This holiday season, I birded several hotspots in South Texas and overall had a very successful trip. I detected 179 species of bird which included 11 Life* Birds, 22 ABA^ birds, 22 Anatids, 10 Herons, and 16 Raptors.
To see this trip report with photos check Website
For this trip, I concentrated on seeing the Whooping Cranes and rounding up the South Texas specialties. Overall, Texas was quite enjoyable birding. The freeways are large and easy to navigate. The drivers are overwhelmingly courteous. The birding locations are quite accessible and most everyone is familiar with the boost that birders give the local economy and are quite happy to accommodate. Most all the birders I ran into were helpful and provided good company and information. However, last year the Rio Grande (which forms the border between Mexico and Texas) flooded. This is good for the habitat in the long term but bad in the short term as several of the best birding locations (Sabal Palms, Anzulduas, and portions of Santa Ana and Bentsen) were still closed. At the open sections of Santa Ana, the flood line was about 8 feet high! I would not hesitate to return to South Texas; in fact I will most likely plan a spring trip for Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl some day.
Fly Santa Barbara> Los Angeles> Dallas/Fort Worth> Corpus Christi. Flying on Christmas was just a little busier than usual; there were also more children. Furthermore, we had to emergency land in Ontario (Los Angeles) because a woman on the plane passed out (she was ok). However, the only real drawback to flying on Christmas was that when I landed, not a single restaurant was open. So I ate chocolate and trail mix for dinner. I got rental car reservations through Enterprise at the airport and they upgraded me from a medium sedan to a large SUV (Jeep Grand Cherokee). This was very nice for the dirt roads and overall comfort. I had made reservations to spend the night at the Inn at Fulton Harbor. It located immediately opposite the dock for The Skimmer. The hotel was beautiful and completely deserted so I enjoyed a nice soak in the hot tub. That day, a cold front had swept in and the temperature was 35 degrees Fahrenheit with 35 mph winds. Because of this, I was doubtful that the boat ride would go out the next day.
The boat did indeed go out in the cold. Thankfully there were enough birdwatchers as crazy as I am. Waiting for the boat, I had BOAT-TAILED GRACKLES feeding around the oyster boats. Capt Tommy has piloted the shallow catamaran (The Skimmer) from Fulton Harbor to Aransas NWR for many years and is an excellent guide. Aransas NWR is the wintering grounds for the only wild flock of Whooping Cranes in the world and they number around 250. After several years of nearing extinction, the cranes are slowly making a comeback. This boat ride is ones best bet for obtaining close looks at these amazing creatures.
On the way out, we found immense flocks of wintering LESSER SCAUP and NORTHERN PINTAIL. The sight of thousands of ducks lifting off was unforgettable. I estimate that we saw about 10,000 ducks on this boat ride, this is easily more than I have ever seen in one location. The few BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS were much smaller than any others I have seen. After we crossed the bay and made it to the wildlife refuge, several raptors were noted including my first CRESTED CARACARA, WHITE-TAILED HAWK, and PEREGRINE FALCONS of the trip. But we were there for cranes and even the ROSEATE SPOONBILLS got passed by until we found them. Eventually, I spotted a family group of WHOOPING CRANES in the far distance. The male and female remain together with their young (brownish in color) throughout the winter. The adults are about 5 feet tall and gleaming white with black primaries. They have two patches of bare skin on their faces that are a brilliant scarlet. Their call is a deep bugle that can be heard from over a mile away. It awakes a prehistoric memory from deep in the brain stem that always makes me shiver. They are indeed one of the oldest families of bird still alive today.
As, we slowly made our way up the coast we spotted more cranes and had better looks. Eventually we snuck up close to a pair right on the banks. As we were watching them, another bird flew in and physically removed them from his territory. It was absolutely spectacular.
After the boat ride, I encountered my first of many subpar meals in Texas. This one included a salad bar with jicama old enough to apply for a driver’s permit. Driving to north to bird Aransas NWR by car, I passed by many more open country hawks. The Heron Flats trail held a sunning 9-foot AMERICAN ALLIGATOR a group of COUCH’S KINGBIRDS. Notable were a flock of SNOW GEESE with 4 blue with a few ROSS’S thrown in. From the observation tower, 2 WHOOPING CRANES provided distant scope views. As I walked up to the deck overlooking Hog Lake, several LEAST GREBE, 2 COMMON MOORHEN, and many other photogenic ducks in good light surprised me. I think I freaked out the people that walked up a few minutes later to see me prone on the deck taking photos of the ducks under the bottom rail of the deck. At another stop, I ran into a few birders from Georgia and they helped me get poor looks at my first of many poor looks at SEDGE WREN, it was nice to bird with some enthusiastic young birders. I ended the day and drove to Harlingen for an early start at Laguna Atascosa NWR.
Laguna Atascosa NWR is a huge wildlife refuge that is famous for having the largest population of Ocelots in the US. The land also protects the Laguna Madre one of only a few hypersaline lagoons in the world. Thousands of Redheads and shorebirds winter along this large body of water. Laguna Atascosa is also home to a large population of introduced Aplomado Falcons that are part of an effort to reestablish a sustainable population of these extirpated birds. As I drove the road into the refuge, I noted several HARRIS’S HAWKS high on power poles. However, out of the corner of my eye, I noted a much more slender and graceful bird. I slammed on my brakes and looked into the eyes of an APLOMADO FALCON. The bird provided excellent photo opportunities as it continued along the fence line.
At the headquarters, I got my first taste of several South Texas specialties that would be common at most spots throughout the valley. LONG-BILLED THRASHER, OLIVE SPARROW, GREEN JAY, ALTAMIRA ORIOLE, WHITE-TIPPED DOVE, PLAIN CHACHALACA, GREAT KISKADEE and GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER were all present and attracted to the feeders and water features providing good looks for all. A Rufous-backed Robin had been seen at the water features for several weeks and although I spent several hours waiting for it, it never showed. However, my wait was rewarded with good looks at WOOD THRUSH and prolonged close looks at an interesting NORTHERN X TROPICAL PARULA hybrid.
The auto loop provided miles of unspoiled scenery and an abundance of ducks, herons, shorebirds, and raptors. There are several excellent vantage points such as Plover Point where I scanned through the hundreds of waders to turn up a few SNOWY PLOVERS. I got out of the car and walked the MORANCO BLANCO trail for a few miles where I enjoyed great looks at NORTHERN BOBWHITE, and my first NINE-BANDED ARMADILLO! Perhaps the most memorable event was napping in my car and waking to the sound of COYOTES yipping all around me. At dusk, I drove to Casa Santa Ana, the base for my adventures in the valley. The owner, Judy McClung, greeted me as I drove up and immediately made me feel at home. This small B and B was the perfect home away from home. It was safe, comfortable, convenient, and even has free laundry. I highly recommend it for any traveling birders.
I started this gray morning at Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park. A Black-vented Oriole had been seen here off and on for a few weeks and although I put in some time waiting for it, my heart was not in it. I find nothing more depressing than a large group of birders waiting for a bird that is not showing. I was able to view a stakeout EASTERN SCREECH-OWL along the old day use area and had my first VERMILION FLYCATCHER and RINGED KINGFISHER of the trip. However, as the drizzle turned to rain, I feared that the day might be finished.
Halfheartedly I drove to Estero Llano Grande, a 3-year-old wetlands project that has been churning out great birds. As I walked up to the first feeding station, I was overwhelmed by a great mixed flock that included BLACK-CRESTED TITMOUSE, BLUE-HEADED and WHITE-EYED VIREO, and a cooperative YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER. Also nearby, I found a stunning BUFF-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD that perched feet from my head and did not seem to notice gasps of excitement. By this time, I realized that I was hearing lots and lots of whistling ducks. I turned 180 degrees to see a huge ponds teeming with wildlife: BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING DUCKS, FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCKS, MOTTLED DUCKS, and RED-SHOULDERED HAWK among the more common species. The day was not over, it was just beginning! In the drizzle, I marveled at the day roosting COMMON PARAQUES. They were so close that I could almost touch them. Although it took several passes, I eventually found the GREEN KINGFISHER at Alligator Lake with the help of a friendly birder. This bird was special for me because I have wasted many fruitless hours looking for Green Kingfisher in AZ.
I finished the day at the intersection of 10th and Violet in McAllen parked in a nondescript strip mall as thousands of GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES and hundreds of GREEN PARAKEETS staged and made a raucous choir.
Allen William’s own a landscaping business and has used his professional skills to transform his own backyard into a vagrant bird magnet. His yard has held some of the rarest ABA birds and after visiting it, I can see why. I was there to locate a stakeout but could not help being distracted by the lovely water features, dense plantings, and ZEBRA HELICONIANS. However, within a few minutes the female CRIMSON-COLLARED GROSBEAK and CLAY-COLORED THRUSH could not resist the lure of the fresh mashed bananas and anything non-avian was forgotten. Adding to these good birds were circling flocks of RED-CROWNED PARROTS, a calling TROPICAL KINGBIRD, and a male SUMMER TANAGER.
Because this was the first sunny and warm day of the trip, I visited the Tree Tower at Santa Ana NWR to look for hawks. On the walk in, I found 6 foot INDIGO SNAKE sunning on a brush pile. On the way out, I located a photogenic ARMADILLO. The 40-foot Tree Tower stands above the vegetation and is offers 360-degree views of one of the last tracts of native vegetation. The Ebony Trees next to the tower are some of the largest anywhere. From this peaceful vantage point, I located many raptors but not the ones that I was looking for. Hook-billed Kites are very rare residents of these last remaining habitat patches. They spend most of their time below the canopy quietly eating snails and because of this, they are very difficult to locate. They are known to soar only on the first thermals of the day and seeing them at noon was a long shot. However, the Tower did offer a perfect locale to meditate and stretch. I vowed to return earlier to look for the kites another day. On the way back to the car, I took a detour and walked around Willow Lake. By the west end, I ran into a huge mixed flock and was able to follow it for 30 minutes continually picking out new species. Highlights include NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANULLET (the bird is smaller than its name), GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, INDIGO BUNTING, PINE WARBLER, and BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER. The Tyrannulet was easily located by its call and kept me with the flock.
After a quick nap, I visited Roselawn Cemetery, the wintering home for an errant GREATER PEWEE. The bird was calling and quickly located. Next, I gave the Black-vented Oriole at Bentsen another shot. Although one person saw the bird fly over the levee, no one else got on it. I made the decision to spend my time pursuing the regular wintering birds instead of waiting for a glimpse of this elusive oriole and I believe that I made the right decision.
Salineno (with a tilde over the second n) is a small town 1.5 hours west of McAllen. It is located directly on the Rio Grande and the donkeys in the yards and the colorful wreaths in the cemetery make it seems more Mexican than American. Near the banks of the river, there is an excellent feeding station manned by a lone woman and this is the most reliable locale to find an Audubon’s Oriole in the US in winter. The river here is clear and lively with a fast current. GRAY HAWKS, RINGED KINGFISHERS, and ALTAMIRA ORIOLES fly from bank to bank. The river drew my attention first and I got to the feeding station a little late. Breakfast is served at 8am and the Audubon’s had already come and left. While waiting, a male and female HOODED ORIOLE of the distinct sennetti subspecies joined the numerous ALTAMIRA ORIOLES. Four species of dove foraged together on the ground: WHITE-WINGED, WHITE-TIPPED, COMMON GROUND, and INCA. Eventually the AUDUBON’S ORIOLES snuck in and ate some peanut butter spiked with lard and cornmeal. They washed their lunch down with some nectar from the hummingbird feeder. Around noon, I tried the pond behind the Zapata library for White-collared Seedeater but had no luck. Likewise a vigil at Salineno failed to produce any Muscovy Ducks or Red-billed Pigeon. However, I did have a large flock of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE fly down river firmly in Mexican waters. Driving back, I decided not to stop at Bentsen and of course the Black-vented Oriole was seen that afternoon. However, how can an oriole compete with the excitement of being chased by a pack of Chihuahuas during a sunset run?
While most days in the valley were windy, I woke on the 31st to hazy and calm conditions. Perfect for a hawk watch from the Tree Tower at Santa Ana. I arrived at 7:30 and was the first person in the parking lot. I stationed myself at the top of the tower and started scanning. In the early morning sun, BLACK-CRESTED TITMICE foraged at eye level while LADDER-BACKED WOODPECKERS perched on snags. GREAT EGRETS flew by at eye level in the soft morning light. I picked off RED-SHOULDERED, RED-TAILED, and GRAY HAWKS as well as a close PEREGRINE FALCON as the perched in the trees and warmed up. Hundreds of TURKEY and BLACK VULTURES were perched in the distance. When they began rising, I knew that the Hook-billed Kites should be up as well. Suddenly, two accipiter shaped birds circled up and came back down. The birds were completely silhouetted and although I wanted them to be the kites, I believe that they were COOPER’S HAWKS. Let down, I continued to scan and found a distant raptor perched at the edge of my scopes 60x magnification and my imagination. Two light bands in the tail, reddish front, and a darker head! Yes it was a female HOOK-BILLED KITE but what a terrible view. The more I tried to make out detail, the more the tower shook and the worse the view became. Quickly, the bird dropped below the canopy. On my next scan, I noted that some vultures were beginning to soar. Determined, I continued turning in circles looking for my birds until two interesting looking birds to the east began circling upwards. Floppy wingbeats, broad paddle shaped wings, broad light bands on the tails, these were the HOOK-BILLED KITES! I got the male in the scope and followed him as he spiraled up. The sun was directly behind him and it was hard to make out any detail. However, the birds reached the top of the thermal and began gliding downwards, straight towards me. I took my eye of the scope and experienced sheer panic, as I lost the birds. I had watched the kite for so long in the glare that my right eye was temporarily blinded. Luckily I refound the birds as they passed to the south of the Tower. I followed them as they looped to the west and was overjoyed when the chose to land in a close snag and in perfect light! I rattled off a few shots with the camera but by this time I was shaking so badly that most the shots were hopelessly blurred. Within a few short minutes they moved on, now below the canopy. This experience was the absolute zenith of the trip. I had a smile plastered to my face for an hour after.
Before leaving the LRGV for Corpus Christi, I made a last stop at Estero Llano Grande as I wanted to look for an Eastern Screech-Owl and a White-throated Thrush. I did not find either bird and I quickly became distracted by butterflies and photographed the electric MEXICAN BLUEWINGS, a QUEEN, and a cryptic GUATEMALAN CRACKER. While waiting at a water puddle for the thrush, the charismatic TROPICAL PARULA dropped in to bathe. This little firecracker hung out for half an hour dazzling all with its acrobatic antics. I left on a high note and drove the 2.5 hours up to Corpus Christi.
I reached my last birding locale at sunset. Not anticipating seeing much in the fading light, I wanted to scout the area for the next day and stretch my legs a bit. While walking quickly around Pollywog Ponds, was startled by fat bird that flushed up from under my feet. The twittering call gave up its identity, AMERICAN WOODCOCK. Not a great view but good enough.
Most birders note their first bird of a new year. It sets the stage for the year and can act as a totem for the year. So it was thrilling to hear the deep guttural rolling call of SANDHILL CRANES fill the air as I stepped out of the car. Although I had heard these birds during this trip, I now saw about 50 fly directly over my in loose lines. The second bird of the year was my personal favorite, BLUE-HEADED VIREO. Although I did not relocate any more woodcocks, there was a nice variety of ducks, sparrows, and shorebirds at the ponds. Amongst them were two SOLITARY and a single STILT SANDPIPER. Thinking that Texas had no more surprises left, rounded the last bend on the last pond. Suddenly 5 blackbirds flew up to a nearby tree. These blackbirds looked much to reddish to be Brewers. Yes, they were RUSTY BLACKBIRDS a nemesis bird that has eluded me at every turn. They completed the trip perfectly.
The flights back (Corpus Christi> Houston> Los Angeles> Santa Barbara) were uneventful and it is good to be back in the land of Acorn Woodpeckers again.
1 Common Loon Fulton Harbor
2 Pied-billed Grebe C
3 Least Grebe UC at small ponds throughout.
4 Horned Grebe 1 at Aransas
5 Eared Grebe A few at Aransas
6 American White Pelican U throughout
7 Brown Pelican A handful from the Skimmer.
8 Anhinga Abundant at Santa Ana, UC elsewhere.
9 Double-crested Cormorant A throughout
10 Neotropic Cormorant A throughout
11 Great Blue Heron C throughout
12 Great Egret C to A throughout
13 Snowy Egret C to A throughout
14 Reddish Egret A few seen at Aransas and Laguna
15 Little Blue Heron Singles seen at Aransas, Laguna, and Estero.
16 Tricolored Heron Singles seen at Aransas, Laguna, and Estero.
17 Cattle Egret 1 in a McAllen Parking lot
18 Green Heron Singles at Bentsen and Santa Ana
19 Black-crowned Night-Heron Singles at Aransas and Estero.
20 White-faced Ibis 25 at Aransas.
21 White Ibis C throughout
22 Roseate Spoonbill 10s at Aransas and Laguna.
23 Greater White-fronted Goose 50 flying down the Rio Grande at Salineno.
24 Ross’s Goose 3 in with Snows at Aransas
25 Snow Goose 50 at Aransas with 4 blues.
26 Canada Goose 30 at Aransas
27 Fulvous Whistling-Duck 8 at Estero.
28 Black-bellied Whistling Duck A at Estero and UC elsewhere.
29 Mottled Duck UC throughout
30 Gadwall A throughout
31 Northern Pintail 3000 seen from the Skimmer.
32 American Wigeon A handful at Aransas
33 Northern Shoveler UC throughout
34 Blue-winged Teal C throughout
35 Cinnamon Teal 1 at Aransas
36 Green-winged Teal UC throughout
37 Redhead A handful from the Skimmer
38 Common Goldeneye C around Aransas
39 Bufflehead UC throughout
40 Red-breasted Merganser 10 feeding in very shallow water at Laguna
41 Ruddy Duck UC throughout
42 Black Vulture C throughout
43 Turkey Vulture A throughout
44 Osprey UC throughout though numerous at Laguna with 13 noted
45 White-tailed Kite UC in open areas throughout
46 HOOK-BILLED KITE* 3 from Santa Ana tower around 9:30am. 600th ABA
47 Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 seen on the whole trip
48 Coopers Hawk 5 seen on the whole trip.
49 Northern Harrier Numerous at Laguna and Aransas.
50 Harris’s Hawk Many along roads to Laguna and Salineno
51 Red-shouldered Hawk UC throughout the majority 1st year birds.
52 Gray Hawk 2 at Salineno and 1 at Santa Ana
53 Red-tailed Hawk UC to C throughout
54 White-tailed Hawk^ UC in open areas. Laguna etc.
55 Crested Caracara C in open areas.
56 Aplomado Falcon 1 just before the entrance to Laguna. Banded.
57 American Kestrel C to A in open areas.
58 Merlin Singles at Aransas, Laguna, Santa Ana
59 Peregrine Falcon 3 from the Skimmer, 1 at Santa Ana.
60 Northern Bobwhite 10 from Moranco Blanco trail at Laguna.
61 Sora Heard at Estero
62 Common Moorhen Surprisingly common and seen at multiple locations.
63 American Coot U to C throughout
64 WHOOPING CRANE* 12 seen from the Skimmer. 2 at Aransas.
65 Sandhill Crane Heard at Laguna and Aransas, but only seen at Pollywog ponds.
66 Black-bellied Plover C at Aransas and Laguna
67 Killdeer UC throughout
68 Snowy Plover 15 from Plover Point at Laguna
69 American Oystercatcher 1 from the Skimmer
70 Black-necked Stilt Tens at Estero
71 Greater Yellowlegs UC throughout
72 Lesser Yellowlegs A few at Pollywog Ponds
73 Solitary Sandpiper 2 at Pollywog Ponds
74 Spotted Sandpiper Pollywog Ponds and Aransas
75 Willet C at Aransas
76 Long-billed Curlew UC at Aransas and around Rockport
78 Ruddy Turnstone 1 from Plover Point at Laguna
79 Sanderling A few around Aransas
80 Dunlin 100s around Aransas
81 Western Sandpiper 100s around Aransas
82 Least Sandpiper Dozen at Pollywog Ponds
83 Stilt Sandpiper 1 at Pollywog Ponds
84 Long-billed Dowitcher 2 at Pollywog ponds and dowicher sp at Laguna.
85 Wilson’s Snipe One at Laguna 7 at Pollywog Ponds.
86 American Woodcock* One flushed from underfoot at dusk at Pollywog Ponds. BVD.
87 Laughing Gull A along coast
88 Ring-billed Gull C along coast
89 Herring Gull 1 in Fulton Harbor.
90 Caspian Tern Single digits at Rockport and Aransas.
91 Gull-billed Tern 1 from Skimmer, 10 at Laguna.
92 Forster’s Tern 100 from the Skimmer.
93 Rock Pigeon UC throughout
94 White-winged Dove C at Salineno and Pollywog Ponds.
95 Mourning Dove UC throughout
96 Inca Dove C along LRGV
97 Common Ground-Dove 3 at Salineno, 1 at Estero.
98 Eurasian Collared-Dove 1 from Roma Bluffs
99 White-tipped Dove^ C throughout LRGV though difficult to see away from feeders.
100 Red-crowned Parrot* Large flocks flying around Allen’s yard.
101 Green Parakeet^ 300 staging at 10th and Violet in McAllen
102 Eastern Screech-Owl* 1 at roost site in Bentsen
103 Common Paraque^ 2 roosting at Estero.
104 Buff-bellied Hummingbird* 4 at Estero, one at Allen’s yard.
105 Belted Kingfisher UC throughout
106 Ringed Kingfisher^ 1 at Bentsen, 2 at Santa Ana, 2 at Salineno
107 Green Kingfisher^ 1 seen well at Estero, also heard at Pollywog ponds and Laguna.
108 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1 at Estero, 3 at Pollywog Ponds.
109 Golden-fronted Woodpecker UC throughout
110 Ladder-backed Woodpecker UC throughout
111 Greater Pewee Roselawn Cemetery
112 Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 1 at Santa Ana with large mixed flock followed for a long time while walking around Willow lake. Another bird heard there the next day. One bird heard from the tropical area of Estero.
113 Least Flycatcher 1 at Laguna
114 Eastern Phoebe C to UC throughout
115 Vermilion Flycatcher Singles at Bentson and Santa Ana.
116 Tropical Kingbird Calling in Allen’s Yard.
117 Couch’s Kingbird^ Calling at Laguna. Non-vocalizing birds were quite UC throughout.
118 Great Kiskadee^ Very Common and very vocal throughout.
119 Loggerhead Shrike Low numbers in open areas.
120 White-eyed Vireo Singles at Laguna, Bentsen, Santa Ana.
121 Blue-headed Vireo First bird of 2011! Singles at Estero, Santa Ana and Pollywog Ponds.
122 Green Jay^ A and conspicuous throughout LRGV. The only corvid of the entire trip!
123 Horned Lark A handful from the Moranco Blanco Trail.
124 Cliff Swallow 50 at Estero.
125 Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1 over Bentsen
126 Tree Swallow 2 from Santa Ana tower.
127 Black-crested Titmouse UC at feeding stations in LRGV
128 Sedge Wren* Many detected at Aransas and Laguna but BVD.
129 Carolina Wren 1 at Pollywog Ponds.
130 Bewick’s Wren 1 at Laguna?
131 House Wren C throughout
132 Winter Wren 1 at Aransas and several at Pollywog Ponds though difficult to see.
133 Golden-crowned Kinglet 1 with mixed flock at Santa Ana, 2 at Pollywog Ponds.
135 Ruby-crowned Kinglet A throughout
136 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher C throughout
137 Hermit Thrush 1 at Laguna
138 Wood Thrush 1 at Laguna coming to water feature.
139 Clay-colored Thrush^ 1 eating bananas in Allen’s Yard
140 Northern Mockingbird A
141 Long-billed Thrasher* C in LRGV and not shy.
142 Curve-billed Thrasher Singles at Estero and Salineno.
143 American Pipit Singles throughout.
144 European Starling C
145 Orange-crowned Warbler C in mixed flocks
146 TROPICAL PARULA* 1 at Estero. A hybrid Northern x Tropical seen at Laguna.
147 Yellow-rumped Warbler All myrtles and abundant.
148 Pine Warbler 2 in mixed flock at Santa Ana
149 Yellow-throated Warbler 1 at Estero in a palm.
150 Black-and-white Warbler Singles in mixed flocks throughout.
151 Common Yellowthroat UC near ponds.
152 Wilson’s Warbler 1 at water feature in Laguna.
153 Summer Tanager 1 vocal male in Allen’s Yard
154 CRIMSON-COLLARED GROSBEAK* 1 female in Allen’s Yard.
155 Indigo Bunting 1 in mixed flock at Santa Ana.
156 Northern Cardinal C
157 Pyrrhuloxia 1 at Estero
158 Olive Sparrow C throughout LRGV easy to see at feeding stations.
159 Field Sparrow 2 at Pollywog Ponds
160 Savannah Sparrow UC
161 Song Sparrow A few seen at Laguna
162 Lincoln’s Sparrow UC throughout
163 Swamp Sparrow 1 at Aransas, 2 at Pollywog Ponds.
164 White-crowned Sparrow 1 heard at Laguna?
165 Hooded Oriole A pair at Salineno feeders.
166 Altamira Oriole^ A few seen at Laguna and Santa Ana but 15 at Salineno.
167 AUDUBON’S ORIOLE* 3 at Salineno
168 Eastern Meadowlark UC in open areas
169 Western Meadowlark UC in open areas
170 Red-winged Blackbird UC to A throughout with thousands passing over Bentsen at dusk.
171 RUSTY BLACKBIRD* 5 at Pollywog Ponds
172 Boat-tailed Grackle C around Rockport
173 Great-tailed Grackle A throughout LRGV.
174 Brown-headed Cowbird A handful throughout with icterd flocks.
175 Bronzed Cowbird Group of 50 at Pollywog Ponds.
176 House Sparrow X
177 American Goldfinch A handful at Bentsen
178 Lesser Goldfinch The black-backed variety. Surprisingly UC.
179 Pine Siskin 4 at Bentsen.
1 Eastern Cottontail UC throughout
2 Eastern Fox Squirrel R throughout
3 Nine-banded Armadillo One at Laguna Atascosa and another at Santa Ana.
4 Nutria Santa Ana
5 Coyote Heard at Laguna Atascosa and several other locations.
6 White-tailed Deer C at Laguna Atascosa and Aransas rare otherwise.
7 Feral Pig One at Aransas NWR
8 Bottlenose Dolphin 3 from The Skimmer
1 Cloudless Sulphur Santa Ana
2 Zebra Heliconian 1 at Allen William’s Yard
3 Red Admiral 1 at Salineno feeders
4 Mexican Bluewing Many at Estero Llano Grande
5 Guatemalan Cracker 1 at Estero
6 Tropical Leafwing 1 at Estero
7 Queen Several at Estero