the roadside 29th Nov

197. ALTAMIRA ORIOLE

Santa Ana - 2 birds were seen along the track bordering Pintail Lake 27th Nov. Chapeno - 2 birds were seen in the bushes along the Rio Grande bank 28th Nov. Salineno - a single bird at the feeders 28th Nov with possibly 2 there next day.

198. AUDUBONS ORIOLE

Salineno - 2 birds were seen at the feeders early in the morning and then again in the trees along the Rio Grande nearby.

199. AMERICAN GOLDFINCH

White Memorial Park - several flocks of 30-40 seen in tops of the trees 22nd Nov

200. PINE SISKIN

WG Jones State Forest - at least 3 or 4 birds seen flying over 1st Dec.

201. WHITE COLLARED SEEDEATER

San Ygnacio - 2 males 29th Nov.

202. HOUSE SPARROW

A fairly common species especially around towns and urban areas.

Personal top 10 birds of the trip :

1. Whooping Crane - Because it were the main target bird and to see some many so well.

2. Altamira Oriole - The brightest Oriole I've ever seen. If something that orange had been man made it would look ghastly.

3. Roadrunner - Because it had to be seen and because the time and effort we put into seeing it.

4. Red-headed Woodpecker - Another must see bird. The adult was seen soon after the juvenile was quite simply the best woodpecker I've ever seen, a smasher.

5. Eastern Bluebird - 3 or 4 corkers were seen well at the memorial park by the car.

6. Long-billed Thrasher - A very showy bird was at the feeding station at Chapeno and was possibly the best brown streaky bird I've seen.

7. American Bittern - The bird from the watchtower at Brazos, if only Bittern's in the UK showed this well.

8. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - A bonus bird that meant a screeching of brakes on a busy highway. Three of these long tailed gems on overhead wires.

9. American Kestrel - Every where but a sheer delight every time seen.

10. Cactus Wren - A bonus bird with a cracker at a nest just outside Falcon State Park was stopped for a second look.