Skyler Parks, Jim Paton (JiP) (Trans-Pecos), Thomas St. Pierre (TSP), Nina Rach, Ross Rasmussen (North Central Texas), Fay Ratta, Mary Richards (MRi), Cecilia Riley (CRi), Elaine Riley (ERi), Colton Robbins (CRo), Ed Roeder (ERo), Mike Rogan (MRo), Mary Anne Romito (MAR), Chris Runk (CRu), Bobby Schat (BSc), Zachary Schwab, Willie Sekula (South Texas), Dennis Shepler (DSh), Brad Shine (BSh), Jim Sipiora (JSi), Dough Smith (DSm), Kelly Smith, Sue Smith (SSm), John Sproul (JSp), Marvin Steinback (MaS), Jim Stevenson (JSt), Harlan Stewart, Mike Stewart (MiS), Mary Beth Stowe (MBS), Scott Summers (SSu), Romey Swanson, Margaret Kirby Taylor (MKT), Mark Terry, Sharon Terry, Aaron Tjelmeland, Zachary Tonzitech, Tess Trost, Natasja Vangestel, Darrell Vollert, Jeremy Webster, Ron Weeks (RWe) (Upper Texas Coast), Bob White, Stu Wilson, Liam Wolff, John Yochum, Matthew York.
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 Nightjars
Lone Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks were at the northern edge of their range at Southeast Park, Randall 6 Jun (BB) and Maxey Park, Lubbock 23 Jun (AH). A Fulvous Whistling-Duck wandered to just southeast of San Marcos, Hays 22-23 Jun (ph. CRo). A female Cinnamon Teal with seven young at Dell City 15 Jul (JiP) made for a rare Hudspeth breeding record. Redheads can be found in low numbers during the summer in many areas but 21-28 at County Road 152 Playa, Crosby 30 Jun-14 Jul (KH), 29 at Winchester Lake, Haskell 14 Jul (GC, SG), and 15-27 Redheads at the Himmel Farm, Crosby 13-15 Jul (KH) were notable counts. Two Ring-necked Ducks were hanging out with domestic waterfowl in Port Lavaca, Calhoun 6 & 8 Jun (NR, TO) while one lingered the entire period in the northwest portion of Fort Hood, Coryell (ph. LW, NG). A beached Black Scoter on East Beach in Galveston, Galveston 6 Jun was a holdover from this past winter’s irruption of the species to the coast (ph. KS); this is just the second summer record of the species for the U.T.C. A female Bufflehead continued from spring at Ascarate Park, El Paso through at least 22 Jun (ph., JKi) for a rare local summer record.
A Hooded Merganser west of Markley, Young 3 Jun (SL) was unexpected and a first summer record for the county; a juvenile at McAlister Park in Lubbock, Lubbock 1-7 Jun (JCr, ph.) was puzzling as it was perhaps indicative of breeding occurring in the local area. A female Red-breasted Merganser at North Jetty on St. Joseph Island, Aransas 7 Jul (AO) provided for a notable mid-summer record. A group of 12 Eared Grebes at Big Lake, Reagan 21 Jul (GC, SG) might have been over-summering there. Rare summer visitors to the Panhandle were 1-2 Western Grebes at Lake Meredith, Hutchinson 10 Jun (RG, MaS) and another at Greenways Park, Randall 20-21 Jun (KDE, DSm, SSm). A lone Clark’s Grebe at Lake J.B. Thomas, Scurry 25 Jun (JB) was along the far eastern edge of where the species can be expected.
A Common Ground Dove was unexpected at the County Road 301 Woodlot, Cottle 13 Jun (DrH). Continued habitat restoration at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park resulted in five detections of Yellow-billed Cuckoo there in June (JSp) but no confirmation of nesting. Elsewhere in El Paso, one was spotted in west El Paso 21 Jun (ph., JiP). The species maintains a tenuous presence in the El Paso area. A calling Black-billed Cuckoo at Estero Llano Grande S.P., Hidalgo 2 Jun (JY, IM) was late. A Chuck-will’s-widow was near the western edge of its range at White River Lake, Crosby 27 Jul (AH).
Hummingbirds through Gallinules
Mexican Violetears made a strong showing with the Kerrville, Kerr bird from the spring staying throughout the period until 19 Aug (ph. LLe), the spring bird near Reagan Wells, Uvalde staying until 19 Jun (m.ob.) and another one south-southeast of Concan, Uvalde 23 Jul – 11 Aug (ph. TD, m.ob.). The hybrid Black-chinned X Anna’s Hummingbird in far nw. Austin, Williamson was seen until 9 Jul (ph. AM). An adult male Anna’s Hummingbird in El Paso, El Paso 26-28 Jul (ph., JKi) was one of few summer records for Texas. Two Broad-billed Hummingbirds were northwest of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis 18 Jul (DDC, DLi) with at least one continuing 31 Jul+. The lone White-eared Hummingbird in Texas this season was one west of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis 4 Jul+ (ph. LLo). Violet-crowned Hummingbird had a great showing with one west of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis 8-29 Jul (ph. LLo) and another at a different location northwest of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis 25 Jul+ (MLi, CRi, ph. MGr).
A Virginia Rail at Lake Six, Lubbock 27 Jul (DrH, BK, PKi, NM, SP) was unusual for late summer/early fall. A late Sora was found in Flour Bluff, Nueces 9 Jun (ph. ERo). Rarely documented as a breeder in the hill country, 2 adult Common Gallinules were attending a recently fledged bird close to 3 other slightly older juveniles at the Uvalde Fish Hatchery, Uvalde 16 Jul (ph. MH). Elsewhere in the state, a pair nested at Village Creek, Tarrant 15 Jun – 7 Jul (CA) and 2 adults with 3 chicks were noted at Carlos Lake, Grimes 9 Jun (DV); an adult with two young at McNary Reservoir 23 Jul (JiP) was the first evidence of nesting at that Hudspeth site. Purple Gallinules again nested at Carlos Lake, Grimes with multiple sightings throughout the summer season, including 5 chicks 22 Jun (ph. GP) and two juveniles with adults 26 Jul (MRo).
Shorebirds through Terns
Two American Avocets 8 Jul (WH) in the Brazos River bottoms were early for the Oaks and Prairies region and the earliest for Burleson. Lingering quite late were 2 American Golden-Plovers at Hornsby Bend, Travis 5-12 Jun (ph. NK). Piping Plover migrants were found in above average numbers in n.-central Texas with the first of seven different reports in that region being a lone bird at Lake Lewisville Park, Denton 20 Jul (JHu, ph.) and the last also a lone bird at the same locale, 30 Jul (AG, ph.). A Snowy Plover 28 Jul (ph. SG, GC) at the Gibbons Creek Reservoir dam was a first county record for Grimes. Somewhat early, 10 Upland Sandpipers were found around Edroy, San Patricio 12 Jul (JB).
Four Long-billed Curlews at Muleshoe N.W.R., Bailey 28 Jun (BO, DAO) could have been early returning birds or perhaps birds over-summering nearby; 27 at Tornillo, El Paso 23 Jul (JiP) was an excellent total for summer. Two tardy Hudsonian Godwits were spotted in the puddle remains of Hays Lake, Kleberg 5 Jun (ph. AO). A first summer record for Lake Somerville, though expected during migration, is a Baird’s Sandpiper at Welch Park, Washington 31 Jul (†JMa, †CC). A Pectoral Sandpiper studied at Oso Bay, Nueces 4 Jun was late (MC). Quite unseasonal was an American Woodcock at St. Edward’s Park in northwest Austin, Travis 26 Jul – 25 Aug (ph. DHa, m.ob.).
A count of 80 Lesser Yellowlegs at Winchester Lake, Haskell 14 Jul (GC, SG) was notable that early for southbound birds. A Willet at White Rock Lake spillway, Dallas 5 July (JF) tied the previous regional early arrival date. A bit unseasonal or early were 2 Wilson’s Phalaropes at Muleshoe N.W.R., Bailey 28 Jun (BO, DAO). An extremely cooperative female Red Phalarope at Jersey Village, Harris 1-3 Jun was just the fourth for the U.T.C. and the first for the summer season (ph. ND, m.ob.).
The unusually lethargic and likely unhealthy Pomarine Jaeger on East Beach, Galveston from late May lingered there until 18 Jun (m.ob.) when it was apparently picked up by concerned local rehabbers. An odd sighting in late summer was a Franklin’s Gull over Hornsby Bend, Travis 23 Jul (RKa). A Lesser Black-backed Gull was seen at Matagorda Bay Nature Park/Jetty, Matagorda 14 Jun (HH) & 5 Jul (BG). Unlike the past couple of years were multiple birds have been found, only one Sooty Tern showed up Rockport Beach Park, Aransas 2 Jun (SFo) and it was a one-day wonder at that. A rare record for both Leon and Limestone was a single Least Tern at a couple locations on Lake Limestone 6 Jun (†JW, †GC, SG). Unseasonal was a Caspian Tern at Lake Amistad, Val Verde 2 Jul (MLo). A Royal Tern heading upriver at Salineno, Starr 16 Jun (DSh) was thought to be heading to Falcon Lake.
Loons through Ibis
Odd mid-summer Common Loons (all lone birds) were at the Amarillo Regulating Reservoir, Potter 18 Jun (RG, ph.), on Lake Whitney, Hill 27 Jun (JW) and as a flyover at Twin Buttes Reservoir, Tom Green 28 Jun (ph. LH). Two Audubon’s Shearwaters were seen offshore in Nueces waters from a fishing boat 30 Jun (JMc). Nine Brown Boobies in Corpus Christi Bay, Nueces 7 Jun were impressive (SkC, KeC). An immature Brown Booby favored Texas City Dike, Galveston (ph. m.ob.) while an adult was seen with some frequency in West Bay from various spots on Galveston Island, Galveston (ph. m.ob.); both birds remained throughout the season. An immature Double-crested Cormorant seen at Laguna Atascosa N.W.R., Cameron 28 Jul (MGu) was likely a summering bird. Two adult and one immature Neotropic Cormorant were at Leroy Elmore Park, Lubbock 1 Jun-31 Jul (PKe, AH), where the species bred for the second consecutive year. A Brown Pelican seen at Choke Canyon S.P., Southshore Unit, Live Oak 3 Jun (DHu) was apparently joined by another bird 20 Jul (ZT).
Up to 2 Least Bitterns were detected a couple times around Ferndale Lake, Camp 17 Jun – 8 Jul (JHe). A Little Blue Heron wandered as far west as Independence Creek Preserve, Terrell 14 Jul (ph. NG). An early summer Reddish Egret at Lake Livingston S.P., Polk 8 Jun (CBa, AB) was intriguing. Away from any significant water sources, a young Yellow-crowned Night-Heron in Van Horn, Culberson 24 Jul (MLo) may have been passing through. Two Yellow-crowned Night-Herons were seen numerous times in west El Paso, El Paso all period (ph. JG) and likely nested while another adult was at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso 1 Jul (JSp); this species seems to be increasing in that area. A Glossy Ibis was a surprising find at Winchester Lake, Haskell 14 Jul (GC, SG, ph.).
Vultures through Falcons
Black Vulture is rare but regular along the Rio Grande in Hudspeth to about McNary Reservoir, but accidental farther west; 3 were near Fort Quitman, Hudspeth 30 Jul (ph., JiP), feeding with numerous Turkey Vultures on fish trapped in drying pools. Casual in summer in n.-central Texas was an unexpected Osprey at Lake Tawakoni, Hunt, 11 June (RKi); another at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso 21-22 Jul (JSp) was a good find there. A White-tailed Kite was seen a number of times in June at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso (JSp, m.ob.) through 25 Jun, with 2 present 22 Jun (JSp), but no nesting was noted. Up to eight Swallow-tailed Kites delighted birds at Devers Creek Park in Ganado, Jackson during the summer with two active nests (m.ob.) being noted. A Sharp-shinned Hawk in Lufkin, Angelina 22 Jun (GH) may have been a locally summering bird. An adult and subadult Bald Eagle over the Rio Grande River, Chapeno, Starr 16 Jun (DSh, FC) were noteworthy for the date and location.
A Mississippi Kite seen at the Southshore Unit of Choke Canyon S.P., Live Oak 2 Jun (SG, GC) was well away from the species’ traditional summer haunts. Out of place was a Common Black Hawk near Devil’s River S.N.A., Val Verde 3 Jun (ph. JKu) and another at Independence Creek Preserve, Terrell 15 Jul (ph. SSu). A Harris’s Hawk was found below Lake Six in Lubbock, Lubbock 4 Jun (JCr) where the species is only an irregular visitor/breeder. A pair of Broad-winged Hawks evidently pulled off a successful breeding attempt in Lubbock, Lubbock 1 Jun+ (CBo), with 2 adults and one juvenile present at the end of the season.
Very out of place for the season were 2 Burrowing Owls on Fort Hood north of Copperas Cove, Coryell 24 Jun with at least one of them summering through 30 Jul (ph. NG). Up to 2 Ringed Kingfishers were at Independence Creek Preserve, Terrell 14-21 Jul (NG, CRi) where the species has been intermittently found over the past few years. A Belted Kingfisher reported from Kaufer-Hubert Memorial Park, Kleberg 13 Jun (MAR) may have been a late spring migrant while another bird reported from Welder Wildlife Foundation, San Patricio 8 Jul (MM) was perhaps an early fall arrival. Although Ladder-backed Woodpecker was not unusual through the 1980s, there had been only 2 records since than for Brazos; now a third record was 16 Jun (ph. SFl) at a home in College Station. Two Peregrine Falcons soaring very high above Lick Creek Park, Brazos 1 Jun (†BN, †SD, m.ob.) are a first June record for the Central Brazos Valley. Surprisingly, another, or perhaps the same, peregrine flew low over buildings at the Texas A & M University campus 26 Jun (†BN).
As many as 3 Dusky-capped Flycatchers were in Boot Canyon, Big Bend N.P., Brewster during the spring but the only summer report there was a single bird there 21 Jul (RS); at least 3 pair were in the Davis Mountains west of Fort Davis, Jeff Davis 6 Jun (StC, DD). A Great Crested Flycatcher at Kaufer-Hubert Memorial Park, Kleberg 15 Jun (MAR) was a late spring migrant while single birds at South Padre Island, Cameron 24 Jul (TSP) and Conn Brown Harbor, Aransas 27 Jul (DLi, DDC) were early fall migrants. A Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher seemed to be on territory was along Alamito Creek about 30 miles south of Marfa, Presidio 10 Jun – 5 Jul (ph. SW, ph. MLo) though only one bird was ever seen.
A pair of Tropical Kingbirds at Independence Creek Preserve, Terrell 3 Jun+ (ph., audio, EC, m.ob.) was a nice find as there are still very few records of paired birds away from the coast and Rio Grande corridor. Several pairs of Tropical Kingbirds nested successfully at Ascarate Park, El Paso where as many as a dozen or more birds were readily seen all period with fledglings photographed (m.ob., JKi). In Hudspeth, a pair was present all period near Dell City (ph., JiP) where nesting was suspected but not confirmed. A Cassin’s Kingbird was a surprising visitor near Friona, Parmer 7 Jun (DrH). A highlight of the summer in Texas was a Thick-billed Kingbird at the Lawrence E. Woods Picnic Area, Jeff Davis 21 Jun (ph. WM) which, unfortunately appeared to only be a one-day wonder. Two Eastern Kingbirds reported from Charlie’s Pasture, Nueces 5 Jun (BM, LM) were late.
Late migrant Olive-sided Flycatchers included one along the northern part of Lake O’ The Pines, Upshur 9 Jun (GC, SG), another in Trinity, Trinity 11 Jun (BW), and one more at the Lubbock Cemetery, Lubbock 15 Jun (TT). A first summer record for Bell was a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 11 Jun (ph. GE). An Alder/Willow “Traill’s” Flycatcher at Pollywog Pond, Nueces 27 Jul was early for the Coastal Bend (DM, WS). A Least Flycatcher is the only June record for Bell, photographed at Stillhouse Park, Stillhouse Hollow Park 3 Jun (ph. GE). Another was observed 24 Jul (†SK) in Bryan, Brazos, where it is rare in July.
Vireos through Wrens
Well away from known breeding range, 2 White-eyed Vireos were an interesting find at Caprock Canyon S.P., Briscoe 13 Jul (JCr). A Bell’s Vireo at Leonbelle Turnbull Birding Center in Port Aransas, Nueces 27 Jul (WS) was probably an early fall migrant. A Warbling Vireo may have been trying to establish/start a territory below Lake Six, Lubbock 1-23 Jun (JCr, ZS) but there were no signs of a second bird; one at Hueco Tanks State Historical Site 20 Jul (KF) was notably early as a likely southbound/fall migrant. Both late and off-course to the west was a Red-eyed Vireo at Rio Grande Village, Big Bend N.P., Brewster 7 Jun (ph. UO). A Red-eyed Vireo in northwest Hudspeth 15 Jul (ph., JiP) was just the second county record but the first documented, and only the second for summer in the El Paso area. The outlier Yellow-green Vireo from the spring at The Post park south of Marathon, Brewster remained throughout the period (m.ob.). The only Yellow-green Vireos in South Texas this summer were single birds seen in Cameron 15-16 Jun on Palmetto Hill Road (MBS et al.) and San Benito 26 & 28 Jun (KiC).
Two American Crows reported from Choke Canyon S.P., Calliham Unit, McMullen 13 Jul (KG) were notable for the westerly location. Rare in summer in McLennan, up to 3 Horned Larks were watched 19 May-23 Jun (MY, ph. FR, †ph. TM) in cotton fields along Steiner Road in Waco. A Bank Swallow photographed at Cattail Marsh in Beaumont, Jefferson 7-10 Jun were the latest in modern times (ph. HS). Two Bank Swallows reported from the headquarters of Padre Island National Seashore, Kleberg 29 Jun were most likely early fall migrants (ERi) as were 2 from the Port Aransas Jetty, Nueces 16 Jul (BO, DAO); a lone bird at Choke Canyon S.P., Calliham Unit, McMullen 6 Jul (TL et al.) was more likely a post-breeding dispersant. Interesting were lone Tree Swallows at Hans Sutter Wildlife Refuge, Nueces 2 Jun (SM) and another in Victoria, Victoria 28 Jun & 11 Jul (MT, ST). A Brown-headed Nuthatch at the West Tract of the Turtle Bayou Nature Preserve, Chambers 27 Jul suggests the species is still an occasional breeder in the county (MKT, SE). A Cactus Wren northeast of Amarillo, Potter 11 Jun (WJW) was a good find in the northern extreme of the bird’s range.
Thrushes through Orioles
A Swainson’s Thrush in a Lubbock yard, Lubbock 8 Jun (NV, ph.) was a record late-date for that region. Three Wood Thrushes including 2 singing birds at the Creekwood Nature Area in Kingwood, Harris 31 Jul imply they still occasionally breed in the county (MBu). A Clay-colored Thrush was well north of range deep onto the Edwards Plateau at Rio Frio (community), Real 2 Jun (ph. PF). A late Gray Catbird was at Clapp Park, Lubbock 6 Jun (BSh). A mid-summer Cedar Waxwing north of Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir, Bell 21 Jun (ph. GE) was quite lost. Slightly unseasonal was a Phainopepla on the north side of Abilene, Taylor 3 Jun (ph. JaP). An American Goldfinch lingered at a residence in Houston, Harris until 2 Jun for one of few June records for the U.T.C. (MBr).
A Black-throated Sparrow at the Nature Conservancy’s Texas City Prairie Preserve, Galveston 5 Jul (ph. AT, ph. SB) was just the fourth record for the U.T.C. and the first for the summer season; the bird’s aberrant bill, with a foreshortened upper mandible, may have had something to with the bird appearance and odd date. A group of 6 Yellow-headed Blackbirds near Chillicothe, Hardeman 11 Jul (BG) and 2 at Winchester Lake, Haskell 14 Jul (GC, SG) were perhaps early southbound/fall migrants. An interesting oriole that looked to be perhaps a Streak-backed Oriole from a southern subspecies/population in far southern Mexico or central America was present at The Post park south of Marathon, Brewster 9-10 Jun (ph. MLo). An unseasonal male Baltimore Oriole at Choke Canyon S.P., Calliham Unit, McMullen 16 Jun (DM, WS) was in the company of 2 Bullock’s Orioles. Up to 3 Bronzed at Country Club Lake, Brazos since 16 Apr, were seen regularly during the summer (m.ob.), and with a fourth cowbird 24 Jul (RM).
A Worm-eating Warbler at Sabine Woods, Jefferson 25 Jul was the first summer record for the U.T.C. (JHa). A Louisiana Waterthrush along Cibolo Creek near Shafter, Presidio 14 Jul (ph. JO) was intriguing, either a lost summering bird or perhaps an early post-breeder/migrant. A Prothonotary Warbler was detected amongst the mangrove roots on South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, Cameron 31 Jul (KL). A male Swainson’s Warbler singing on territory at River Legacy Park East, Tarrant 1-6 Jun (JSi, ph.) was the lone report of the species this summer in the n.-central Texas region. Single singing Swainson’s Warblers were at Aransas N.W.R., Aransas 5 & 9 Jun (SkC, DM, WS) and at 2 locations in Colorado 4 & 5 Jul (GC). A singing Mourning Warbler was quite late on the northwest part of Fort Hood, Coryell 12 Jun (NG) while an extremely early one on west Galveston Island, Galveston 31 Jul was the first summer record for the U.T.C. (ph. JSt). A pair of Hooded Warblers at Aransas N.W.R., Aransas 9 Jun (DM, WS) were at the species’ most southerly breeding outpost in the state while a singing male at Devine Lake, Williamson 27 Jun (BF) was at least 50-60 miles east of the closest known territories to the east.
A male Tropical Parula at Rio Grande Village, Big Bend N.P., Brewster 15 Jun (ph. MiS) was perhaps the same bird that was seen nearby during the spring. A Magnolia Warbler at Colorado Bend S.P., San Saba 16 Jun (KB) was a late migrant. A mid-summer Yellow Warbler at the Uvalde Fish Hatchery, Uvalde 3 Jul (ph. CG) was out of season and perhaps a bird that attempted to summer in the area. A Chestnut-sided Warbler at St. Edward’s Park in northwest Austin, Travis 8 Jun (RH) was the latest lingering one reported in central Texas. A Pine Warbler reported from Columbus, Colorado 12 Jul (JB) is odd for the location and date. An early migrant for Brazos and only the third summer record was a Yellow-throated Warbler at Red Feather Nature Preserve, Kurten 30 Jul (ph. MRi). At least 4 vocal Black-throated Gray Warblers were along the lower portion of the Dog Canyon trail, Guadalupe Mountains N.P., Culberson 1 Jun (CRu); a lone bird and a pair were detected in the same area 5 Jul (DLe). A Black-throated Gray Warbler was early at Hueco Tanks State Historical Site, El Paso 20 Jul (KF). The seemingly paired-up Slate-throated Redstarts found in late spring in Boot Canyon, Big Bend N.P., Brewster continued through the period (ph., m.ob.) though no signs of successful nesting were reported.
Tanagers through Buntings
A female Summer Tanager observed with two fledglings below Lake Six, Lubbock 27 Jul (DrH, PKi, SP) was the first documented breeding of the species in the county. A male Scarlet Tanager in Aransas Pass, San Patricio 3 Jun (BJ) was late. Western Tanager can occur at odd dates throughout the summer in El Paso, especially in July, but such records are rare in Hudspeth due to much less coverage; thus, a male Western Tanager in northwest Hudspeth 15 Jul (ph., JiP) was a nice find. Northern Cardinal has consolidated its presence at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, El Paso with at least one to three or more birds all period and nesting confirmation of at least one pair (m.ob., JSp); the species continues to be casual elsewhere in the county. A female Rose-breasted Grosbeak in El Paso, El Paso 3 Jun (ph., JKi, KK) was one of few summer records there. Two male Lazuli Buntings below Lake Six, Lubbock 4 Jun-14 Jul (JCo, JCr, PKe, JMi, BSc, ZS, BSh) sang throughout their stay though there were no signs of females or breeding attempts.
Report processed by Byron Swift, 3 Oct 2020