Georgia Harper (GeH), Drew Harvey (DrH), Neil Hayward, Susan Heath (SuH), Sheila Hebert (ShH), Elisabeth Hehir, Elisha Hehir (EHe), Pat Heirs (PHe), Jim Hengeveld (JHe), Rebecca Hensley (ReH), Randy Hesford (RaH), Anthony Hewetson (Northwest Texas – Panhandle and South Plains), Jim Highberger, Kelly Himmel, Barbara Hines (BHi), Jim Hines (JHi), Jim Hinson (JHn), Petra Hockey (PHo), Joan Holt (JHo), Ben Horstmann (BHo), Daniel Horton (DHo), Gary Hunter (GHu), Huck Hutchens, Ada Ibarra, Dave Irons, Jeffrey Jackson, Farokh Jamalyaria, Adrian Johnson, Cameron Johnson, Margo Johnson, Sam Jolly, Dan Jones, Richard Kaskan (RKa), Susan Keefer (SKe), Daniel Kelch (DKe), Glenda Kelly (GKe), Josh Ketry (JoK), Julie Ketry (JuK), Peter Keyel, Simon Kiacz (SKi), Florence King, Larry Kirby, Vicki Kirby, John Kiseda (JKi), Kathy Kiseda, Gary Klimpel (GKl), Ad Konings, Rich Kostecke (RKo), Daniel Kraushaar (DKr), Mike Kuzio, Sarah Kuzio (SKu), Edward Landi (ELa), Greg Lasley, Justin LeClaire (JuL), Cin-Ty Lee (CTL), Jack Lehman, Jason Leifester (JaL), Eric Lewis (ELe), Zhen Li, Duke Liebler (DuL), Annika Lindqvist, Brad Lirette (BLi), Dell Little (DeL), Mark Lockwood (MLo), Scotty Lofland, Lorrie Lowrie, Barry Lyon (BLy), Mark Lyon (MLy), Jean Martin (JMa), Sherry Mason (ShM), Marvin Masters (MMa), Steve Mayes (StM), John McBride, Michael McCloy (MiM), Wendy McCrady, Mark McDermott (MMc), Todd McGrath (TMc), Liam McGuire, Jon McIntyre (JMc), Candy McNamee, Anita Meagher, Andrew Melnykovych (AMe), Pat Michaelson, Jennifer Miller (JMi), Tyler Miloy (TMi), Arman Moreno (AMo), Bill Morris, Suzanne Mottin (SuM), Derek Muschalek, Gretchen Nareff, Boris Navikov (BNa), Cheryl Neimeier (CNe), Kristie Nelson, Stuart Nelson, Ron Newhouse, Bob Nieman (BNi), Ann Nightingale, Cody Norris (CNo), Vincent O’Brien, Kyle O’Haver, Matt O’Sullivan, Glenn Olsen, Seth Ontiveros (SOn), Andrew Orgill, Ulysses Ortiz, Sue Orwig (SOr), Jeff Osborne, Jay Packer (JPa), Greg Page, Karen Pair (KaP), Greg Palko (GPa), Ken Pankhurst (KeP), Barbara Pankratz (BPa), Jim Paton (JiP) (Trans-Pecos), Vernon Patterson, Tim Perkins, James Petersen (JPe), Randy Pinkston, Charlie Plimpton (CPl), Chelsea Plimpton, Bruce Polikoff (BPo), Ross Rasmussen (North Central Texas), Janet Rathjen (JRa), Martin Reid (MRe), Maxine Reid, Martha Richardson (MRi), James Rieman (JRi), Cecilia Riley (CRi), Anona Roberts, Christian Roberts (CRo), Sherrie Roden, Kathy Rothman, Dave Ruch, Chris Runk (CRu), Ben Sandifer, Ben Sandstrom (BSa), Laura Sare (LSa), David Sarkozi (DSa), Sam Saunders (SSa), John Scaramucci (JoS), Bobby Schat (BoS), Terry Schmidt (TeS), Bill Schneider (BiS), Julie Schneider (JuS), Jamie Schubert (JaS), Micah Schulze (MSc), Carol Schwartz (CSc), Robert Schwartz, Tyler Scott (TyS), Willie Sekula (South Texas), Cliff Shackelford (CSh), Scott Shaw (SSh), John Shenot (JSh), Dennis Shepler (DSh), Brad Shine (BSh), Laura Shine (LSh), Michael Shoaff (MSh), Dean Silvers (DSi), Jana Singletary (JSi), Letha Slagle (LSl), John Smelser (JSm), Doug Smith (DSm), Howard Smith (HSm), Matt Smith (MSm), Sue Smith (SSm), Elke Soliday, John Sproul (JSp), Greg Steeves (GrS), Denise Stephens (DSt), Galen Stewart (GaS), Harlan Stewart (HSt), Mary Beth Stowe (MBS), Michelle Summers (MSu), Steve Svedeman (SSv), Margaret Kirby Taylor (MKT), Sandi Templeton, Jane Tillman, Barbara Tilton, Zachary Tonzetich, Hannah Tripp, Peggy Trosper, Tom VandenBerg (ToV), Tim Vasquez (TiV), Linda Vegh, Rebecca Waldo (RWa), Christian Walker, Karrie Washenfelder (KWa), Jeremy Webster (JWe), Ron Weeks (RWe) (Upper Texas Coast), Bert Wessling, Ed Wetzel, Steve Whitmer (StW), Sue Whitmer (SuW), John Whittle (JWh), Shirley Wilkerson (SWi), Hannah Willars, Joanna Willars (JWi), Kimberly Williams (KWi), Vicki Wilmarth, Gary Wnonowska, Marta Wnonowska, Dale Wolck, David Wolf (DWo) (East Texas Pineywoods), Janey Woodley (JWo), John Yochum, Barry Zimmer.
Smith Point Hawk Watch (SPHW) staff: Bob Baez, Justin Bosler, Winnie Burkett, Tad Finnell, David Hanson, Sara Harrison, Joe Kennedy, Marvin Masters, Nina Sitra, Mark Swanson, Regina Tippett, Susan Whitmer, John & Lynn Wright.
L.R.G.V. (Lower Rio Grande Valley); L.R.G.V. N.W.R., (Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge); U.T.C. (Upper Texas Coast).
Waterfowl through Cuckoos
Nice counts of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks at the northern edge of their expanding range included 31 at Dimmitt City Park, Castro 22 Sep (PT) and 14-28 at the Aquatic Center, Hereford, Deaf Smith 8-15 Nov (MSc, HT); a long bird wandered west to Balmorhea Lake, Reeves 11-17 Aug (ph. AM). Five Cackling Geese were at McNary Reservoir, Hudspeth 15 Nov (ph. BZ) where rarely found. Two Surf Scoters at San Bernard N.W.R., Brazoria 14 Oct were a new early for the U.T.C. (ph. DSh). There was a fair number of migrant Surf Scoters detected inland with one at Southside Water Treatment Plant, Seagoville, Dallas 20-26 Oct (RC, ph. m.ob.), 2 at Granger Lake, Williamson 30 Oct – 3 Nov (ph. AMo), one at Hornsby Bend, Travis 3-11 Nov (ph. JaD, JO, m.ob.), 2 at Lake Abilene, Taylor 8 Nov (ph. JPa), one at Lake Colorado City, Mitchell 9 Nov (ph. GC) and another was a Lake Pat Cleburne, Johnson 27 Nov (TA). A Surf Scoter at Richland Creek W.M.A. 19 Oct (†ph. JT, ph. CM, MLy) is the first dated record for Freestone while two females were far south at Delta Lake, Hidalgo 27 Nov (ph. LCH et al.). A bit early was a White-winged Scoter at Hornsby Bend, Travis 13 Oct (BLy, ph. JJ) while rare but in their more expected migration window were 2 near Becton, Lubbock 30 Oct (DrH, ph.), one at Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell 3 Nov (ph. GEc) and one in west El Paso, El Paso 17 Nov (ph. JKi). A female Hooded Merganser in west El Paso, El Paso 4 Aug (ph. JKi) was extremely early and a first local August record. Rare for n.-central Texas was a Common Merganser at Muddy Creek Inlet, Lake Ray Hubbard, Dallas 6 Nov (CRu).
Casual was a Least Grebe well north to Village Creek Drying Bed, Tarrant 10-21 Nov (CAy, m.ob., ph.). A first record for Brazos and only the fifth record for the Central Brazos Valley, a Western Grebe was at Lake Bryan 8-10 Nov (†ph. TyS, †ph. CJ, ph. SWi, †ph. JoH, †ph. SDi, ph. BNa, m.ob.). In n.-central Texas one Western Grebe was at Lake Kemp, Baylor 26 Oct (GC) and another ranged to Lake Throckmorton, Throckmorton 6 Nov (SL). Casual east of normal range was a Clark’s Grebe on Lake Wichita, Archer/Wichita 31 Oct (SL, ph.), and another or the same on Lake Benbrook, Tarrant, 1 Nov (JA), and one at Miller’s Creek Reservoir, Baylor 15 Nov (GC). A White-crowned Pigeon found on West Galveston Island, Galveston 4 Sep was just the fourth record for the state and the second for the U.T.C. (ph. KO, ph., DSh, DuL, BLi). White-tipped Doves continue to show signs of a steady push northward with one visiting a backyard feeder west of San Marcos, Hays 11 Oct (ph. SDu). Groove-billed Anis lingered in South Texas this fall with the most impressive number being up to 13 birds tallied at Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve, Nueces 9 Nov (MO). Unexpected was a regional late record Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Lake Tawakoni S.P., Hunt 15-18 Nov (VP, ph.); also late was one at San Bernard N.W.R., Brazoria 23 Nov (ph. WM, ph. LK, VK), and another at the Valley Land Fund Lot, South Padre Island, Cameron 26 Nov (HH). Noteworthy was a Black-billed Cuckoo seen inland and away from the coast at Lake Corpus Christi, San Patricio 24 Oct (ph. SkC) while singles at Sabine Woods, Jefferson 4 Nov (GO) and at Bentsen S.P., Hidalgo 8 Nov was very late (m.ob.).
Nightjars through Cranes
Late for Common Nighthawk in the Central Brazos Valley, one was observed 20 Nov (EA) hunting insects in the lights over the intramural fields at the Texas A & M University campus, Brazos. A late Eastern Whip-poor-will was found roosting on the top of a wall in Port Aransas, Nueces 11 Nov (AO) while another bird was seen even later at Roselawn Cemetery in McAllen, Hidalgo 22 Nov (HH). Late were single Chimney Swifts seen in Hidalgo at National Butterfly Center 1 Nov (MG) and Santa Ana N.W.R. 4 Nov (JeD et al.).
A Green-breasted Mango made a brief appearance 28-29 Oct at Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, Hidalgo (HH et al., ph.). Far less than annual in Texas outside the mountains of west Texas, single Lucifer Hummingbird’s were quite surprising at Leakey, Real 15-18 Aug (ph. CG), in Junction, Kimble 28 Aug (ph. MRi), and in Midland, Midland 13 Sep – 11 Oct (ph. GPa). A lingering Ruby-throated Hummingbird persisted at a Lubbock feeder, Lubbock through 22 Oct (LH, ph.). Immature male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were in an El Paso, El Paso yard 28 Aug (ph. BZ) and 11-16 Sep (ph. BZ) where the species has proven to be a rare but regular fall migrant. A Black-chinned Hummingbird in El Paso, El Paso 5-9 Nov (ph. BZ) was notably late with mid-October being typical departure dates for fall stragglers. Well east of expected seasonal range was an immature Anna’s Hummingbird which visited a feeder on Cross Creek Drive, Kennadale, Tarrant 22-30+ Nov (MW, GW, EW, ph.) providing n.-central Texas only its fourth documented record. Also, out of range was an Anna’s Hummingbird at Steep Hollow Rd, Brazos 24 Oct-22 Dec (ph. BM, †MMc, ph. JGi, m.ob.) for the seventh record for Brazos. An El Paso, El Paso yard hosted lone Costa’s Hummingbirds 15 Sep and 28 Nov (ph. BZ); the species has been annual in El Paso in recent years. A young male Calliope Hummingbird in Fulshear, Fort Bend 24-27 Nov (ph. HW, JWi) was a nice find. An Allen’s Hummingbird lingered in Kerrville, Kerr 10 Sep – 17 Nov (ph. BFi) while a bit early was one banded at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory in Lake Jackson, Brazoria 21 Sep (MH, DSt). A Broad-tailed Hummingbird visited Salado, Bell feeders 28 Sep-3 Oct (†ph. CPl, ph. CP); late was one at a Lubbock feeder, Lubbock through 2 Nov (LM), and up to 2 at a different set of Lubbock feeders, Lubbock through 3 Nov (JCr, ph.). The Broad-billed Hummingbird in Limpia Crossing, northwest of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis continued until at least 5 Sep (DDC, DeL, m.ob.); one was detected west of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis 30 Sep (ph. LL) and another was in El Paso, El Paso 7-17 Oct (ph. JKi, KK); much more unexpected on the U.T.C., one was at a feeder in Groves, Jefferson 28 Oct-24 Nov (SR, ph. StM, ph. MBC, ph. HSt, et al.). A female White-eared Hummingbird was at the feeders on the Davis Mountains Preserve, Jeff Davis 9-24 Aug (ph. RKo, m.ob.) while a male was west of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis 6-21 Aug (ph. MLo, m.ob.); a different female west of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis was noted very sporadically as late as 5 Sep and was likely the same one seen in July (LL). The Violet-crowned Hummingbird in Limpia Crossing, Jeff Davis was last seen 29 Sep (ph. CRi).
A Virginia Rail was present in dense cattails 2-17 Nov (JaL, JWe, BG) at Paint Creek Road, providing only the third or fourth record for Bastrop. Migrant Whooping Cranes are always a prize to find; this season 2 were at Sims Cutoff, Brazos 27 Oct (ph. TMi), an impressive 8 southbound over Joshua, Johnson 31 Oct (TA, ph.), 8 (the same 8 as the prior sighting?) near Lexington, Lee 1 Nov (†ph. TiF), 5 over Lake Benbrook, Tarrant 6 Nov (TeS) and a lone bird near Lake Georgetown, Williamson 7 Nov (ph. KaP).
Shorebirds through Jaegers
Up to 4 Black-bellied Plovers visited Sims Lane, Brazos and at least one was observed for the extended period 20 Aug-22 Nov (m.ob.). Elsewhere in Brazos, one was at Veterans Park 5-6 Nov (JGi) and another was at Lake Bryan 10 Nov (LSa). Rare for the fall especially in the western parts of the state, an impressive 20 American Golden-Plovers were near Becton, Lubbock 20-29 Oct (DrH, JoC, JC, JaC, JCr, PK, BSh, DSm, SSm, ph.); single birds at Balmorhea Lake, Reeves 22 Oct (JBa) and 13 Nov (ph. AM) were also west of their normal migration route. Up to five American Golden-Plovers were present at Sugar House Pond, Hidalgo 7-11 Nov (m.ob.) while a late individual was at Chapman Ranch, Nueces 28 Nov (ph. JMc). Always a tough inland migrant especially in the western half of the state, a Piping Plover at Kirby Lake, Taylor 3-12 Sep (ph. JPa) was exceptional and likely a county first. In n.-central Texas, a single Piping Plovers were at Lake Lewisville Park, Denton 30 Aug (KeP), at North Lake, Dallas 30 Sep – 2 Oct (RC, ph.), and at Lake Benbrook, Tarrant 13 Oct (JA). A count of 16 Wilson’s Plover on the Texas City Dike, Galveston 30 Nov was notable for the late date (ph. JFa). Mountain Plovers are thought to be low-density winter residents in the areas around the Concho Valley but are rarely detected so one northeast of Trent, Taylor 10 Sep (ph. JPa) and another east of San Angelo, Tom Green 20 Oct (ph. MRe, SCo) were noteworthy. A Snowy Plover on the shores of Lake Buchanan, Llano 23 Sep (ph. VO) was a good find for the Edwards Plateau where stopover habitat is limited; likewise, 3 at Mitchell Lake, Haskell 18 Aug (GC, SGl) and 3 near Rochester, Haskell 31 Aug (SL) were also of note.
A Northern Jacana made a brief one day stop at Estero Llano Grande S.P., Hidalgo 28 Oct (HH et al., ph.). A Ruddy Turnstone east of Temple, Bell 8 Sep (ph. RP) was the only one reported in central Texas. A scarce inland Sanderling was photographed at Union Grove W.M.A., Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell 2 Sep (ph. CPl). A long staying single Dunlin was seen often 25 Oct-15 Nov (†SKi, m.ob.) at Sims Lane, Brazos. Another was at Union Grove W.M.A., Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell 10 Nov (†RP). Nice finds were 2 Dunlins at Balmorhea Lake, Reeves 9 Nov (ph. MLo) and one at Imperial Reservoir, Pecos 28 Nov (ph. MRe, SCo). The largest number of Buff-breasted Sandpiper reported this fall was 400 birds near Palacios, Matagorda 8 Sep (BoF). Late Pectoral Sandpipers were singles at the Count Road 3700 cattle ponds, Lubbock 23 Oct (DrH), near Canyon, Randall 4 Nov (PT), and at Port Mansfield, Willacy 14 Nov (JHe). Two tardy Semipalmated Sandpipers were discerned from accompanying Westerns at Sugar House Pond, Hidalgo 11 Nov (DI, ShF, AN, JiD).
Unseasonal was an American Woodcock at St. Edwards Park in northwest Austin, Travis 26 Jul – 25 Aug (ph. DHa, m.ob.). Two Solitary Sandpipers near Idalou, Lubbock 19 Nov (BoS) were on the late side for northwest Texas. A count of roughly 1000 Wilson’s Phalaropes was impressive at McGee Lake, Potter 2 Sep (KDE). Red-necked Phalaropes in central Texas included up to 5 at Hornsby Bend, Travis 6-12 Sep (ph. RKa, m.ob.), one at Mitchell Lake, Bexar 21-27 Sep (ph. BD), up to 2 northeast of Trent, Taylor 22 Sep – 4 Oct (ph. JPa), one at near Belton, Bell 27 Sep – 2 Oct (ph. DKe), and one more back at Hornsby Bend, Travis 28-29 Sep (ph. JBo). Farther east, up to two were at Hagerman N.W.R., Grayson 24-25 Aug (MC, ph.) and a single visited Lemmon Lake, Dallas 29 Sep (BS, ph.). Port Mansfield in Willacy was Ground Zero for Red-necked Phalarope in south Texas this fall with 24 birds reported from Laguna Point Recreation Area 27 Oct (ph. MaC); lesser numbers were reported through end of Nov (m.ob.). An injured Red Phalarope was found stunned on a street in Port Aransas, Nueces 12 Oct (ph. AO); it was taken to a rehabilitation facility but subsequently died.
Incredibly rare inland in Texas away from the coast was an Arctic storm-driven Pomarine Jaeger flying south over North Fork Buffalo Creek Reservoir, Wichita, 11 Nov (BSa, ph.). A Parasitic Jaeger bombed shorebirds and terns on the beach at Padre Island National Seashore, Kleberg 8 Sep (ph. JoK, JuK). The highlight of the season in the Trans-Pecos was an adult Long-tailed Jaeger that was seen by many at Balmorhea Lake, Reeves 31 Aug – 8 Sep (ph. WM, m.ob.).
Gulls through Shearwaters
An adult Black-legged Kittiwake at Lake Abilene, Taylor 8-16 Nov (ph. JPa, m.ob.) was an exceptional find, as was another adult at McNary Reservoir, Hudspeth 14-15 Nov (ph. AK, BZ). Sabine’s Gulls are always attention-getters in the fall and this season seemed to be above-average for them in the state. Lone birds were at: Kirby Lake, Taylor 16-18 Sep (ph. JPa), Muleshoe N.W.R., Bailey 22-29 Sep (GKe, GB, MSm, ph.), McGee Lake, Potter 22 Sep (KDE, ph.), Goose Island S.P., Aransas 22-29 Sep (ph. BHo), Padre Island National Seashore, Kleberg 23 Sep (MiC), Balmorhea Lake, Reeves 12-13 Oct (ph. JJ, m.ob.), McNary Reservoir, Hudspeth 17 Oct (ph. BZ), Lake Benbrook, Tarrant 23 Oct (JA, ph.), and the Bolivar Ferry, Galveston 2 Nov (ph. MiM, ph. LB, SJ). Two Sabine’s Gulls lingered at Braunig Lake, Bexar 23-28 Oct (BD, m.ob.). Laughing Gulls continue to be present on Lake Livingston, Polk/San Jacinto in surprising numbers for an inland locality, with 160-250 counted from various sites around the lake 15-27 Oct (m.ob.). Other notable inland Laughing Gulls included 9 at Lake Bryan 29-30 Oct (†MiM, †SDi, †MMc), and 2 at Slough Pond, Bell 30 Nov (†ph. RP). An adult Laughing Gull at Balmorhea Lake, Reeves 30 Nov (ph. WS) was a nice find. An amazing flock of about 2100 Franklin’s Gulls roosted at Lake Bryan, Brazos in late afternoon 29 Oct (MiM). The next morning the flock, variously estimated at 2500-5000, lifted off the water and flew out of the fog and over the head of observers (SDi, MMc). A third-cycle Western Gull was found at the Corpus Christi, Nueces T-Heads 22 Nov (ph. SSh). It was seen through 26 Nov (m.ob.) and is very likely a bird from the previous fall that was present across the bay in Port Aransas.
A first-cycle California Gull stayed briefly at Lake Abilene, Taylor 8-9 Nov (ph. JPa). Adult California Gulls at the Texas City Dike, Galveston 28 Oct (SuH), at East Beach, Galveston 6-8 Nov (ph. JRi, et al.), and East Beach, Galveston 26 Nov (ph. AMo) may have involved more than one bird based on the head streaking in the photographs. Locally uncommon in recent years but rare regionally was a first winter Iceland (Thayer’s) Gul at the White Rock Lake spillway, Dallas 1-30+ Nov (CRu, m.ob., ph.). A first cycle Iceland Gull was at the Texas City Dike, Galveston 12-15 Nov (DuL, ph. KrC, DC). A first-cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull was studied at Braunig Lake, Bexar 23-24 Oct (WS, ph. CF) while another appeared at Granger Lake, Williamson 27 Oct (ph. CB). An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was at the Texas 147 causeway on Lake Sam Rayburn, San Augustine 21 Sep (DB, JSm, ph. GHu), the first record for Lake Rayburn and the earliest for the Pineywoods. Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls were back at the Lake Livingston spillway, San Jacinto 27 Oct (GC, SGl), where this species has been annual in small numbers for several decades now. Well established along the Texas coast, Lesser Black-backed Gulls are still unusual inland, especially as you move westward; a first-cycle bird at Lesser Black-backed Gull was at McNary Reservoir, Hudspeth 22 Oct (ph. AK) was unexpected as was one at Imperial Reservoir, Pecos 28 Nov (ph. MRe, SCo).
A nice count of 45 Sooty Terns was made on the 24 Aug pelagic out of Port Aransas in Calhoun waters (m.ob.). A Bridled Tern was picked up dying along the beach on Mustang Island, Nueces 29 Sep (fide AO). A Least Tern near Becton, Lubbock 17-18 Aug (DrH, JoC) was a nice migrant for the region. A flock of 5 Caspian Terns visited Lake Limestone 6 Sep (JBe, DSa), providing a first county record for infrequently birded Leon. Four different individual Common Terns was an above-average total in n.-central Texas for this rare fall migrant: Lake Lewisville Park, Denton 23 Aug (WC, ph.), Miller’s Creek Reservoir, Baylor, 24 Aug (SL, ph.); Lake Benbrook, Tarrant 11 Oct (GC, JA), and, rather late, Lake Benbrook, Tarrant 11 Nov (JA, ph.). Rarely detected in the Panhandle, a Common Tern was at Greenways Park, Randall 7-10 Oct (DSm, KDE, VW, ph.). A Royal Tern seen on Lake Trinity near Sebastopol, Trinity 22 Oct (CC, JMa) was a very unusual inland sighting.
Two Leach’s Storm-Petrels were detected on the 24 Aug Port Aransas pelagic trip in Calhoun waters (m.ob.). Two Band-rumped Storm-Petrels were seen by birders on the 24 Aug Port Aransas pelagic trip in Calhoun waters (m.ob.). The 24 Aug pelagic out of Port Aransas produced 2 Cory’s Shearwaters in Calhoun waters (m.ob.). A single bird was noted off Port Aransas, Nueces 3 Aug (JMc) while another was picked up on the beach and taken to a rehabilitation facility in Port Aransas 29 Sep (fide AO). Of note were 4 Audubon’s Shearwaters seen the 24 Aug Port Aransas pelagic trip in Calhoun waters (ph. m.ob.) while three birds were seen in Kenedy waters on the same trip. Two Audubon’s Shearwaters were reported offshore in Kenedy 4 Nov (JMc).
Storks through Osprey
Late and exceptionally west was a Wood Stork at Balmorhea Lake, Reeves 16 Nov (ph. AM). The 24 Aug Port Aransas pelagic trip produced an adult Masked Booby in Calhoun waters (m.ob.). One was picked up grounded on the beach on Padre Island National Seashore, Kleberg 14 Sep (GN) so it was taken to a rehab facility. Inland Brown Boobies continue with one at Lake Somerville, flying near the dam that straddles Burleson and Washington, on 17 Aug (†JBo, ph. ShM, ph. SHa, m.ob.), one at Mountain Creek Library Pond, Dallas 29 Sep-11 Oct (JaF, EW, ph., m.ob.), and another from the West Dam Overlook on Lower Lake Livingston, San Jacinto 27 Oct (GC, SGl). On the U.T.C., one was at John Paul Landing Park, Harris 29 Sep (ph. MK, SKu, et al.). As many as 3 were seen on channel markers in West Galveston Bay, Galveston through the period, continuing from summer season (ph. DSi, et al.), many as 3 were at the historic Baytown Nature Center location, Harris 8 Nov+ (NiD, SN, et al.), an am immature was seen at the Texas City Dike, Galveston 13 Nov+ (ph. JRi, et al.). The number of Brown Boobies at the historic Pleasure Island, Jefferson location varied from 3 to 6 from 12-20 Nov (ShH, StM, et al.). A latish Brown Booby was present at Port Isabel, Cameron 7 Nov (m.ob.).
An unusually high count of 40 Anhinga were in trees above wetlands near Gibbons Creek Reservoir, Grimes 9 Nov (ELe). A little out of place for the mountain range was a large flock of 150 American White Pelicans over Davis Mountains S.P., Jeff Davis 30 Sep (MLo). A Brown Pelican that visited Calaveras, Braunig and Mitchell Lakes, Bexar 24 Sep – 24 Oct (ph. BD, m.ob.) may have been the same individual. A Least Bittern was a bit late at Buffalo Springs Lake, Lubbock 2 Nov (JaC, DrH). The most westward Tricolored Heron was one seen by many at Ascarate Park, El Paso 26 Sep – 23 Oct (ph. JKi, m.ob.); another one was along the Rio Grande near Rio Grande Village, Brewster 15 Sep (ToV). Dispersing Reddish Egrets included one at Twin Buttes Reservoir, Tom Green 18-22 Aug (ph. RaH, TiV), and different individual at Mitchell Lake, Bexar 31 Aug (BD) and 5-8 Oct (ph. MRe, SCo). Up to 2 Yellow-crowned Night-Herons wandered west to Balmorhea Lake, Reeves 1-7 Sep (DDC, DeL, MLo) while 2 made were as far north as Spearman, Hansford 3 Sep (ph. BSa). Far-flung Glossy Ibis included one at Mitchell Lake, Haskell 18 Aug (GC), lone birds at Hagerman N.W.R., Grayson 1 Sep (CW, BSh, LSh, ph.) and 16 Sep (JSi), another at Estero Llano Grande S.P., Hidalgo 1 Nov+ (m.ob.), and one at Salineno, Starr 28 Nov (ph. MBS). As has been the case in recent years, at least one Turkey Vulture lingered through the period in the vicinity of Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso (JSp). Late Ospreys in El Paso were one that lingered at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park through 16 Nov (JSp) and one in west El Paso 24 Nov (JGr).
Hawks through Kingfishers
Only the third county record for McLennan, a White-tailed Kite flew over Waco near Cameron Park 27 Sep (DR). Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso is the only reliable site for White-tailed Kite in the El Paso area. An adult there 14 Sep (AK) was the first there since 25 Jun and it remained through the period; 2 adults were seen 18 Sep (JSp) and an immature was spotted 16 Nov (JSp). The nearly annual post-breeding Swallow-tailed Kite returned to southeast Dallas area around the intersection of Blindsey/South Belt Line roads, Dallas, 1-9 Sep (EW, m.ob., ph.); also, widely ranging were single birds at Smelter Road, Potter 27 Aug (RB, ph.) and at Max A. Mandel Golf Course in Webb 18 Aug (DHo). A nice tally of 31 birds was made at the Hazel Bazemore Hawkwatch, Nueces 21 Aug (DHo). Golden Eagle is still a relatively rare bird in South Texas so the following birds are quite noteworthy: one at Hazel Bazemore Park Hawkwatch, Nueces 18 Sep with another bird there 8 Oct (ph. DHo), and one seen on a Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival field trip to Estero Llano Grande S.P., Hidalgo 10 Nov (ph. NH, m.ob.). Two Golden Eagles were spotted at the Smith Point Hawk Watch, Chambers 27 Nov (SPHW staff) and east of normal regional range was a Golden Eagle over F.M. 2846, Holiday, Archer 3 Nov (SL, ph.).
Bald Eagle is being reported with increasing frequency in South Texas. Several birds were reported this fall with the most notable being a single bird in Willacy 14 Oct (MBS) and one battling an Osprey near Chapeno, Starr 30 Nov (KWi, JSi). Rare for far west Texas, a subadult Bald Eagle was near Dell City, Hudspeth 10 Nov (JiP). Mississippi Kite is a local nester in small numbers in El Paso but one near Dell City 14 Sep (ph. JiP) was the first documented for Hudspeth. A late Mississippi Kite was reported from Santa Ana, Hidalgo 4 Nov (PHe, JeD); the latest one recorded at the Smith Point Hawk Watch, Chambers 8 Nov continuing the trend of later migrants in recent years (SPHW staff). An immature Common Black Hawk at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park 14 Sep (ph. AK) was the first in El Paso in many years. White-tailed Hawks seem to be continuing in central Texas with one south of Granger, Williamson 6 Nov (ph. AMo) the northernmost reported; other notable individuals included one in Bastrop 4 Nov (†ph. SHa) and another at Sims Lane, Brazos 19 Oct (†WH). An adult Gray Hawk flirting with the New Mexico line in extreme northwestern El Paso 3 Aug (ph. JGr) was just the second county record. A Broad-winged Hawk in Marathon, Brewster 2 Oct (ph. AK) was west of the normal migration path. The only Ferruginous Hawk report on the U.T.C. was at the Smith Point Hawk, Chambers 15 Nov (SPHW staff).
A heard-only Western Screech-Owl in west Austin, Travis 23 Nov (GeH) was an intriguing report and well out of expected range of this species. A Western Screech-Owl at Fort Hancock Reservoir 17 Oct (ph. BZ) was the first in many years in that part of Hudspeth and one was calling in west El Paso, El Paso 5 Oct (JiP) where recorded less than annually in recent years. A Long-eared Owl was flushed from a tree at Bear Creek Park, Harris 26 Oct (ph. DW, JHn, JWo, SN) is thought to be the first for the county since 1999. A Ringed Kingfisher was sighted multiple times 27 Aug-6 Oct (KCa, m.ob.) at Witter Lane, Bell while another was at Lake Olympia in Missouri City, Fort Bend 7 Oct (ph. BBo, JWo) east of its normal range.
Woodpeckers through Flycatchers
A Red-headed Woodpecker wandered to Midland, Midland 21 Sep (ph. GPa). Two Acorn Woodpeckers northeast of Leakey, Real 13 Oct (ph. CG) were the only report of the isolated Edwards Plateau population. Unusual for the Davis Mountains was 2 Golden-fronted Woodpeckers northeast of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis 11-30 Aug (JBo, DD, StC). A Red-bellied Woodpecker wandered westward to near Davis Park, Lubbock 1-30 Nov (HB, ph.). An out of range Williamson Sapsucker was studied at Devil’s River S.N.A., Val Verde 18 Nov (PHo). Two Red-naped Sapsuckers were at Palo Duro Canyon S.P., Randall 12 Oct (DSm, SSm, HT, ph.). A wandering Hairy Woodpecker was at Palo Duro Canyon S.P., Randall 10 Nov (HT) while 2 were at Lake Palo Duro, Hansford 25 Nov (JBe, DSa).
A Peregrine Falcon found 13 Aug (TyS) at Sims Lane added to very few Brazos records at this early fall date; also, early was one at the Himmel Farm, Crosby 13 Aug (KH) and another near Weinert, Haskell 24 Aug (SL). Prairie Falcon can be an enigmatic raptor in South Texas with some fall and winters practically devoid of the species. This fall no fewer than seven individuals were reported with the most notable being a bird perched on a condominium practically next to a Peregrine Falcon on South Padre Island, Cameron 3 Oct (ph. CD)! It or another bird was seen from the tower at the Birding & Nature Center 12 Nov (ph. JGo et al.). This species had never been reported from South Padre Island before. To the north, a Prairie Falcon at Dolomite Point, Potter 30 Aug (RG) was rather early.
A male Rose-throated Becard graced Frontera Audubon, Hidalgo 3 Aug (AJ, ph. AMo). A female was discovered at National Butterfly Center, Hidalgo 24 Nov+ (MG). A Dusky-capped Flycatcher made a brief visit to Laguna Atascosa N.W.R., Cameron 24 Nov (ph. JGo). An Ash-throated Flycatcher was an unexpected find northeast of normal range along Clear Creek Heritage Center, Denton 27 Nov (BC). A first county record for Madison, an Ash-throated Flycatcher was described at Lake Madison Park 23 Nov (†MAu). Westerly Great Crested Flycatcher included one at Lake Rita Blanca, Hartley 31 Aug (VW, ph.) and another in El Paso, El Paso 31 Aug (ph. JiP); one at Santa Ana N.W.R., Hidalgo 10 Nov (HH, SKe).and at the Baytown Nature Center, Harris 16 Nov (SE, PF, BT, MKT, MMa) were on the late side. A pair of Great Kiskadees present at the Lake Livingston spillway, Polk 16 Nov (ph. DSa et al.) was perhaps only the third Pineywoods record and the first in fall.
Tropical Kingbirds from recently discovered nesting populations lingered at Ascarate Park, El Paso through Sep (m.ob.) and near Dell City, Hudspeth through at least 27 Sep (ph. JiP). The pair of Tropical Kingbirds at Independence Creek Preserve, Terrell during the summer was present until at least 28 Aug (m.ob.). One Couch’s Kingbird was heard as well as seen at Lake Livingston, San Jacinto 15 Oct (SB, CC, JMa). A Couch’s/Tropical Kingbird visited Tatum, Rusk 29 Nov (CNe), but was not heard for identification to species. A vocal migrant Couch’s Kingbird was seen at Village Creek Drying Beds, Tarrant 29 Aug (CW, ph.). A second record for McLennan, 3 Couch’s Kingbirds were at Baylor University 1-27 Nov (†ph. AC). The fifth record for Brazos, a Couch’s Kingbird found 12 Oct (ph. NDi) at County Club Lake and was viewed regularly to early Nov (m.ob.) when it next appeared 13 Nov+ (ph. RN) at nearby Finfeather Lake. A high count of 810 Eastern Kingbirds came to a regular fall flycatcher roost in Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches 9 Sep (DWo, CSh). Westward wandering Eastern Kingbird included one near Tulia, Swisher 4 Sep (CAn, MAn) and another at Coleman Park, Terry 10 Sep (SGl). A late Eastern Kingbird was reported near May Feed Lot, Atascosa 12 Nov (BiF, NF, KCr). A Fork-tailed Flycatcher explosion! Lone birds were found near Odem, San Patricio 2 Oct (ph. SkC), at Sacahuistale Flats, Willacy 5 Oct (ph. MaC), west of Raymondville, Willacy 1 Nov (†ReH), and in Riviera, Kleberg 27 Nov+ (ph. AO).
A late Eastern Wood-Pewee was in Lufkin, Angelina 4 Nov (ph. GHu), while even later were ones at Packery Channel, Nueces 17 Nov (ph. MeC), Armand Bayou Nature Center, Harris 21 Nov (JoS, SyF) and at Lafitte’s Cove, Galveston 23 Nov (JaS). A Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at the Convention Center, South Padre Island, Cameron 16 Nov was very late (SGr et al.). A very late Acadian Flycatcher was seen at the Valley Land Fund Lot, South Padre Island, Cameron 6 Nov (ph. KN). A Hammond’s Flycatcher below the Canyon Lake Dam, Comal 10-23 Nov (ph. GrS) was a surprising find and a county first. Late was a ‘Western’ Flycatcher at Clapp Park, Lubbock 11-24 Nov (JaC, JoC, JC, JCr, DrH, PK, JMi, BNi, BSh, ST). A male Vermilion Flycatcher was consistently at Witter Lane, Bell 21 Sep+ (CPl, m.ob.). Another was in western Bell at Fort Hood 28 Sep (BPo). Rarely seen in Burleson, a male was at Black Lake in the Brazos bottoms 27 Oct (m.ob.). A female was at Harman Ranch, Bastrop 2 Nov (RiH) and two were at Kauffman Road, Bastrop 4 Nov (SHa). Increasing in northwest Texas as well, 2 Vermilion Flycatchers were south of Crowell, Foard 18 Aug (GC, SGl), 4 were found west of Crowell, Foard 23 Aug (TBu), and 2 were at Longhorn R.V. Park, Foard 1 Sep (TBu).
Vireos through Wheatear
A White-eyed Vireo in El Paso on the surprising dates of 28 Nov – 8 Dec (ph. BZ) was just the second for El Paso and the first for both fall and winter. Rare but regular in fall and winter, there were two Hutton’s Vireos in El Paso, El Paso 1 Nov – 1 Dec (ph. JiP) and 17 Nov+ (ph. BZ). Encountered only infrequently in the Guadalupe Mountains, a Hutton’s Vireo in McKittrick Canyon, Culberson 12 Oct (ph. WS) was a nice find. A Yellow-throated Vireo in El Paso, El Paso 2 Sep (ph. JiP) was the earliest ever for fall; the species is casual in the El Paso area. A Cassin’s Vireo was studied and documented at Rosehill Cemetery, Corpus Christi, Nueces 24 Nov+ (ph. MRe, SCo, WS). A Plumbeous Vireo in Midland, Midland 26 Aug (ph. GPa) was along the eastern edge of the normal migration route. A Plumbeous Vireo found 4 Nov+ at Roselawn Cemetery in McAllen, Hidalgo was likely a returning bird from the previous winter (ph. DI et al.); single birds were in El Paso, El Paso 13 Nov (BZ) and 24 Nov – 8 Dec (JiP) were it is quite rare in the winter. Unusual as an inland fall migrant, a Philadelphia Vireo along the western shore of Lake Arrowhead, Archer 7 Sep (SL) was a good find; one at Anahuac N.W.R., Chambers 9 Nov was late (EH, EHe, FJ). A Red-eyed Vireo at Clapp Park, Lubbock 10 Sep (SGl), another elsewhere in Lubbock, Lubbock 26 Sep (JCr), and one more in a Littlefield yard, Lamb 4 Nov (AR) was above average number of fall reports for that region, with the last one being noticeably late. A Red-eyed Vireo in El Paso, El Paso 28 Sep – 2 Oct (ph. JiP) was also unusual while one on South Padre Island, Cameron 16 Nov (ph. SOn, SGr et al.) was the last one reported. The Yellow-green Vireo discovered in the spring at Fort Pena Colorado Park south of Marathon, Brewster was documented through 3 Sep (ph. m.ob.).
An out-of-range raven believed to be a Chihuahuan Raven was seen from along the Gulf Freeway in Dickinson, Galveston 17-18 & 28 Nov (ToF, DuL, DC, ph. KrC, GrH). A noteworthy count of 2710 Tree Swallows was had at Lake McGee, Potter 1 Sep (AH), while more impressive was 5000 at Anahuac N.W.R., Chambers 2 Nov (MiM, LB, SJ, ELa). A Violet-green Swallow wandered to North Holiday Park, Lake Benbrook, Tarrant 11-13 Oct (GC, JA, ph.) while another was at Hornsby Bend, Travis 29 Oct – 1 Nov (ph. JBo). Late was a Purple Martin near Sinton, San Patricio 4 Nov (ph. SkC) and 2 at Seabourne Creek Nature Park in Rosenberg, Fort Bend 6 Nov was late (MJ, KWa, GEn, GKl, RWa, MSh, CSc, RS).
In Nueces, several Verdins (m.ob.) wandered into Corpus Christi’s Oso Creek floodplain this fall providing for the first known occurrence of this xeric species this far eastward. Very scarce and casual in w.-central Texas was a Bushtit north of normal regional range at Lake Throckmorton, Throckmorton 9 Nov (SL). Canyon Wrens are sometimes reported in western McLennan, but one observed 1 Sep (DR) farther east in Waco is surprising. A House Wren near Dell City, Hudspeth 10 Aug (JiP, BZ) was about two weeks early. A Winter Wren was out of place near Dell City, Hudspeth 10 Nov (JiP). A Sedge Wren was at Clapp Park, Lubbock 8-12 Nov (JC, DrH) was unusual for that region. A Northern Wheatear discovered at Saxet Lakes, Victoria 26 Sep (ph. TJA) provided some fall excitement for birders through 29 Sep (m.ob.).
Thrushes through Blackbirds
The easternmost Mountain Bluebird was one at Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, Bell 29-31 Oct (ph. GEc). Gray-cheeked Thrush is noteworthy in the fall so single birds seen at South Padre Island, Cameron 22 & 26 Oct (JY, JM), Frontera Audubon, Hidalgo 26 Oct (ph. BW) and Rockport, Aransas 27 Oct (ph. JL), and at a feeder in Houston, Harris 27 Oct-2 Nov (ph. SOr, et al.) were noteworthy. Wood Thrushes wandered as far west as Fort Clark Springs, Kinney 24 Oct (ph. SSv) and San Angelo, Tom Green 27 Oct (ph. RD). A northerly Clay-colored Thrush was reported from a Tuleta, Bee yard 9 Nov (ph. LV). Perhaps the highlight of the season in central Texas was a Varied Thrush in San Saba, San Saba 25-26 Oct (ph. BPa, m.ob.).
Two records of Gray Catbird were about average for fall in El Paso one at Hueco Tanks State Historic Site 18-19 Oct (JiH) and one at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park 14 Nov (ZT). Several Brown Thrashers were reported in South Texas this fall with the most notable being a single bird present at the Birding & Nature Center at South Padre Island, Cameron 17 Oct – 2 Nov (ph. JGo et al.). Quite early was a Sage Thrasher near Kress, Swisher 25 Aug (CAn, MAn) and another near Dell City, Hudspeth 1 Sep (ph. JiP) was about two weeks early. An unusually early Cedar Waxwing flew over Salado, Bell 1 Oct (CPl). A lone Red Crossbill in El Paso, El Paso 7 Nov (BZ) was the only report for far west Texas. A Pine Siskin heard flying over the Rice University campus in Houston, Harris 20 Oct was early (CTL).
A Cassin’s Sparrow that was oddly out of place on a dike at Brazos Bend S.P. 5 Oct was a modern day first for Fort Bend (ph. BiS, JuS, SuM). A well-described Black-throated Sparrow was exceptional regional area find at Highland Springs Pond, Collin 27 Sep (SSv); one at Buffalo Lake N.W.R., Randall 21-23 Aug (TMc, MRe) and another at Rita Blanca National Grasslands, Dallam 9 Sep (GL, MRe) were in former regular areas of the species where the species is now quite rare. In Hidalgo, early Brewer’s Sparrow was seen near Mission 7 Oct (MG) while another bird near Penitas 7 Nov (ph. BW) was also noteworthy. A handsome Harris’s Sparrow made a rare visit to the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, Cameron 2-3 Nov (ph. MCa, m.ob.). Rare for the barrier islands and the southerly location was a Green-tailed Towhee present at the Valley Land Fund Lot on South Padre Island, Cameron 28-30 Nov (m.ob.). A Spotted Towhee at Hebert Road, Waller 28 Nov was east of normal (JHn, HSm). A Yellow-breasted Chat persisted into late fall in a Lubbock yard, Lubbock through 20 Oct (JCr, ph.).
A nice find for the Davis Mountains was a Hooded Oriole in Fort Davis, Jeff Davis 23 Aug (ph. AO). About the fifth record for Bastrop, a Bullock’s Oriole was at Little Piney, Lake Bastrop 3 Oct (†TBr) while one at Houston’s Bear Creek Park, Harris 7 Oct was also notable (ph. LSl). The beginning of a northward expansion/push of Audubon’s Oriole that continued into the winter started with 2 at Palmetto S.P., Gonzales 17 Nov (BHa, RHa) and as many as 4 south of Belmont, Gonzales 17 Nov+ (ph. FK). A male Baltimore Oriole in El Paso, El Paso 12 Oct (JKi) was an excellent find so far west. A female Scott’s Oriole at San Bernard N.W.R., Brazoria 17 Oct was just the sixth record for U.T.C. (ph. WM) and a male Scott’s Oriole returned for what would be it fourth winter in an El Paso, El Paso yard 21 Oct+ (ph. BZ). A Bronzed Cowbird found west of Ennis, Ellis 23 Oct (TD, ph.) was a casual regional find and one of the few reported for n.-central Texas. A lone Common Grackle reported from Crystal City, Zavala 12 Oct (SGl, GC) was a bit out of the species typical range in South Texas.
An Ovenbird was west to El Paso, El Paso 7 Oct (ph. BZ). Casual at best and west of normal range was a Worm-eating Warbler at Lake Lewisville Environmental Center, Denton 19 Aug (AG); one was a bit late at the Valley Land Fund Lot, South Padre Island, Cameron 23 Oct (ph. DJ). A Louisiana Waterthrush wandered west to Boot Canyon, Big Bend N.P., Brewster 10 Aug (ph. TJA) while another was below the dam at Lake Findley at Alice, Jim Wells 9 Nov (RWe). A late inland Northern Waterthrush was found at Lake Findley, Jim Wells 5 Nov (ph. RKo). A first year Golden-winged Warbler at the Fort Worth Nature Center, Tarrant 15 Oct (CNo) was a rare regional record. Eight Golden-winged Warblers were reported from South Texas this fall with the most notable being single birds seen at Goliad, Goliad 19 Oct and Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley S.P., Hidalgo 20 Oct (CRo).
A Prothonotary Warbler in Lake Jackson, Brazoria 28 Nov was extremely late (ph. GC). Only one Swainson’s Warbler was reported from South Texas this fall – a lone bird at Pollywog Pond, Nueces 19 Sep (DHo); another lingered near Antioch, Shelby Oct 3 (ph. SOr), a late date for the species. Good finds for northwest Texas were single Tennessee Warblers at Buffalo Lake N.W.R., Randall 22-25 Sep (DSm, SSm) and in a Lubbock yard, Lubbock 25 Oct (KD); more out or range was one west of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis 26 Aug (ph. LL). Quite early was an Orange-crowned Warbler near Kress, Swisher 23 Aug (ph. CAn, MAn). A Lucy’s Warbler seen briefly but well at Blucher Park in Corpus Christi 7 Sep (†WS) was only the second ever for Nueces; efforts to relocate and photograph the bird were frustratingly in vain. Seldom detected as a migrant in Texas outside of the Trans-Pecos, a Virginia’s Warbler in Midland, Midland 25-26 Aug (ph. GPa) was a great find as was one in a Lubbock yard, Lubbock 2 Oct (JCr)
A nice eastern warbler for west Texas was Hooded Warbler with single birds at Pine Canyon, Big Bend N.P., Brewster 12-14 Sep (CRu) and at Davis Mountains S.P., Jeff Davis 25 Sep (StW, SuW). Rare but regular, there were two records of American Redstart in the El Paso area with one at Dell City, Hudspeth 14 Sep (ph. JiP) and another at Fort Bliss, El Paso 13 Oct (JKi). A Cape May Warbler at Hornsby Bend, Travis 12-13 Sep (ph. GaS) and another at Wise County Park, Lake Bridgeport, Wise 22 Oct (MSu, ph.) were both exceptional migrants for inland locations in Texas, especially for the fall. On the U.T.C., there was a bumper crop of Cape May Warblers by modern day standards with one at Quintana, Brazoria 11 Oct (ph. JH), another 20-25 Oct in Houston, Harris (ph. SOr), one to 2 at Sabine Woods, Jefferson 18-28 Oct (JWh, ph. StM, et al.), and another at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, Harris 10 Nov (ph. ZL). In South Texas, an immature Cape May Warbler visited the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, Hidalgo 1 Nov (ph. DHa) while another lingered at the South Padre Birding & Nature Center, Cameron 2-5 Nov (ph. JGo). More interesting was a sub-adult male found at Choke Canyon S.P. near Three Rivers, Live Oak 15 Nov (ph. JMc); it was seen again 16 Nov (ph. WS, DM) and 23 Nov (ph. MR). The only Cerulean Warbler from South Texas this fall was a male near Fulton, Aransas 21 Sep (SuH).
Westerly single Northern Parulas were in an El Paso, El Paso yard 10-12 Sep (ph. JGr, AI), at Lubbock Lake Landmark, Lubbock 12 Sep (BoS) and at Palo Duro Canyon S.P., Randall 11 Nov (VW). A Magnolia Warbler in a Lubbock yard, Lubbock 30 Sep (JCr) and another at Buffalo Lake N.W.R., Randall 13 Oct (DSm, SSm, ph.) were unusual migrants for northwest Texas. A late Yellow Warbler was at El Franco Lee Park, Harris 26 Nov (ph. DKr). A Chestnut-sided Warbler seen at Goliad S.P., Goliad 16 Nov (ph. JPe, SSa, UO) was late. Noteworthy for the fall were single Blackpoll Warblers at Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center, Nueces 20 Oct (JHo) and Brownsville, Cameron 30 Oct (JuL). An above average fall in eastern and central Texas for Black-throated Blue Warbler with singles in Midland, Midland 11 Oct (ph. GPa), in south Austin, Travis 13 Oct (ph. RF), at Prairie Creek Park, Richardson, Collin/Dallas 16 Oct (ES, PM, RR, ph., m.ob.), and near Gruene, Comal 26 Nov – 3 Dec (ph. JoF). A female Black-throated Blue Warbler was seen at the Valley Land Fund Lot on South Padre Island, Cameron (BBe) 30 Oct while another female was reported from Frontera Audubon in Weslaco, Hidalgo 10 Nov (KR, DA). The most out of range Black-throated Blue Warbler was a male at McNary Reservoir 17 Oct (ph. BZ), just the third for Hudspeth.
A Palm Warbler at Village Creek Drying Beds, Tarrant 14 Nov+ (EW, m.ob., ph.) was late while to the west, one was at Ascarate Park, El Paso 27 Oct (ph. KF) and another was northeast of Terlingua, Brewster 17-18 Nov (ph. JHi, BHi). Late Yellow-throated Warblers were at Sabinetown, Sabine 7 Nov (DB) and Lufkin, Angelina to 30 Oct (GHu). A Prairie Warbler at the Lake Lewisville Environmental Center drip, Denton 5 Aug (AG, ph.) was an unexpected rare find west of normal range and one at Lanewood Circle, Dallas 13 Oct (AL, ph.) was record late for n.-central Texas. Outlier Black-throated Gray Warblers included one west of Sisterdale, Kendall 21 Sep (ph. NaD) and another in Brackenridge Park, San Antonio, Bexar 17 Nov – 9 Dec (JSh, AMe, ph. m.ob.); most unexpected farther east was one at Stephen F. Austin S.P., Austin 11 Oct (ph. JoH, MMc). More expected in fall but always notable as a lowland migrant, a female Hermit Warbler graced Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso 27 Aug (JSp).
A Black-throated Green Warbler seen in Central Heights, Nacogdoches 13 Nov (DWo) provided the latest local record, while one at the Trinity River bridge on F.M. 3278, San Jacinto 16 Nov (DSa et al.) was later still. Westerly Black-throated Green Warblers included one at Palo Duro Canyon S.P., Randall 10-17 Sep (DSm, SSm, ph.) and another in Amarillo, Randall 23 Oct (DSm, ph.). Rufous-capped Warblers are most frequently found in the southwest Edwards Plateau and surrounding areas; one at Fort Clark Springs, Kinney 13-28 Oct (GC, SGl, ph. m.ob.) fit right into that same pattern. A surprising Golden-crowned Warbler was banded at Las Palomas W.M.A., Arroyo Colorado Unit, Cameron 3 Nov (MaC, JuL). A very late Canada Warbler was well documented at Valley Land Fund Lot, South Padre Island, Cameron 9 Nov (ph. m.ob.). The Slate-throated Redstart pair in Boot Canyon, Big Bend National Park, Brewster from the spring continued to be sporadically seen through mid-August with at least one bird remaining to 13 Sep (m.ob.).
Tanagers though Buntings
A male Scarlet Tanager in El Paso, El Paso 7 Nov (ph. BZ) was both very rare and record late for the area, while one at Roselawn Cemetery, Hidalgo 16 Nov (ph. RH, BLi) was in a more expected migration locale though also quite late. A Western Tanager in El Paso, El Paso 5 Nov (BZ) was unexpected so late. Late dates for Rose-breasted Grosbeaks included one at Rosehill Cemetery in Corpus Christi, Nueces 22 Nov (ph. SSh), another at Roselawn Cemetery, Hidalgo 22 Nov (HH) and one at the San Jacinto Battleground, Harris 23 Nov (CTL, SN, TP). A Black-headed Grosbeak at Houston’s Bear Creek Park, Harris 28 Sep was early (ph. GP) while an immature male visited a feeder in Lufkin, Angelina 6-22 Sep (ph. GHu), a rare western stray to the Pineywoods. At least eight Black-headed Grosbeaks were reported from South Texas this fall, the most notable being a young male photographed in San Patricio 4 Oct (ph. RWe), a female reported from Pollywog Pond, Nueces 15 Oct (DG) and an immature/female reported from Crystal City, Zavala 12 Oct (GC, SGl). A late Blue Grosbeak visited the Birding & Nature Center on South Padre Island, Cameron 29 Nov (ph. JGo). A male Lazuli Bunting was found associating with Indigo Buntings at Paradise Pond in Port Aransas, Nueces 16-19 Nov (ph. MeC et al.), and a female was later photographed at the same location 23 Nov (ph. JRa).
Report processed by Byron Swift, 29 Sep 2020