Texas, 9th - 25th April 2004

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Written by Simon Hartill, Southampton, UK.


In early 2004 I decided with my birding mate, Alan Baxter, from Worthing, to take advantage of the favourable $/£ exchange rate and plan a two-week trip to Texas for the spring migration and specialities. I had previously visited Florida and Cape May, and in 1994 spent 6 weeks as a volunteer "bander" at Long Point in Ontario, Canada. However, Texas still offered many new species of birds and the opportunity to see summer plumaged warblers, which I had mostly only seen before in the autumn.

Logistics

The flight and hire car, were booked through Wildwings. Many thanks to Loretta Grove at Wildwings, as efficient as ever. The flight was with BA Gatwick to Houston direct, cost £327. Hire car with Alamo, via Holiday Autos and Wildwings, was a Group D Chevvy Classic, large 4 door saloon, 2.0 litre automatic. Very comfortable and powerful on the 2,500 miles that we drove.

We pre-booked the first 3 nights accommodation as it was over the Easter weekend, but with hindsight, there was no need to do this, as there are loads of motels available to suit all budgets.

Total cost of trip for 16 days all in, was £1140.

Flight £327 each
Car £251 each
Petrol £50 each
Accommodation £270 each
Food/Beer £190 each
Park fees/boat £50 each

Birds of the Texas Coast and the Rio Grande Valley provided much of our "gen" as did various trip reports printed off the net. The Birds of Texas, Rio Grande CD also proved useful for learning the calls and refreshing our memories in the field.

Good Friday, 9/4

Departed Gatwick at 10.15, landed at Houston at 14.10 US time, about a 10 hour flight. As usual, getting through immigration, or homeland security as they call it now was very tedious, a 50 minute wait in a queue before they ask you lots of questions and stamp your passport with a grunt! No service culture of "Have a nice day" amongst US Immigration Officials. They need to attend charm school.

The efficient new hire car centre soon had us on our way in our Chevvy through the endless urban sprawl of Houston down the I59, 140 miles to Victoria. With hindsight it would have been better to have stayed at Fulton/Rockport rather than Victoria as the drive down to the birding sites was 60 tedious miles, entailing early morning wake up calls.

Booked into our Motel 6, $50 per night, as it was heading towards dusk.

Saturday 10/4 warm and mostly sunny, 85 F high

A very early start to meet Capt. Tommy Moore's boat at Fulton Harbour for the 7.30 sailing. $30 for the boat trip, well worth it. Tommy had a very good birding guide on board who pointed out some of the more difficult to see species and gave us some very useful local site gen.

The Whooping Crane showed well, views down to 100 feet. We also saw a pair of White-tailed Hawks on their nest, 6+ Seaside Sparrows, Skimmers, Least, Sandwich, Royal, Caspian and Forster's Terns. 5 Great Northern Divers, BBW Ducks, Black-necked Grebes, Pelicans, Long-billed Curlews, N.Harrier, C.Caracara, American Oystercatcher, WF Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, loads of Egrets, Yellow-crowned Night Herons, and ST Flycatchers, one of my favourite birds. A school of Dolphins played alongside the boat for 10 minutes or so.

Had lunch at the seafood restaurant, Charlotte Plummers by the harbour, highly recommended. In the afternoon we acted on local "gen" and visited a site not in our book, Birds of the Texas Coast. Took the free car ferry across to Port Aransas and visited the tiny nature reserve of Paradaise Pond, behind the Paradaise Motel, 200m from the ferry. A "gem" of a place, rewarding us with good views of Parula, Nashville, Prothonotary, Black-and-white, and Kentucky Warblers, WE, Warbling Vireos, Orchard Orioles, Sora Rail, Indigo Buntings, Inca Dove and Belted Kingfisher. The nearby Birding Centre wetland provided 20 American Avocets, Stilt, Pectoral, Least Sandpipers, Marsh Wren and Yellow- rumped Warblers. The nearby airfield held 2 Shorelarks, Meadow Larks, Savannah and Chipping Sparrows. On the drive back to Victoria we watched a kettle of 200 Broad-winged Hawks come into roost just before a severe rain storm hit at dusk. 112 species seen on our first day. Rained hard all night.

Sunday 11/4

Overcast, windy and rather cold with some heavy rain, a bit of a surprise for Texas!

Visited the Aransas Reserve in the morning, rather disappointing. Best birds were American Golden Plover, WE Vireos, Louisana Waterthrush, Chimney Swifts, Greater Scaups, American Wigeon, 60+Ruddy ducks, Osprey and 80 or so summer plumaged Franklins Gulls. Saw a strange creature called an Opossum snuffling through the woods as well. Cut our losses and left earlier than planned back to Paradise Pond.

Hit the jackpot with a mini fall of warblers in the wet, windy conditions. Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, WE, Philadelphia, and Red-eyed Vireos. Tennesse, Black-and-white, Hooded, Blackburnian, Prothonotary and Blue-winged Warblers. E.Wood Pewees, RT Hummers, Great Kiskadee, Blue-winged Teals, Baltimore Orioles.

The birding centre yielded a stunning Black-throated Green Warbler as well as another Blue-winged, Yellowthroat, 4 Yellow-rumped, 2 Parulas and a Yellow Warbler + Swamp Sparrow and more wetland birds and the resident 10 foot Alligator.

Long drive back to Victoria, silly really, as we were heading south tomorrow, far better to have stayed in Rockport and saved some miles and time.

Monday 12/4

Long drive south along Route 77. South of Sarita Pond we saw a White-tailed and some Swainsons Hawks. We stopped just north of Sarita rest area by some woods and saw our first Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Merlin and heard a Tropical Parula.

Sarita rest area. Brewers Blackbirds approx 30 Hooded Oriole

Drove to Sabel Palm Audobon Reserve, south of Brownsville. Least Grebes, loads of noisy Plain Chachalacas, Green Jays, Kiskadees, Long-billed Thrasher, Couch's Kingbird, Ringed and Green Kingfishers, Anhinga, Olive Sparrows picked up on their high pitched call, 6 or so Buff-bellied Hummers feeding on the flowering bushes by the river. Hooded Orioles, Black-crested Titmouse and most surprising was a Short-tailed Hawk which we saw fly into its nest on the reserve, very unusual for Texas, the warden gave us the nest location details.

Booked into the Motel 6 in McAllen for a 2 night stay.

Tuesday 13/4

Bentsen State Park 7.30-12

Arrived a little too late for the singing N.Beardless Tyranulet. Apparently it shuts up by 7.15 and despite our best efforts it refused to show all morning. However, 2 Clay-coloured Robins showed well as did 2 Brown-crested Flys, which responded to our tape thus confirming their I.D. (v.similar to Couch's) and 2 Altamira Orioles. American Swallow-tailed Kite drifted over the reserve around 10.00.

Did a raptor watch with a very experienced American birder on the Levee just outside the reserve from 11-12. 25 Swainson's, 20 Broad-winged, 2 Sharpies and a White-tailed Kite. A Hook-billed Kite was seen about an hour before we started our watch.

Visited the odorous delights of McAllen Sewage Wks. 150+ Least Sandpipers, Least Grebe, 4 Spotted Sandpipers, Forster's and Gull-billed Terns plus an obliging Grasshopper Sparrow. Went back to the hotel for a siesta. Drove back to Bentsen by 5 pm to the new hawk watch platform currently under construction. Scored good views of the nesting Grey Hawk plus more WT Kites, Lark Sparrows, Coopers Hawk, Nashville and Black-throated Green Warblers, Chipping Sparrows.

We had to wait to about 7.45 p.m. in the mosquito infested wood for the Elf Owl to show itself, saw the male and female well at their nest hole. A local birder mentioned that Ex President Jimmy Carter came to the nest hole recently with his Secret Service Agents in tow, apparently he is a keen birder!

Drove around the Park's Roads after dusk hearing Ferruginous Pygmy Owl and great views of an Eastern Screech Owl perched up next to the road in our torchlight plus Paraques seen on the road and Chuck Wills Widow heard at the RV Park.

Wednesday 14/4 Santa Anna

Highlight was the superb Hook-billed Kite flying low over the forest from the Willow lake viewing platform. Good movement of 27 Mississippi Kites, 160+ Broad wings, 1 Coopers, 1 Harris and 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk. The Rose-throated Becard present last year had long gone. 2 x Fulvous W.Ducks were new.

Decided to head west to Salieno and stay nearby. Bewick's Wren, Chihauan Ravens, Pyrrhyloxia, Curve-billed Thrashers, Brewers, Black throated Sparrows, Cactus Wrens and Harris Hawks along a dirt road from Salieno to El Rio RV Park at Chapeno. Altimira Oriole, Ringed and Green Kingfishers, Caspian Tern were all seen well by Rio Grande.

During early evening 3 Brown Jays visited the feeder at the trailer park for c5mins. We waited till dusk to see the Great Horned Owl and saw 3 Lesser Nighthawks on the drive back. We were stopped by the Border Patrol Police, driving back. They checked our passports to ensure we were not illegal immigrant Mexicans, despite me being blond and speaking with an "alleged Australian " accent. The Yanks seem to get the English accent mixed up with our Antipodean cousins, just not cricket!

Thursday 15/4 Chapeno

Returned to Chapeno for 8 a.m. Good scope view of a Red-billed Pigeon perched up on a riverside tree, and similar birds to yesterday, minus the Brown Jays which had been seen just before we arrived.

Falcon State Park: 3 Roadrunners were very obliging in the empty RV camp site. Orange-crowned Warblers, Lark, Chipping, Clay-coloured, Vesper and BT Sparrows, Black and Forster's Terns, Pyrrhyloxia, Cactus Wrens plus singing Bullock's Oriole. Good views of 2 Verdins and 2 Northern Bobwhites along a trail on the south side. The approach road was very good for the sparrows.

San Ignacio 3-4.45pm. Turn left from garage down Washington Ave to the end and walk down the steep path to the private nature reserve. White-collared Seedeater - a male and female showed well around the dripping tap and feeder. Lesser Goldfinch (12), Nashville Warbler, Yellowthroat, Lincoln's and Olive Sparrows

Hit the 200 species total today. Drove onto Laredo, overnight in Motel 6 $60.

Friday 16/4 Laredo- Carrizo Springs Route 83

Drove slowly along the road stopping frequently. Verdin, lots of Bullock's Orioles, 200 Cave Swallows, Ashy-t-Fly, Harris Hawks, Cassins, Brewers Sparrows. Stopped at the water tanks on a hill where our only White-crowned Sparrows (4) of the trip were seen and RT Hawks.

Neals Lodge. Arrived at 3pm, having stocked up on beer just outside "dry" Concan County. Booked in for a 3 night stay. $75 per night inc tax for a very spacious cabin. They gave us a 40% discount as we were birders and it was off-season. Lots of birds around the feeders, including Black-chinned and Ruby-throated Hummers. Saw the singing Black-capped Vireo on the scrubby hillside above Cabin 61 very badly, untickable views, Alan saw it better than me, but very brief. A stunning Painted Bunting was a regular at the feeder outside Cabin 61, Spotted Towhee, Western Scrub Jay, Rufous-crowned, Olive, White throated Sparrow, WE Vireo, Hooded Oriole.

There were lots of American birders staying at the Lodge as there was a special birding/naturalist event on.

Saturday 17/4 Lost Maples

$4 entry. Female Turkey on drive to park was the only one of the trip! Walked the East and West Trails. Golden-cheeked Warblers seemed to be everywhere once you recognised their song. We saw at least 11 birds well. Canyon Wrens, RS Hawk, Yellow-throated Vireo, Bush Tit, male Blue Grosbeak, Field sparrow, Bc Titmouse, Black-and-white Warblers, Sharp Shinned, Swainsons and Coopers Hawks.

Back at Neals we walked up the hill overlooking the River and were rewarded with a stunning Zone- tailed Hawk, which cruised slowly right overhead. We must have checked over 100 Turkey Vultures during the previous 2 days and at last we were rewarded with a Zone tail! 8 Nashville Warblers and 10 Orange-crowned in roving flock, Chimney Swifts.

223 species so far.

Sunday 18/4 Neals Lodge

Overcast some light showers. Birded around the Lodge, nice relaxing day, after yesterdays 8 mile hike. Painted Bunting, Canyon Towhee, Eastern Bluebirds, Vermillion Flycatchers, Bells Vireos, Yellow breasted Chat, Cedar Waxwings, Scrub Jay, a stunning Yellow-throated Warbler from the broken bridge by the River Camp + 2 Black Pheobes.

Bat Cave evening. This was the most memorable event of the trip, simply awesome! The Guide reckoned we saw about 3.5 million Mexican Free-tailed Bats exit the Cave in one hour 7.30-8.30pm. Several Red-tailed Hawks and a Coopers Hawk swooped down to catch bats close to the Cave entrance, even managed to video one catching a bat! Also Canyon and Rock Wren by the cave entrance (the only place we saw this), American Kestrel, 500 Cave Swallows and a strange mammal called a Ring Tail.

The approach track was good for Vermilion Flycatcher, Lark Sparrow (25+), Field Sparrow (2) and a Greater Roadrunner dustbathing.

Chuck Wills Widow was heard but not seen. We had to drive across the flooded bridge across the River to get to the Bat Cave turn off, the road was officially closed but the locals told us it was safe to cross in our saloon car.

Monday 19/4 Kerr Wildlife Management Area

Packed our bags and departed Neals. 9-10.30 at Kerr. Overcast, some light rain. The Black-capped Vireos showed very well, even allowing me to video them. Made up for the view I had at Neals, stunning little birds. Also Ruby crowned Kinglet (1), Blue-grey gnatcatcher, Orange-crowned, Nashville warblers.

Long drive from Kerr down the 10 around Houston to WG Jones State Forest, 7 hour drive with heavy traffic round Houston due to earlier crash.

WG Jones State Forest 5-7 pm. 2 Red-headed, 3 Red Cockaded, Pileated, Red-bellied, and Downy Woodpeckers. Woodpeckers galore! But we dipped the Brown-headed Nuthatch. 4 Mississippi Kites, Pine Warblers, Blue Jays and Eastern Bluebirds.

Stayed at the excellent nearby Hampton Inn on R45, only $66 for a luxurious twin room. Much better than the Motel 6s we were use to!

Tuesday, 20/4 WG Jones again

Same woodpeckers as yesterday showed well again, but the Nuthatch took about 3 hours of searching to locate, just behind the office, near the car! We saw 4 Brown-headed Nuthatch in the end, soft, nasal call giving away their location. Saw a Copperhead Snake and YB Chat.

Drove to Winnie and checked into the excellent, brand spanking new, Studio 6 Motel, only opened 3 weeks ago. It was a cut above the Best Western and very good value at $55 per night (inc birders discount) for a very nice twin with a kitchen. Lots of birders transferred from the B.Western to the Studio 6 after their rooms were flooded due to bad plumbing!

Boy Scout Woods 3.30-5.30: Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Baltimore Oriole, Worm-eating Warbler, Blackpoll, Yellow Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Summer Tanagers, Wood Thrush, Swainson's thrush, Northern Waterthrush, American Redstart all from the grandstand.

Smith Oaks: Brown Thrasher, Hooded, Tennesse, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Green, Kentucky, and best of all, good views of a skulking, ground dwelling Swainson's Warbler. A 15 warbler species day. Also Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, another Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-eyed Vireo.

Wednesday, 21/4 Anahuac

Long-billed Dowitcher (250), Killdeer, 33 Wilson's Phalaropes, some in full breeding plumage, simply stunning. 18 Stilt Sandpipers, Solitary, Spotted, Pectorals, Least, 6 White-rumped, 1 Bairds, Semipalmated Sandpipers. American Purple Gallinule at Shoveler Pond, male N.Harrier. A female King Rail showed surprisingly well from boardwalk, right under our feet! Fuvous and BB Whistling Ducks, Savannah Sparrow, Alligators. Watched from the road as the BirdFinders Tour Group did a "Rail Walk" at the Rail Prairie. 8 Seaside Sparrows, Le Conte's Sparrows, Clapper Rail.

Boy Scout Woods 3.45 pm. Rather quiet, Worm-eating and Tennesse Warbler from the grandstand.

Old Pier on beach: A relaxing sunbathing seawatch produced an Arctic Skua, Blue-winged Teals, Pelicans and Terns

Smith Oaks: 5 Orchard Orioles, Purple Martins, 5 Indigo Buntings, Western Kingbird, Yellow-billed and good views of a Black-billed Cuckoo. Yellow crowned Night Heron, skulking Ovenbird.

Thursday, 22/4 Bolivar Flats

20 Piping Plovers, loads of waders at this fantastic site, Red Knot, American White Pelicans, Shorelarks, Reddish Egrets, Peregrine, loads of terns, American Avocets, Wilsons Plover, Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows were relatively easy to see.

Saw the 1st summer Glaucous Gull on the beach near the Galveston Ferry. Went across as foot passengers on the free Ferry, 2 Magnificent Frigatebirds followed the ferry.

Rollover Pass: 100 Skimmers, 2 Black Terns, Red-breasted Merganser, a trip tick. Did another seawatch from the surfers Pier. Highlights - another Arctic Skua, 3 Frigatebirds and 6 Dolphins following a trawler.

Yacht Basin Road pm: Boy Scout and Smithoaks were extremely quiet so twitched the reported Bobolinks and were fortunate to see 3 male Bobolinks well and c10 in flight. A male Yellow-headed Blackbird was a real bonus, the only one of the trip.

Intersection of 124 and Anauhuac turnoff: 13 Upland Sands in field right next to turn off.

Anuhuac: 16 Wilsons Phalaropes, Stilt Sandpipers, Bairds and White-rumped Sandpipers. A stunning but brief male Dickcissel from the car near Shoveler Pond. Tree Swallows, N.Harriers. Saw a Bobcat cross over the road in front of the car on approach road.

Friday, 23/4 Big Thickett, Gore Store Road

1.5 miles from the highway we parked by some gas/oil tanks and walked up the track by the Happy Club Trail, Foundation Oil Co. YB Chats, Bluebirds, Pine Warblers, Painted Bunting, WT Kite, Downy Woodpecker.

The trilling call of the Bachman's Sparrow from the tall trees attracted our attention. The Sparrows, (we heard at least 3 birds) were very elusive and difficult to see. We only had a couple of poor flight views. Very frustrating! The Brown-headed Nuthatch showed much better. A fly over American Swallow-tailed kite was very nice..

Sabine Wood 3 pm: Very quiet, female Blackpoll, Tennesse and Hooded Warblers, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, American Redstart, Summer Tanager. We watched a Water Mocasin snake hunt little fish in the pond.

Nearby Sea Rim Willows held a Prairie Warbler and 2 Common NightHawks.

Easily the dullest day of the trip, very little migration, but that was about to change!

Saturday, 24/4 Anahuac Rail Walk

About 50 birders gathered for the warden organised Rail Walk. Did not need wellies in the end as you could watch from the road as the rails frequented the area alongside the road and ditch. The wardens dragged a rope with plastic bottles attached, full of stones to flush the birds for the "punters". I could not imagine the wardens at Titchfield Haven, UK undertaking such a "flushing exercise" for Spotted Crake or Bittern. The ethics of "Rail Walking" are rather dubious, but if you want to see these difficult birds it seems to be the only way to see them!

We had 3 good sightings of 2 Black Rails and 3 sightings of 2 Yellow Rails. We were very fortunate to see the Black Rails according to the warden. Also Sedge Wren, Seaside Sparrow, Le Contes Sparrow, 3 Nighthawks, American Bittern, Least Bittern, Sora Rail.

The usual waders were by the Info Centre. Stopped by the Willows on the way out. It began to rain but it soon became apparent that the bad weather had brought in a few migratory birds. Yellow, Palm, Tennessee Warblers, 5 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Swainsons and Grey cheeked Thrush.

Boy Scout Wood midday onwards: The rain was lashing down by this stage. Went straight to the "Cathedral" where a veritable feast of warblers paraded before our eyes. They seemed to be dropping out of the sky, forced down by the wind and rain. The Cathedral was crowded with American birders, so much so, that I feared the wooden decking may give way under the combined weight, particularly the rather obese ones, who could hardly stand for longer than 5 minutes, before tiring!

Stunning 10+ male Bay breasted, 40+ Chestnut-sided, 40+ Tennesse, 8 Parulas, 2 Black-throated Green, 4 Blackburnian, 1 Blackpoll, 2 Cerulean, 1 Cape May, 3 Yellow, 1 Magnolia, 1 Blue-winged, 1 Golden winged Warbler, good comparison of Louisiana and Northern Waterthrushes, Ovenbirds galore, 2 Yellow-throated and 10+ Red-eyed Vireos, Hooded and Kentucky Warblers in the undergrowth, 3 Wood Thrush, more Grey-cheeked and Swainsons Thrush, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Yellowthroat, Blue Grosbeak and loads of Indigo Buntings. Yellow-billed Cuckoos were common with 10+.

A fantastic "fall" of birds, on our last full day in Texas. Simply stunning the best day of the trip scoring loads of warblers and the Rails. A complete contrast to yesterdays doom and gloom.

Smith Oaks: This wood was also alive with birds particularly Orchard and Baltimore orioles, nothing new but good numbers. Heard a Barred Owl calling. A 22 warbler species day, not bad. 34 warbler species seen on the trip.

124/Anauhuac Intersection: 80+ Buff-breasted Sandpipers, 5 Upland Sandpipers.

Sunday 25/4

Had a well deserved lie-in till 9am this morning and packed for the flight home. Still raining on our drive to the airport. Departed Houston at 4 pm arriving back into Gatwick at 7.30 a.m on the 26th.

Very successful trip, can thoroughly recommend Texas as a birding destination. If I wasn't a birder though, not worth a visit, mostly flat and boring scenary apart from the Edwards Plateaux. Most of the Texan towns and cities look the same with no character and the usual nation wide fast food outlets. The Texan people were very friendly and hospitable, except when it came to trespassing on private ranch land! One place had a sign up, "Trespassers will be shot and survivors will be shot again"! We decided not to drive any further up the dirt track, but turn tail and leg it out as fast as possible! Thoughts of the "hicks" in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Deliverance is a good deterrent to trespassing birders.

Main Misses

Groove-billed Ani and Muscovy Duck - didn't really try as had seen in Peru on previous trip

Feral Parrots in towns along Rio Grande - Seeing Parrots in downtown Brownsville somehow just doesn't appeal

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet - Arrived at site too late in the morning, get there early to have a good chance.

Botteri's Sparrow - Never looked for

Hudsonian Godwit - Various reports of them being seen at Anahuac Rice Fields

Bald Eagle - Knew of site but decided to drive straight to airport.

78 lifers, 300 species seen, 302 in total inc. heard only; 34 Warblers; 23 Raptors; 22 Sparrows

For good quality birds the site where we saw them is indicated. This is not necessarily the only site we saw them or the only place you get them but helps if planning a trip. Most others were commonly seen.

Bird species recorded 9/4/04-25/4/04

Great Northern Diver - Aransas Boat trip
Least Grebe - Sabel Palms, McAllen sewage ponds
Pied-billed Grebe
Black-necked Grebe - Aransas Boat trip
American White Pelican - Rollover Pass, Bolivar Flats
Brown Pelican - Aransas Boat trip
Magnificent Frigatebird - Galveston Ferry
Double-crested Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant
Anhinga
American Bittern - Anahuac
Least Bittern - Aransas Boat Trip, Anahuac
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Reddish Egret - Aransas Boat trip, Bolivar flats
Tricoloured Heron
Little Blue Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-heron
Yellow-crowned Night-heron
White Ibis
White-faced Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill
Black-bellied Whistling-duck
Fulvous-bellied Whistling-duck - Santa Anna, Anahuac
'Mexican' Mallard
Mottled Duck
American Black Duck
Gadwall
American Wigeon - Aransas
Northern Shoveler
Blue-winged Teal
Green-winged Teal
Greater Scaup - Aransas
Ruddy Duck - Aransas
Red-breasted Merganser - Rollover Pass
Turkey Vulture
American Black Vulture
Hook-billed Kite - Santa Anna
White-tailed Kite - Bentsen, Gore Store Road
Mississippi Kite - Santa Anna, WG Jones State Park
Swallow-tailed Kite - Bentsen, Big Thicket
Sharp-shinned Hawk - Bentsen, Lost Maples
Cooper's Hawk - Bentsen, Bat Cave, Lost Maples
Harris' Hawk - Santa Anna, Route 83 N of Laredo
Grey Hawk - Bentsen
Red-shouldered Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Zone tailed Hawk - Neals Lodges
Swainson's Hawk
Short tailed Hawk - Sabel Palms
White-tailed Hawk - Aransas Boat trip, N of Sarita
Red-tailed Hawk
Osprey
Northern Harrier - Aransas, Anahuac
Crested Caracara
Merlin
American Kestrel - Bat Cave
Peregrine - Bolivar Flats
Plain Chachalaca - Sabel Palms, Bentsen
Northen Bobwhite - Falcon State Park
Wild Turkey - Lost Maples
American Purple Gallinule - Anahuac
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Clapper Rail - Anahuac (Yellow rail area)
King Rail - Anahuac (Shoveler Pond)
Black Rail - Anahuac (Yellow rail area)
Yellow Rail - Anahuac (Yellow rail area)
Sora Rail
Whooping Crane - Aransas Boat Trip
Grey Plover
American Golden Plover - Aransas approach roads
Piping Plover - Bolivar Flats
Semipalmated Plover
Wilson's Plover - Bolivar Flats
Killdeer
American Oystercatcher - Aransas Boat trip
American Avocet - Bolivar Flats
Black-necked Stilt
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper - Anahuac Rice Fields
Willet
Spotted Sandpiper
Upland Sandpiper - Intersection of 124 and Anauhuac turnoff
'Hudsonian' Whimbrel - Bolivar
Long-billed Curlew - Aransas Boat trip, Port Aransas
Marbled Godwit - Aransas Boat trip
Ruddy Turnstone
Knot - Bolivar Flats
Sanderling
Dunlin
Pectoral Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper - Anahuac
Baird's Sandpiper - Anahuac
Western Sandpiper - Bolivar Flats
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper - Anahuac
Long-billed Dowitcher
Short-billed Dowitcher
Buff-breasted Sandpiper - Intersection of 124 and Anauhuac turnoff
Wilson's Phalarope - Anahuac
Arctic Skua - Surfers Pier nr Boy Scout
Franklin's Gull - Aransas to Victoria
Lesser black backed Gull - 1 on Aransas boat trip
Glaucous Gull - 1st summer nr Galveston ferry
Laughing Gull
Ring-billed Gull
'American' Herring Gull
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Sandwich Tern
Common Tern
Forster's Tern
Least Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Black Tern - Rollover Pass
Black Skimmer - Rollover Pass
Rock Dove
Red-billed Pigeon - Chapeno along Rio Grande
Mourning Dove
White-winged Dove
White-tipped Dove - Sebal Palms
Inca Dove
Common Ground Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo - Boy Scout and Smithoaks
Black-billed Cuckoo - Smithoaks
Greater Roadrunner - Falcon State Park, Bat Cave
Great Horned Owl - Chapeno
Barred Owl (heard only)
Elf Owl - Bentsen
Eastern Screech Owl - Bentsen
Common Pauraque - Bentsen
Chuck-will's-widow (heard only) Bat Cave
Common Nighthawk
Lesser Nighthawk - Road N out of Chapeno
Chimney Swift
Buff-bellied Hummingbird - Sabel Palms by river
Black-chinned Hummingbird - Neals Lodges
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Ringed Kingfisher - Sabel Palms, Chapeno
Green Kingfisher - Sabel Palms, Chapeno
Red-headed Woodpecker - WG Jones State Forest
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker - WG Jones State Forest
Downy Woodpecker - WG Jones State Forest
Red-cockaded Woodpecker - WG Jones State Forest
Ladder-backed Woodpecker - N of Sarita, Sabel Palms, Bentsen
Pileated Woodpecker - WG Jones State Forest
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Yellow bellied Flycatcher - Boy Scout Woods
Acadian Flycatcher - Paradise Ponds
Black Phoebe - Neals Lodges
Eastern Phoebe - Neals Lodges
Vermillion Flycatcher - Neals Lodges
Ash-throated Flycatcher - Route 83 N of Laredo, Neals Lodges
Brown-crested Flycatcher - Bentsen, Santa Anna
Eastern Kingbird
Couch's Kingbird
Western Kingbird - Smithoaks, Sabine Woods
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee
Horned Lark - Port Aransas airport, Bolivar Flats
Tree Swallow
Purple Martin
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Sand Martin
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Cave Swallow - Bat Cave, Under bridge Route 83
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Kerr Wildlife Park
Cedar Waxwing - Neals Lodges
Cactus Wren - Chapeno Area, Route 83 N
Rock Wren - Entrance to Bat cave
Canyon Wren - Lost Maples, Bat Cave
Sedge Wren - Anahuac
Marsh Wren - Port Aransas birding centre, Aransas
Bewick's Wren - Salieno
Carolina Wren
Grey Catbird - Boy Scout Wood
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher - Smithoaks
Long-billed Thrasher - Sabel Palms, Bentsen, Neals Lodges
Curve-billed Thrasher - Chapeno area, Route 83N
Eastern Bluebird - Neals Lodges, WG Jones State Forest
Swainson's Thrush - Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks
Wood Thrush - Boy Scout Woods
Grey-cheeked Thrush - Smithoaks
Clay-coloured Robin - Bentsen, Santa Anna
Blue-grey Gnatcatcher - Neals Lodges, Kerr Wildlife Park
Bushtit - Lost Maples
Carolina Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse - WG Jones State Forest
Black crested Titmouse
Brown-headed Nuthatch - WG Jones State Forest, Gore Store Road
Verdin - Falcon State Park, Route 83N
Loggerhead Shrike
Blue Jay - WG Jones State Forest
Western Scrub Jay - Neals Lodges, Lost Maples
Green Jay - Sabel Palms, Bentsen
Brown Jay - Chapeno
American Crow
Fish Crow - 2 flew over Sabine Woods
Chihuahuan Raven - Chapeno area Falcon State Park
Common Raven - Lost Maples
European Starling
House Sparrow
Bell's Vireo - Neals Lodges
Black-capped Vireo - Kerr Wildlife Park
White-eyed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo - Boy Scout Woods
Yellow-throated Vireo - Lost Maples, Boy Scout Woods
Red-eyed Vireo - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks
Warbling Vireo - Paradise Pond
Philadelphia Vireo - Paradise Pond
Lesser Goldfinch - San Ignacio, Neals Lodges
House Finch - Neals Lodges
Blue-winged Warbler - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods
Golden-winged Warbler - Boy Scout Woods
Tennessee Warbler - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks
Orange-crowned Warbler - Falcon State Park, Neals Lodges, Lost Maples
Nashville Warbler - Paradise Pond, Neals Lodges, Bentsen
Northern Parula - Paradise Pond, P Aransas Birding Centre Boy Scout Woods
Tropical Parula (heard only, N of Sarita)
Yellow Warbler - P Aransas Birding Centre, Anahuac, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks
Chestnut-sided Warbler - Smithoaks, Boy Scout Woods
Magnolia Warbler - Boy Scout Woods
Blackburnian Warbler - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods
Yellow-rumped Warbler - P Aransas Birding Centre
Black-throated Green Warbler - P Aransas Birding Centre, Bentsen, Boy Scout Woods
Golden-cheeked Warbler - Lost Maples
Yellow-throated Warbler - Neals Lodges
Prairie Warbler - The Willows nr Sabine Woods
Palm Warbler - The Willows at Anahuac
Pine Warbler - WG Jones State Forest
Bay breasted Warbler - Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks
Blackpoll Warbler - Boy Scout Woods, Sabine Woods
Cape May Warbler - Boy Scout Woods
Cerulean Warbler - Boy Scout Woods
Black-and-white Warbler - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks
American Redstart - Sabine Woods, Boy Scout Woods
Prothonotary Warbler - Paradise Pond
Worm-eating Warbler - Boy Scout Woods
Swainson's Warbler- Boy Scout Woods
Ovenbird - Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks
Northern Waterthrush - Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks
Louisiana Waterthrush - Aransas, Boy Scout Woods
Kentucky Warbler - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks
Common Yellowthroat -
Hooded Warbler - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods
Yellow-breasted Chat - Neals Lodges, Gore Store Road, WG Jones State Forest
Summer Tanager - Lost Maples, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks, Sabine Woods
Scarlet Tanager - Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks
Brewers Sparrow - Chapeno area, Route 83N
Le Conte's Sparrow - Anahuac
Lincoln's Sparrow - Neals Lodges, San Ignacio, Lost Maples
Swamp Sparrow - P Aransas Birding Centre
White-crowned Sparrow - Route 83N
White-throated Sparrow - Neals Lodges
Savannah Sparrow
Seaside Sparrow - Aransas Boat trip, Anahuac
Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow - Bolivar Flats
Grasshopper Sparrow - McAllen Poo farm
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-coloured Sparrow - Falcon State Park approach rd, Route 83N, Neals Lodges
Field Sparrow - Lost Maples, Bat Cave
Vesper Sparrow - Falcon State Park approach rd
Lark Sparrow - Chapeno area, Falcon State Park, Route 83N, Neals Lodges, Bat Cave
Black-throated Sparrow - Chapeno area, Falcon State Park, Route 83N
Bachman's Sparrow - Gore Store Road
Cassin's Sparrow - Route 83N
Rufous-crowned Sparrow - Neals Lodges
Spotted Towhee - Neals Lodges
Canyon Towhee - Neals Lodges
Olive Sparrow - Sabel Palms, Bentsen, Santa Anna, Neals Lodges
Northern Cardinal
Pyrrhuloxia - Chapeno area, Falcon State Park, Route 83N
Rose-breasted Grosbeak - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks, Sabine Woods
Blue Grosbeak - Lost Maples, Boy Scout Woods
Indigo Bunting - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks, Sabine Woods
Painted Bunting - Neals Lodges, Gore Store Rd, Sabine Woods
Dickcissel - Anahuac
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird - Yacht Basin Road
Brewer's Blackbird - Sarita Rest Area
Great-tailed Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle
Common Grackle
Bronzed Cowbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Altamira Oriole - Bentsen, Chapeno
Baltimore Oriole - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks, Sabine Woods
Bullock's Oriole - Falcon State Park, Route 83N
Hooded Oriole - Sarita Rest Area
Orchard Oriole - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks, Sabine Woods
Bobolink - Yacht Basin Road

Mammals seen: Bobcat, Racoon, White tailed Deer, Opossum, Mexican Free tailed Bat, Jack Rabbit, Tree Porcupine, Ringtail

Snakes: Water Mocassin, Copperhead Rat Snake