Cited Observers (cont.)
Dianne Duke (DiD), Maryann Eastman (MEa), Mark Elliott (MEl), Victor Emanuel, Arthur Emery, Christian Fernandez, Drew Finn, Karl Flocke, Brush Freeman (BrF), Bert Frenz (East Texas: 221 Rainbow Dr., #12190, Livingston, TX 77399-2021. email: firstname.lastname@example.org), Michael Gamble (MGa), Bobby Gierisch, Wen Glenca, Javi Gonzalez (JGo), Daniel Greene, Sue Griffin, John Groves (JGr), Alban Guillaumot, Mary Gustafson (MGu), Martin Hagne (MHa), John Hale, Linda Hale (LiH), Lawrence Haller (LaH), Karen Hardie, Ken Hartman (KeH), Drew Harvey (DrH), Kay Hawklee (KaH), Dave Hawksworth (DaH), John Haynes (JHa), Mitch Heindel (MHe), Anthony Hewetson (Northwest Texas: 4407 36th St., Lubbock, TX 79414. email: email@example.com), Doug Hiser (DoH), Ladd Hockey (LHo), Petra Hockey, Marvin Hoekstra (MHo), Bob Honig (BoH), Ben Hortsmann (BeH), Huck Hutchens, Pat Isaacson, Amy Johnson, Marie Johnson, Dan Jones, Donna Kelly, Simon Kiacz (SKi), Richard Kinney, John Kiseda, Michael Kuzio, Sarah Kuzio (SKu), Greg Lasley, Rick Laughlin, Sarah Laughlin, Manuel De Leon (MDL), Mark Lockwood, Lorrie Lowrie, Thomas Manes, Mike Manson (MMa), John Mariani, Damian Martinez (DMa), Patrick Maurice, Kathryn McAleese (KMc), Arman Moreno, John Patten Moss (JPM), Karen Moulder (KMo), Sam Murray, Derek Muschalek (DMu), Marky Mutchler (MMu), Cory Norris, John O’Brien, Suzanne Odom, Andrew Orgill, Tira Overstreet, Greg Palko (GPa), Dick Park, Jim Paton (El Paso area: 4325 Boy Scout Lane, El Paso, TX 79922. email: firstname.lastname@example.org), Thomas St. Pierre (TSP), Randy Pinkston, Gene Prejean (GPr), Nancy Raginski, Ross Rasmussen (RRa) (North-central Texas: 1325 S. Goliad St. Apt. 1302, Rockwall, TX 75087. email: email@example.com), Trey Redding, Martin Reid, Albert Ribes, Sharon Richardson, Laura Robinson, Ross Rogers (RRo), Madeleine Sandefur (MSa), David Sarkozi (DSa), Mark Scheuerman (MSc), Willie Sekula (South Texas: 7063 Co. Rd. 228, Falls City, TX 78113-2627. email: firstname.lastname@example.org), Paul Sellin, Jim Sipiora (JSi), Letha Slagle, John Sproul (JSp), Shirley Stafford (ShS), Denise Stephens (DSt), Harlan Stewart, Ruben Stoll, Bob Stone, Mary Beth Stowe (MBS), Susan Strasevicz (SuS), William Tarbox (WTa), Will Thompson (WTh), Gustavo Valero, Darrell Vollert, Ron Weeks (Upper Coast: 110 Indian Warrior, Lake Jackson, TX 77566. email: email@example.com), William Wenthe, Angie Westmoreland, Ed Wetzel, John Whittle, Pat Wright, John Yochum, Terence Zahner, Mike Zarella, Barry Zimmer.
Waterfowl through Cuckoos
Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks continue their expansion into the Panhandle, with three near Dimmitt, Castro 19 Jul (KaH), one at Bovina Wastewater Treatment Plant, Parmer 22 Jun (DaH), and two near Crosbyton, Crosby 24 Jul (AH). A nice concentration of 1200 Fulvous Whistling-Duck was east of Sebastian, Cameron 21 Jun (DJ), while 850 were nearby south of Delta Lake, Hidalgo 24 Jun (MBS, SG, ACa, LR, LD). Two Canada Geese at Fort Hancock Reservoir 26 Jun–15 Jul (JP) were the first in summer for Hudspeth but were very likely from nearby feral populations in El Paso. A lone Canada Goose found in Harlingen, Cameron 19–30 Jun (JY) was also probably of feral origin. In a rare local breeding attempt, a female Blue-winged Teal was flushed from a nest with eight eggs at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso 2 Jun (JSp). Two Cinnamon Teal at Mitchell Lake, Bexar 30 Jul (MR et al.) were perhaps early migrants. Unexpected on much of the Edwards Plateau, a Mottled Duck at Commons Ford Park, Travis 10–15 Jun (ph. AM) was a nice find. Three Northern Pintails at Balmorhea Lake, Reeves 18 Jun–1 Jul (JBo, GC) appeared to be over-summering, as did one near Mitchell Lake, Bexar 18 Jul+ (ph. CF). A male Canvasback at Sugar House Pond, Hidalgo 3–4 Jun was unusual for the summer (JY, HH). A lingering male Ring-necked Duck was west of Brazos Bend SP, Fort Bend 10 Jun (ph. MSc). A Greater Scaup lingered at Sugar House Pond, Hidalgo 13–24 Jun (DJ et al.). The Surf Scoter found in the spring on a freshwater lined pond near Choke Canyon, McMullen remained until at least 25 Jul (ph. WS, DMu). A Common Merganser at Higginbotham Park, Lubbock 21–30 Jul (ph. WTh, m. ob.) was quite unseasonal. A Red-breasted Merganser lingered on South Padre Island, Cameron 4–27 Jun (m. ob.). Ruddy Ducks were present and nested at the B. J. Bishop Wetlands, Presidio, Presidio 4 Jun–3 Jul (KF, ML, m. ob.)
Least Grebes continued to do well on the upper Texas coast, with a high count of 10 at Cattail Marsh in Beaumont, Jefferson 1 Jun (ph. HS), as well as a family group of seven at Goose Creek Park in Baytown, Harris 23 Jun (ph. CD), and five at San Bernard NWR, Brazoria 9 Jun (DaD). As many as three Least Grebes at the B. J. Bishop Wetlands, Presidio, Presidio 4 Jun–3 Jul (ph. KF, m. ob.) provided a first county record; another individual was discovered at Rio Grande Village, Brewster 22 Jun (ph. DrH). Elsewhere, a pair of Least Grebes that bred in Cedar Park were perhaps the first to do so in Williamson (BrF, m. ob.), and as many as seven juveniles were noted there by the end of the period. Up to six Eared Grebes lingered at Sugar House Pond, Hidalgo 3–18 Jun (JY, TSP). Rare for the summer, two Western Grebes were at Lake Meredith, Hutchinson/Moore 16–17 Jun (ph. MEl). A family group of up to five Clark’s Grebes was noteworthy at Lake Meredith, Hutchinson/Moore 1 Jun-12 Jul (ph. MEl, m. ob.); the species is not a regular breeder in the Panhandle. Common Ground Doves at Pearland, Harris 9 Jun (SBe) and near Cypress, Harris 22 Jul (MK) may indicate a slight breeding range expansion in the area. A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was seen several times at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso (JSp) during the period, but no breeding was confirmed for this locally declining species.
Nightjars through Shorebirds
A Common Pauraque was detected southeast of Bastrop, Bastrop 1 Jul (v. r. KMc), where the species is becoming more regular. A Chuck-will’s-widow north of White River Lake, Crosby 24 Jun (AH) was on the western edge of its breeding range. Quite unexpected was a Lucifer Hummingbird south of Utopia, Uvalde 23 Jun (MHe). A Broad-billed Hummingbird was west of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis 22–23 Jul (RP, KB), while one was at Davis Mountains SP, Jeff Davis 26 Jul (ph. LL). A Buff-bellied Hummingbird was out of range near Wimberley 3 Jun (ph. TM), perhaps a first for Hays. The three King Rails found in the spring were observed or heard irregularly throughout the summer season at Richland Chambers WMA, Navarro (EW, ph., RK, PI). A Virginia Rail near Grassland, Lynn 20 Jun (JBo) raised the possibility of local breeding. Likewise, a Sora near Crosbyton, Crosby 16 Jul (AH), and one or two Soras near Grassland, Lynn 19–23 Jul (JBo) indicated local nesting. Documented breeding records for either Virginia Rail or Sora in the region are mostly lacking. American Coots nested at the B. J. Bishop Wetlands, Presidio, Presidio 4 Jun–3 Jul (KF, ML, m. ob.). A Sandhill Crane near Tahoka, Lynn 24 Jul (ph. JBo) was a rare summer find for northwest Texas.
Up to 17 Black-necked Stilts, including one juvenile, were reported just west of College Station, Bryan 14 Jun+ (JH, m. ob.), a good local sighting for an area that usually doesn’t host the species in the summer. Quite unseasonal was an American Golden-Plover still mostly in basic plumage at Hornsby Bend, Travis 30 Jun (ph. TZ). A Snowy Plover at Village Creek Drying Beds, Tarrant 14 Jun (JSi) was an unexpected early migrant or failed nester. A Piping Plover at Pass Cavallo, Matagorda Island, Calhoun 20 Jun (PH) was a rare mid-summer find; up to two at Hagerman NWR, Grayson 20-25 Jul (SO, m. ob., ph.) constituted the only north-central Texas sightings for the season. Two Marbled Godwits at Richland Creek WMA, Freestone/Navarro 19 Jun (ph. CN) were unexpected early migrants. A Ruddy Turnstone southeast of Midland, Midland 2 Jun (ph. GPa) was a little tardy, and well west of the species’ normal migration route; one at Hagerman NWR, Grayson 27–29 Jul (ph. JCh) seemed early. Five Stilt Sandpipers were still at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, Harris 5 Jun (DDi, ND). Three White-rumped Sandpipers at Imperial Reservoir, Pecos 9 Jun (ph. MHo) were on the western edge of their expected migration route. Late was a Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Hornsby Bend, Travis 11 Jun (VE, AM); while one in Bryan, Brazos 27 Jul (†JH) was on the early side for a southbound migrant. A Semipalmated Sandpiper tarried at Port Aransas, Nueces 8–11 Jun (JBo et al.). An alternate Short-billed Dowitcher seen and heard calling on the Katy Prairie, Harris 9 Jul was apparently an early returning migrant (DDi). A Wilson’s Snipe southwest of Cypress, Harris 2 Jun was an extremely late migrant (ph. MB). Seven Willets at Hagerman NWR, Grayson 24 Jun (MCa) were early, as was one near Crosbyton, Crosby 2 Jul (ph. AH).
Gulls through Sulids
The only Laughing Gull reported in north-central Texas was one at Southside Wastewater Treatment Plant, Dallas 2 Jul (RRa, ph. BS). An impressive count of up to 18 Ring-billed Gulls summered at Lake Meredith, Hutchinson/Moore (ph. MEl, m. ob.). A lone Lesser Black-backed Gull was on North Padre Island, Kleberg 2 Jul (MeC), while a count of 13 at a favored loafing pond at Brazoria NWR, Brazoria 17 Jun was an unprecedented summer total for this rapidly expanding species (ph. MHa, DSt). Two Sooty Terns were in a breeding colony of gulls and terns in Rockport, Aransas 10–30 Jun (ph. PW, m. ob.); elsewhere, up to three were seen at different locations in the lower Laguna Madre, Cameron 13 Jun-27 Jul (SKi, MSa), and a lone individual was at Pass Cavallo, Calhoun 10 Jul (PH, TO). Two Caspian Terns were at Fort Hancock Reservoir and then McNary Reservoir, Hudspeth 11 Jun (ph. JP); another was near Grassland, Lynn 19 Jul (JBo). One of the highlights of the summer was the trio of Elegant Terns on Padre Island National Seashore, Kleberg 18–25 Jul (ph. MR, GL, m. ob.). Incredibly, another Elegant Tern was present on St. Joseph’s Island North Jetty, Aransas 23 Jul (ph. RL, SL).
A handful of Common Loons lingered into the first few days of Jun across the state, as sometimes happens; more unusual was one at Corpus Christi Pass on Mustang Island, Nueces 8 Jul (BeH et al.). An Audubon’s Shearwater was surprisingly close to shore off the Matagorda Island jetties, Matagorda 13 Jul (ph. PH). A Wood Stork visited a small pond west of Fort Davis 22 Jun (ph. MEa), providing an unexpected first for the Davis Mountains and Jeff Davis. A Magnificent Frigatebird at Balmorhea Lake, Reeves 1–2 Jul (ph. GC) was puzzling, perhaps blown in by Hurricane Dora, which was off the west coast of Mexico a few days prior. A juvenile Masked Booby found standing on a roadside west of Port O’Connor, Calhoun 14 Jun was released later in Copano Bay, Aransas (LHo, PH). Another Masked Booby was at the Port Aransas Jetty, Nueces 6 (ph. AE) & 16 Jul (ph. WS, DMu). Coastal and near-coastal Brown Boobies included up to three in Baytown, Harris 2–4 Jun (MK, SKu, ph. LS); one on South Padre Island, Cameron 27 Jun (ph. JGo); two about 35 miles off Port Aransas, Nueces 10 Jul (ph. TR); and a group of as many as 12 birds around Matagorda and Espiritu Santo Bays, Calhoun 15 Jun+ (ph. PH). There were several inland reports as well, with singles at Canyon Lake, Comal 7 Jun+ (ph. m. ob.); Lake Bob Sandlin, Camp 11 Jun (ph. RRo); Lake Mineral Wells, Parker 9 Jul (ph. LB); and Lake Livingston, Polk 10 Jul (ph. DoH). Brown Boobies have become so regular at both coastal and inland locations that the Texas Bird Records Committee voted to remove the species from its Review List 15 Jul.
Cormorants through Raptors
Two Neotropic Cormorants were at Leroy Elmore Park, Lubbock 28 Jun+ (DG, AH), where the species has become somewhat regular. An Anhinga wandered out of range to Jenna Welch Nature Center in Midland, Midland, where it was present 27 Jun–1 Jul (ShS, CB, KH, m. ob.). Rare in summer, four to 11 American White Pelicans were at Fort Hancock Reservoir, Hudspeth 11 Jun–15 Jul, the high count occurring 26 Jun (JP). Several more reports of the species came from northwest Texas, where the highlight was a group of up to 13 at Lake Meredith, Hutchinson/Moore 6–17 Jun (SM, m. ob.). The Brown Pelican located in late May at Lake Benbrook, Tarrant lingered until 5 Jun (CA, m. ob.). Incredibly rare in east Texas in summer, an American Bittern was a surprise find at Richland Creek WMA, Navarro 28 Jun (†PI, JCo). A Tricolored Heron made it to Heart of the Hills Fisheries, Kerr 19 Jun (ph. PS). Inland reports of Reddish Egrets included one west of Brazos Bend SP, Fort Bend 17 Jun (JBa); another on the Katy Prairie, Waller 14–17 Jun (ph. BoH, et al.); and one in Cuero, DeWitt 18 Jul (DMu). Farther afield, another Reddish Egret was at Imperial Reservoir, Pecos 5 Jun (ErC), while two were there 26 Jul (JBo). Two Yellow-crowned Night-Herons in far west El Paso 23 Jun+ (ph. JGr) strongly hinted at a first El Paso breeding record, but nesting was not confirmed. A group of 12 White Ibis near Brownfield, Terry 3 Jul (DG) was the first sizeable flock for the region. Glossy Ibis away from the coast included one at Seagoville, Dallas 23 Jul (RRa); two at Richland Creek WMA, Navarro, 26 Jul+ (RK, ph. PI); and one at Mitchell Lake, Bexar 26 Jul–8 Aug (ph. CF, m. ob.). A count of 75 Roseate Spoonbills at Choke Canyon SP, McMullen 24 Jun was impressive inland (WTa); good for the hill country was one at the Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne, Kendall 25 Jun (MR, SC, DP).
An Osprey in El Paso, El Paso 24 Jun–2 Jul (ph. JGr) made for a rare summer record and was likely present all period. A Swallow-tailed Kite at Galveston Island SP, Galveston 17 Jun (ph. AA) seemed out of place, and was perhaps a non-breeder or failed nester. Elsewhere, a group of nine near Edna, Jackson 30 Jun (TR) were perhaps early southbound migrants, though two in the same area 9 Jul (MDL) might indicate a local population. About two dozen Mississippi Kites flew eastward over College Station, Brazos 30 Jul (MMa), establishing an early migration date for the Central Brazos Valley. An adult Bald Eagle was a rare find at Choke Canyon SP, Live Oak 9 Jul (WS). A pair of Harris’s Hawks southeast of Tahoka, Lynn through the period (AH) were possibly breeders. A pair of Red-shouldered Hawks carrying food at White River Lake, Crosby 24 Jun (AH) also might have been breeding. Good summer finds of Broad-winged Hawk included one over Lubbock, Lubbock 6 Jun (WW) and another at Bensten SP, Hidalgo 30 Jul (MGu). With the recent increase of Short-tailed Hawk sightings in both the Chisos Mountains and Davis Mountains, it is perhaps not surprising that the Guadalupe Mountains hosted one as well: a light morph over The Bowl was a first for Guadalupe Mountains NP, Culberson 6 Jun (ph. ErC, KA). An adult Zone-tailed Hawk at Pollywog Pond, Nueces 5 Jun (AO) was out of place and rather unseasonal. Rarely found during the summer in northwest Texas in recent years, a lone Ferruginous Hawk was near Dimmitt, Castro 25 Jul (JCo).
Owls through Flycatchers
A cooperative Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl delighted birders northwest of Hargill, Hidalgo 8–27 Jun (TB, ElC et al.). Rarely detected in the Davis Mountains, two very vocal Spotted Owls west of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis 24 Jun+ (KB) may have been a mated pair. On the western tip of its expected range, a vocal Barred Owl was in Del Rio, Val Verde 7 Jun (MGu). Following a late May report, at least one Northern Saw-whet continued near Tejas Camp, Guadalupe Mountains NP, Culberson, and was heard again 5 Jun & 10 Jul (ErC, KA, JO, DSa), and briefly seen 11 Jul (ph. JBo). An out-of-range female Green Kingfisher was at Lone Star College, Kingwood, Montgomery 5 Jun+ (ph. MiC, m. ob.) in the same area where a male was present in Jan 2016 and 2017. A pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers 10 miles south of Blanco, Blanco 20 Jun (AJ, MJ) were well west of their typical haunts. A big surprise was a male Downy Woodpecker in an El Paso, El Paso yard 2–13 Jun (ph. BZ). A pair of American Kestrels again summered in College Station, Brazos (LiH), and for the first time there was tentative evidence of breeding when the male brought food to the female. A Peregrine Falcon was early near Tahoka, Lynn 24 Jul (JBo).
A calling Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet was noteworthy near Encino, Brooks 2 Jul, away from the species’ usual South Texas range (ph. MR, SC). An Olive-sided Flycatcher at Blucher Park in Corpus Christi, Nueces 7 Jun was on the late side (JBo). A Yellow-bellied Flycatcher at Sabine Woods, Jefferson 9 Jun was the latest ever for the upper Texas coast (JHa). Perhaps indicative of local breeding south of known areas, an Acadian Flycatcher was again present at Lions Park, Refugio, Refugio 4–22 Jul (JA, RW, SBr). A “Western” Flycatcher in El Paso, El Paso 14–18 Jun (JP) was a late migrant. Two Eastern Phoebes were again found in Pearland, Brazoria 28 Jun, where they nested last year (AW); also interesting were singles found in northwest Houston, Harris 28 Jun (KeH) and in Fetzer, Waller 2 Jul (JBe). A pair of Dusky-capped Flycatchers summered west of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis (KB), while two pair were present in Boot Canyon, Brewster 24 Jul (ph. RS). The most wayward Great Kiskadee was one at Kenedy Park, O. H. Ivie Reservoir, Coleman 17 Jul (LaH). Couch’s Kingbirds are not yet known to nest regularly on the upper Texas coast, so one found in Fort Bend 28 Jul was of interest (AR). Rather unusual for mid-summer was a Cassin’s Kingbird at Buffalo Lake NWR, Randall 23 Jun (ph. TA, m. ob.).
Vireos through Grosbeaks
A Philadelphia Vireo at the South Padre Island Convention Center, Cameron 4 Jun (ph. MMu) was quite late. A Yellow-green Vireo visited the Valley Land Fund Lot, South Padre Island, Cameron 1–3 Jun (SuS, TSP, MGa, DF, NR), while one at Sabine Woods, Jefferson 8–9 Jun was more surprising (ph. JM, JHa, JW). Horned Larks were confirmed breeding south of Pilot Point 6 Jul (WC), a first for Denton. Single Tree Swallows were early in Port Aransas, Nueces 16 Jul (WS) & 30 Jul (RL, SL). A lone Bank Swallow west of Poteet, Atascosa 23 Jun was noteworthy for summer (PM, SM, JPM). A Swainson’s Thrush at Sabine Woods, Jefferson 8 Jun was the latest ever reported on the upper Texas coast (JHa). A Wood Thrush singing at Camp Allen, Grimes 18 Jun (DV) was the first indication of possible breeding in the Central Brazos Valley since the early 1970s. A Gray Catbird at Blucher Park in Corpus Christi, Nueces 9 Jun was rather late (JBo). A flock of eight Cedar Waxwings in Groves, Jefferson 18 Jun constituted a spring late date for the upper Texas coast. (HD). Eastern Towhee is very rare in east Texas in summer, so one singing southeast of Livingston, Polk 16 Jun (DK) was noteworthy. A Chipping Sparrow in Grassland, Lynn 24 Jul (JBo) was unseasonal for the area. Not expected in summer anywhere in Texas, single White-crowned Sparrows were surprises in Mesquite, Dallas 21 Jul (DiD) and at Ascarate Park, El Paso 27 Jul–11 Aug (ph. JK).
A male Bronzed Cowbird in Southeast Park, Randall 21 Jun (DaH) hinted at the continued expansion of this species’ range. A pair of Prothonotary Warblers successfully fledged at least one young at the Medina River Natural Area, Bexar in mid-Jun for a rare county breeding record on the western edge of their breeding range. Farther westward and even more unusual was a male singing south of Camp Wood, Uvalde 14 Jun (v. r. MGu). A Nashville Warbler at The Woodlands, Montgomery 31 Jul (†GPr) must have been an early migrant. Late and a bit west was an American Redstart at Sam Nail Ranch in Big Bend NP, Brewster 4 Jun (AG). The presence of as many as three American Redstarts at Medina River Natural Area, Bexar 2–4 Jul (ACh, DMa, KMo, ph. WS) was puzzling; the species is not known to breed nearby, though there are occasional mid-summer sightings in central Texas. A Magnolia Warbler at Sabine Woods, Jefferson 8 Jun represented the latest ever spring report for the upper Texas coast (JHa); other tardy individuals included one at Blucher Park, Corpus Christi, Nueces 7 Jun (JBo) and another at Wells Branch, Travis 12 Jun (SR, WG). Other late warblers included a Yellow Warbler at Sabine Woods, Jefferson 8 Jun (JHa) and single late Chestnut-sided Warblers at the South Padre Island Convention Center, Cameron 4 Jun (MMu) and at Blucher Park, Corpus Christi, Nueces 7 Jun (JBo). Early southbound warblers included a Yellow-throated Warbler on Mustang Island, Nueces 16 Jul (ph. WS, DMu) and a Prairie Warbler in Port Aransas, Nueces 30 Jul (RL, SL). A Wilson’s Warbler east of Johnson City, Blanco 11 Jun (MZ) was a bit late.
Three Northern Cardinals, including a mated pair, summered at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park where breeding has occurred before (JSp). Away from this location, Northern Cardinal is casual in the El Paso area. Single male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, one at a feeder west of Grit, Mason 22 Jun (ph. BG) and another on South Padre Island, Cameron 9 Jul (GV) seemed too late to be northbound and too early to be southbound. A male Black-headed Grosbeak south of Lorenzo, Crosby 15 Jul (ML) was also quite unseasonal.
Report processed by Amy Davis, 11 Mar 2021.