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A Report from

Texas 9th -25th April 2004,

Simon Hartill

Southampton, UK.

In early 2004 I decided with my birding mate, Alan Baxter, Worthing, to take advantage of the favourable $/£ exchange rate and plan a 2 week trip to Texas for the Spring Migration and specialities. I had previously visited Florida and Cape May, and in 1994 spent 6 weeks as a volunteer "bander" at Long Point in Ontario, Canada. However, Texas still offered many new species of birds and the opportunity to see, "sum plum" warblers, which I had mostly only seen before in the Autumn.


The flight and hire car, were booked through WildWings, many thanks to Loretta Grove at WildWings, as efficient as ever. The flight was with B.A. Gatwick to Houston direct, cost £327. Hire car with Alamo, via Holiday Autos and WildWings, was a Group D Chevvy Classic, large 4 door saloon, 2.0 litre automatic. Very comfortable and powerful on the 2500 miles that we drove.

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

Total Cost of Trip for 16 days all in, was £1140.

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

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

Good Friday, 9/4

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

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

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

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

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

The Whooping Crane showed well, views down to 100 feet. We also saw a pair of White tailed Hawks on their nest, 6+ Seaside Sparrows, Skimmers, Least, Sandwich, Royal, Caspian and Forsters Terns. 5 Great northern Divers, BBW Ducks,

BN Grebes, Pelicans, Long billed Curlews, N.Harrier, C.Caracara, Am. Oyk, WF Ibis, Roseate Spoonbills, loads of Egrets, YCNight Herons, and ST Flycatchers, one of my favourite birds. A school of Dolphins played alongside the boat for 10 minutes or so.

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

Sun 11/4

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

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

Hit the jackpot with a mini fall of warblers in the wet, windy conditions.

RB Grosbeaks, WE, Philadelphia, and RE Vireos. Tennesse, B & W, Hooded, Blackburnian, Prothonatory  and Blue winged Warblers. E.Wood Peewees,

RT Hummers, Great Kiskadee, BW teals, Baltimore Orioles.

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

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

Mon 12/4

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

Tropical Paraula.

Sarita rest area. Brewers Blackbirds approx 30, Hooded Oriole

Drove to Sabel Palm Audobon Reserve, south of Brownsville.

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

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

Tues 13/4

Bentsen State Park  7.30-12 

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

American Swallow-tailed Kite drifted over the reserve around 10.00.

Did a raptor watch with a very experienced American birder on the Levee just outside the reserve from 11-12.  25 Swainson's 20 Broad winged, 2 Sharpies and a

White tailed Kite. A Hook-billed Kite was seen about an hour B4 we started our watch.

Visited the odorous delights of McAllen Sewage Wks. 150+ Least Sands, Least Grebe, 4 Spot Sands, Forsters and GB Terns + an obliging Grasshopper Sparrow. Went back to the hotel for a siesta. Drove back to Bentsen by 5 pm to the new hawk watch platform currently under construction. Scored good views of the nesting Grey Hawk + more WT Kites, Lark Sparrows, Coopers Hawk, Nashville and BlkTG Warblers, Chipping Sparrows.

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

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

Weds 14/4  Santa Anna

Highlight was the superb Hook billed Kite flying low over the forest from the Willow lake viewing platform. Good movement of 27 Mississippi Kites, 160+ Broad wings,

1 Coopers, 1 Harris and 1 Sharp shinned Hawk. The RT Becard present last year had long gone. 2 x Fulvous W.Ducks were new.

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

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

Thursday 15/4 Chapeno

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

Falcon State Park

3 Road Runners were very obliging in the empty RV camp site. Orange crowned Warblers, Lark, Chipping, Clay coloured, Vesper and BT Sparrows, Black and Forsters Terns, Pyrrhyloxia, Cactus Wrens + singing Bullock's oriole. Good views of 2 Verdins and 2 N.Bobwhites along a trail on the south side. The approach road was very good for the sparrows.

San Ignacio 3-4.45pm

Turn left from garage down Washington Ave to the end and walk down the steep path to the private nature reserve.

White-collared Seed-eater a male and female showed well around the dripping tap and feeder. Lesser Goldfinch-12, Nashville Warbler, Yellowthroat, Lincoln's and Olive Sparrows

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

Friday 16/4 Laredo- Carrizo Springs Route 83

Drove slowly along the road stopping frequently. Verdin, lots of Bullocks Orioles, 200 Cave Swallows, Ashy-t-Fly, Harris Hawks, Cassins, Brewers Sparrows. Stopped at the water tanks on a hill where our only White crowned Sparrows-4 of the trip were seen and RT Hawks.

Neals Lodge

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

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

Sat 17/4  Lost Maples

$4 entry. Female Turkey on drive to park was the only one of the trip! Walked the East and West Trails. Golden cheeked Warblers seemed to be everywhere once you recognised their song. We saw at least 11 birds well.

Canyon Wrens, RS Hawk, Yellow throated Vireo, Bush Tit, male Blue Grosbeak, Field sparrow, Bc Titmouse, B&W Warblers, Sharp Shinned, Swainsons and Coopers Hawks.

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

223 species so far.

Sun 18/4 Neals Lodge

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

Bat Cave evening

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

The approach track was good for Vermilion fly, Lark sparrow - 25+, Field sparrow-2 and a Greater Roadrunner dustbathing.

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

Mon 19/4  Kerr Wildlife Management Area

Packed our bags and departed Neals. 9-10.30 at Kerr. Overcast, some light rain.

The Black capped Vireos showed very well, even allowing me to video them. Made up for the crap view I had at Neals, stunning little birds. Also Ruby crowned Kinglet -1, Blue-grey gnatcatcher, Orange-crowned, Nashville warblers.

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

WG Jones State Forest 5-7 pm

2 Red-headed, 3 Red cockaded, Pileated, Red bellied, and Downy Woodpeckers. Woodpeckers galore!!! But we dipped the Brown headed Nuthatch. 4 Mississippi Kites, Pine Warblers, Blue Jays and Eastern bluebirds.

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

Tues, 20/4 WG Jones again

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

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

 Boy Scout Woods  3.30-5.30

Yellow-b-Cuckoo, Baltimore Oriole, Worm-eating Warbler, Blackpoll, Yellow Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Summer Tanagers, Wood Thrush, Swainson's thrush, N.WaterThrush, Am. Redstart all from the grandstand.

Smith Oaks

Brown Thrasher, Hooded, Tennesse, Chestnut sided, Black throated Green, Kentucky, and best of all, good views of a skulking, ground dwelling Swainson's Warbler. A 15 warbler species day. Also RB Grosbeaks, another YB Cuckoo, RE Vireo.

Weds, 21/4  Anahuac

LB Dowitcher-250, Killdeer, 33 Wilson's Phalaropes, some in full breeding plumage, simply stunning. 18 Stilt Sands, Solitary, Spotted, Pecs, Least, 6 White rumped,

1 Bairds, Semi-P Sands. 

Am. Purple Gallinule at Shoveler Pond, male N.Harrier.

A female King Rail showed surprisingly well from boardwalk, right under our feet! Fuvous and BB Whistling Ducks, Savannah Sparrow, Alligators.

Watched from the road as the BirdFinders Tour Group did a "Rail Walk" at the Rail Prairie. 8 Seaside Sparrows, Le Conte's Sparrows, Clapper Rail.

Boy Scout Woods 3.45 pm

Rather quiet, Worm eating and Tennesse Warbler from the grandstand

Old Pier on beach

A relaxing sunbathing seawatch produced an Arctic Skua, BW Teals, Pelicans and Terns

Smith Oaks

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

Thurs, 22/4  Bolivar Flats

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

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

Rollover Pass

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

Yacht Basin Road pm

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

Intersection of 124 and Anauhuac turnoff

13 Upland Sands in field right next to turn off.


16 Wilsons Phals, Stilt Sands, Bairds and White rumpeds. A stunning but brief male Dickcissel from the car near Shoveler Pond. Tree Swallows, N.Harriers. Saw a Bobcat cross over the road in front of the car on approach road.

Friday, 23/4  Big Thickett, Gore Store Road

1.5 miles from the highway we parked by some gas/oil tanks and walked up the track by the Happy Club Trail, Foundation Oil Co.

YB Chats, Bluebirds, Pine Warblers, Painted Bunting, WT Kite, Downy Pecker.

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

A fly over Am Swallow-tailed kite was very nice..

Sabine Wood 3 pm

Very quiet, female Blackpoll, Tennesse and Hooded Warblers, YB Cuckoo, Am Redstart, Summer Tanager. We watched a Water Mocasin snake hunt little fish in the pond.

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

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

Saturday, 24/4 Anahuac Rail Walk

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

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

The usual waders were by the Info Centre. Stopped by the Willows on the way out. It began to rain but it soon became apparent that the bad weather had brought in a few migratory birds. Yellow, 1xPalm, Tennessee Warblers, 5 RB Grosbeaks, Swainsons and Grey cheeked Thrush.

Boy Scout Wood midday onwards

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

Stunning 10+ male Bay breasts, 40+ Chestnut sided, 40+ Tennesse, 8 Parulas, 2 Black-t green, 4 Blackburnian, 1 Blackpoll, 2 Cerulean, 1 Cape May, 3 Yellow, 1 Magnolia, 1 Blue-winged, 1 Golden winged Warbler, good comparison of Louisiana and N.Water Thrushes, Ovenbirds galore, 2 Yellow throated and 10+ Red eyed Vireos, Hooded and Kentucky warblers in the undergrowth, 3 Wood Thrush, more Grey cheeked and Swainsons thrush, B&W warbler, Am Redstart, Yellowthroat, Blue Grosbeak and loads of Indigo Buntings. Yellow-billed cuckoo's were common with 10+.

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

Smith Oaks

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

124/Anauhuac Intersection

80+ Buff breasted Sands, 5 Upland Sands

Sunday 25/4

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

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

Main Misses

Groove-billed Ani and Muscovy Duck - didn't really try as had seen in Peru on previous trip
Feral Parrots in towns along Rio Grande - Seeing Parrots in downtown Brownsville somehow just doesn't appeal
Northern Beardless Tyrannulet - Arrived at site too late in the morning, get there early to have a good chance.
Botteri's Sparrow - Never looked for
Hudsonian Godwit - Various reports of them being seen at Anahuac Rice Fields
Bald Eagle - Knew of site but decided to drive straight to airport.

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

My lifers in bold

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

Most others were commonly seen.

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

Great Northern Diver - Aransas Boat trip

Least Grebe - Sabel Palms, McAllen sewage ponds

Pied-billed Grebe

Black-necked Grebe - Aransas Boat trip

American White Pelican - Rollover Pass, Bolivar Flats

Brown Pelican - Aransas Boat trip

Magnificent Frigatebird - Galveston Ferry

Double-crested Cormorant

Neotropic Cormorant


American Bittern - Anahuac

Least Bittern - Aransas Boat Trip, Anahuac

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Snowy Egret

Reddish Egret - Aransas Boat trip, Bolivar flats

Tricoloured Heron

Little Blue Heron

Cattle Egret

Green Heron

Black-crowned Night-heron

Yellow-crowned Night-heron

White Ibis

White-faced Ibis

Roseate Spoonbill

Black-bellied Whistling-duck

Fulvous-bellied Whistling-duck - Santa Anna, Anahuac

'Mexican' Mallard

Mottled Duck

American Black Duck


American Wigeon - Aransas

Northern Shoveler

Blue-winged Teal

Green-winged Teal

Greater Scaup - Aransas

Ruddy Duck - Aransas

Red-breasted Merganser - Rollover Pass

Turkey Vulture

American Black Vulture

Hook-billed Kite - Santa Anna

White-tailed Kite - Bentsen, Gore Store Road

Mississippi Kite - Santa Anna, WG Jones State Park

Swallow-tailed Kite - Bentsen, Big Thicket

Sharp-shinned Hawk - Bentsen, Lost Maples

Cooper's Hawk - Bentsen, Bat Cave, Lost Maples

Harris' Hawk - Santa Anna, Route 83 N of Laredo

Grey Hawk - Bentsen

Red-shouldered Hawk

Broad-winged Hawk

Zone tailed Hawk - Neals Lodges

Swainson's Hawk

Short tailed Hawk - Sabel Palms

White-tailed Hawk - Aransas Boat trip, N of Sarita

Red-tailed Hawk


Northern Harrier - Aransas, Anahuac

Crested Caracara


American Kestrel - Bat Cave

Peregrine - Bolivar Flats

Plain Chachalaca - Sabel Palms, Bentsen

Northen Bobwhite - Falcon State Park

Wild Turkey - Lost Maples

American Purple Gallinule - Anahuac

Common Moorhen

American Coot

Clapper Rail - Anahuac (Yellow rail area)

King Rail - Anahuac (Shoveler Pond)

Black Rail - Anahuac (Yellow rail area)

Yellow Rail - Anahuac (Yellow rail area)

Sora Rail

Whooping Crane - Aransas Boat Trip

Grey Plover

American Golden Plover - Aransas approach roads

Piping Plover - Bolivar Flats

Semipalmated Plover

Wilson's Plover - Bolivar Flats


American Oystercatcher - Aransas Boat trip

American Avocet - Bolivar Flats

Black-necked Stilt

Greater Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs

Solitary Sandpiper - Anahuac Rice Fields


Spotted Sandpiper

Upland Sandpiper - Intersection of 124 and Anauhuac turnoff

'Hudsonian' Whimbrel - Bolivar

Long-billed Curlew - Aransas Boat trip, Port Aransas

Marbled Godwit - Aransas Boat trip

Ruddy Turnstone

Knot - Bolivar Flats



Pectoral Sandpiper

White-rumped Sandpiper - Anahuac

Baird's Sandpiper - Anahuac

Western Sandpiper - Bolivar Flats

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Stilt Sandpiper - Anahuac

Long-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher

Buff-breasted Sandpiper - Intersection of 124 and Anauhuac turnoff

Wilson's Phalarope - Anahuac

Arctic Skua - Surfers Pier nr Boy Scout

Franklin's Gull - Aransas to Victoria

Lesser black backed Gull - 1 on Aransas boat trip

Glaucous Gull - 1st sum nr Galveston ferry

Laughing Gull

Ring-billed Gull

'American' Herring Gull

Caspian Tern

Royal tern

Sandwich Tern

Common Tern

Forster's Tern

Least Tern

Gull-billed Tern

Black Tern - Rollover Pass

Black Skimmer - Rollover Pass

Rock Dove

Red-billed Pigeon - Chapeno along Rio Grande

Mourning Dove

White-winged Dove

White-tipped Dove - Sebal Palms

Inca Dove

Common Ground Dove

Yellow-billed Cuckoo - Boy Scout and Smithoaks

Black-billed Cuckoo - Smithoaks

Greater Roadrunner - Falcon State Park, Bat Cave

Great Horned Owl - Chapeno

Barred Owl               (heard only)

Elf Owl  -  Bentsen

Eastern Screech Owl - Bentsen

Common Pauraque - Bentsen

Chuck-will's-widow       (heard only)  Bat Cave

Common Nighthawk

Lesser Nighthawk - Road N out of Chapeno

Chimney Swift

Buff-bellied Hummingbird - Sabel Palms by river

Black-chinned Hummingbird - Neals Lodges

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Belted Kingfisher

Ringed Kingfisher - Sabel Palms, Chapeno

Green Kingfisher - Sabel Palms, Chapeno

Red-headed Woodpecker - WG Jones State Forest

Golden-fronted Woodpecker -

Red-bellied Woodpecker - WG Jones State Forest

Downy Woodpecker - WG Jones State Forest

Red-cockaded Woodpecker - WG Jones State Forest

Ladder-backed Woodpecker - N of Sarita, Sabel Palms, Bentsen

Pileated Woodpecker - WG Jones State Forest

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Yellow bellied Flycatcher - Boy Scout Woods

Acadian Flycatcher - Paradise Ponds

Black Phoebe - Neals Lodges

Eastern Phoebe - Neals Lodges

Vermillion Flycatcher - Neals Lodges

Ash-throated Flycatcher - Route 83 N of Laredo, Neals Lodges

Brown-crested Flycatcher - Bentsen, Santa Anna

Eastern Kingbird

Couch's Kingbird

Western Kingbird - Smithoaks, Sabine Woods

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Great Kiskadee

Horned Lark - Port Aransas airport, Bolivar Flats

Tree Swallow

Purple Martin

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Sand Martin

Barn Swallow

Cliff Swallow

Cave Swallow - Bat Cave, Under bridge Route 83

Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Kerr Wildlife Park

Cedar Waxwing - Neals Lodges

Cactus Wren - Chapeno Area, Route 83 N

Rock Wren - Entrance to Bat cave

Canyon Wren - Lost Maples, Bat Cave

Sedge Wren - Anahuac

Marsh Wren - Port Aransas birding centre, Aransas

Bewick's Wren - Salieno

Carolina Wren

Grey Catbird - Boy Scout Wood

Northern Mockingbird

Brown thrasher - Smithoaks

Long-billed Thrasher - Sabel Palms, Bentsen, Neals Lodges

Curve-billed Thrasher - Chapeno area, Route 83N

Eastern Bluebird - Neals Lodges, WG Jones State Forest

Swainson's Thrush - Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks

Wood Thrush - Boy Scout Woods

Grey-cheeked Thrush - Smithoaks

Clay-coloured Robin - Bentsen, Santa Anna

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher - Neals Lodges, Kerr Wildlife Park

Bushtit - Lost Maples

Carolina Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse - WG Jones State Forest

Black crested Titmouse

Brown-headed Nuthatch - WG Jones State Forest, Gore Store Road

Verdin - Falcon State Park, Route 83N

Loggerhead Shrike

Blue Jay - WG Jones State Forest

Western Scrub Jay - Neals Lodges, Lost Maples

Green Jay - Sabel Palms, Bentsen

Brown Jay - Chapeno

American Crow

Fish Crow - 2 flew over Sabine Woods

Chihuahuan Raven - Chapeno area Falcon State Park

Common Raven - Lost Maples

European Starling

House Sparrow

Bell's Vireo - Neals Lodges

Black-capped Vireo - Kerr Wildlife Park

White-eyed Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo - Boy Scout Woods

Yellow-throated Vireo - Lost Maples, Boy Scout Woods

Red-eyed Vireo - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks

Warbling Vireo - Paradise Pond

Philadelphia Vireo - Paradise Pond

Lesser Goldfinch - San Ignacio, Neals Lodges

House Finch - Neals Lodges

Blue-winged Warbler - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods

Golden-winged Warbler - Boy Scout Woods

Tennessee Warbler - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks

Orange-crowned Warbler - Falcon State Park, Neals Lodges, Lost Maples

Nashville Warbler - Paradise Pond, Neals Lodges, Bentsen

Northern Parula - Paradise Pond, P Aransas Birding Centre Boy Scout Woods

Tropical Parula       (heard only, N of Sarita)

Yellow Warbler - P Aransas Birding Centre, Anahuac, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks

Chestnut-sided Warbler - Smithoaks, Boy Scout Woods

Magnolia Warbler - Boy Scout Woods

Blackburnian Warbler - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods

Yellow-rumped Warbler - P Aransas Birding Centre

Black-throated Green Warbler - P Aransas Birding Centre, Bentsen, Boy Scout Woods

Golden-cheeked Warbler - Lost Maples

Yellow-throated Warbler - Neals Lodges

Prairie Warbler - The Willows nr Sabine Woods

Palm Warbler - The Willows at Anahuac

Pine Warbler - WG Jones State Forest

Bay breasted Warbler - Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks

Blackpoll Warbler - Boy Scout Woods, Sabine Woods

Cape May Warbler - Boy Scout Woods

Cerulean Warbler - Boy Scout Woods

Black-and-white Warbler - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks

American Redstart - Sabine Woods, Boy Scout Woods

Prothonotary Warbler - Paradise Pond

Worm-eating Warbler - Boy Scout Woods

Swainson's Warbler- Boy Scout Woods

Ovenbird - Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks

Northern Waterthrush - Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks

Louisiana Waterthrush - Aransas, Boy Scout Woods

Kentucky Warbler - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks

Common Yellowthroat -

Hooded Warbler - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods

Yellow-breasted Chat - Neals Lodges, Gore Store Road, WG Jones State Forest

Summer Tanager - Lost Maples, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks, Sabine Woods

Scarlet Tanager - Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks

Brewers Sparrow - Chapeno area, Route 83N

Le Conte's Sparrow - Anahuac

Lincoln's Sparrow - Neals Lodges, San Ignacio, Lost Maples

Swamp Sparrow - P Aransas Birding Centre

White-crowned Sparrow - Route 83N

White-throated Sparrow - Neals Lodges

Savannah Sparrow

Seaside Sparrow - Aransas Boat trip, Anahuac

Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow - Bolivar Flats

Grasshopper Sparrow - McAllen Poo farm

Chipping Sparrow

Clay-coloured Sparrow - Falcon State Park approach rd, Route 83N, Neals Lodges

Field Sparrow - Lost Maples, Bat Cave

Vesper Sparrow - Falcon State Park approach rd

Lark Sparrow - Chapeno area, Falcon State Park, Route 83N, Neals Lodges, Bat Cave

Black-throated Sparrow - Chapeno area, Falcon State Park, Route 83N

Bachman's Sparrow - Gore Store Road

Cassin's Sparrow - Route 83N

Rufous-crowned Sparrow - Neals Lodges

Spotted Towhee - Neals Lodges

Canyon Towhee - Neals Lodges

Olive Sparrow - Sabel Palms, Bentsen, Santa Anna, Neals Lodges

Northern Cardinal

Pyrrhuloxia - Chapeno area, Falcon State Park, Route 83N

Rose-breasted Grosbeak - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks, Sabine Woods

Blue Grosbeak - Lost Maples, Boy Scout Woods

Indigo Bunting - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks, Sabine Woods

Painted Bunting - Neals Lodges, Gore Store Rd, Sabine Woods

Dickcissel - Anahuac

Red-winged Blackbird

Eastern Meadowlark

Yellow-headed Blackbird - Yacht Basin Road

Brewer's Blackbird - Sarita Rest Area

Great-tailed Grackle

Boat-tailed Grackle

Common Grackle

Bronzed Cowbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Altamira Oriole - Bentsen, Chapeno

Baltimore Oriole - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks, Sabine Woods

Bullock's Oriole - Falcon State Park, Route 83N

Hooded Oriole - Sarita Rest Area

Orchard Oriole - Paradise Pond, Boy Scout Woods, Smithoaks, Sabine Woods

Bobolink - Yacht Basin Road

Mammals seen

White tailed Deer
Mexican Free tailed Bat      
Jack Rabbit
Tree Porcupine                      


Water Mocassin                   
Rat Snake


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