Seasonal Sightings for Central Prairie

Compiled by Bert Frenz,
North American Birds, Subregional Editor, East Texas and
Texas Ornithological Society, Director, Region VI, Central Prairie, Texas.


Spring Season:  March 1 - May 31, 2000


The 31 Texas counties included in this report are:  Austin, Bastrop, Bell, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Cherokee, Coleman, Comanche, Coryell, DeWitt, Falls, Fayette, Freestone, Gonzales, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Karnes, Lampasas, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Limestone, Madison, McLennan, Milam, Mills, Robertson,   Washington, Williamson, and Wilson.  

Reduced from over 1214 reports of 248 species from 1 March 2000 to 31 May 2000.

Bird Sightings

LOONS TO IBISES

Common Loon: (1) 30 April (Matt Wagner), Wood Lake, College Station, Brazos County [only April sighting on record for the 10-county area; closest other dates are 5/1/83 at Lake Bryan, 5/5/70 at Lake Somerville and 5/31/76 at Lake Fairfield].

Least Grebe: (2 adults, 3 hatched eggs, 2 or 3 eggs left in nest) 30 May (Barbara Allen, fide Georgina Schwartz), farm pond known as "Cheapside" in south Gonzales County [uncommon to rare nesting species in Gonzales Co., the southern edge of the Central Prairie]

Pied-billed Grebe: (1) 25 April (Bert Frenz), Highway Stop Lake, Robertson County; (1) 6 May (Darrell Vollert and RBAS field trip), Nicholson Lake Road, Washington County [rare after mid April].

Eared Grebe: (34) 29 March and (41) 16 April (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Williamson County [unusually large number]; (2) 22 April (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [late].

Neotropic Cormorant: (18) 18 March (J. W. Sifford), Lake Procter, Comanche County [Sifford's first spring sighting this season; status in lake not well known due to few reports].

Anhinga: (1) 21 April and 28 May (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [historically nested in small numbers here, are now found periodically in McLennan County but this is the second consecutive year they have been found]; (1 female) 2 May (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Williamson County [rare for county]; (3) 20 May and (1) 26 May (Darrell Vollert), Hughes Lake, Washington County [rare breeder].

American Bittern: (1) 13 April (Keith Arnold), Country Club Lake, Bryan, Brazos County; (1) 16 April and 8 May (Peter Barnes), north unit of Richland Creek WMA, off Highway 287, Freestone County [rare migrant].

Snowy Egret: (20) 26 March (Ellen Ratoosh), College Station, Brazos County; (2) 3 April (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River at US 290, Washington County [early arrivals].

Little Blue Heron: (1) 19 March (Matt Wagner) and (5) 26 March (Ellen Ratoosh), College Station, Brazos County [early arrivals].

Tricolored Heron: (1) 23 April (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County; (2) 18 May (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Williamson County; (1) 20 May and 26 May (Darrell Vollert), Hughes Lake, Washington County [rare for region, but seems to be increasing in occurrence].

Cattle Egret: (3) 3 March (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hill, Washington County [early arrival].

White Ibis: (2-3 immature) Early February through 19 March (Matt Wagner), Wood Lake, College Station, Brazos County [very rare wintering birds staying into spring]; (several) 6 April (Darrell Vollert), Hughes Lake, Washington County [early arrivals].

Glossy Ibis: (1) 2 May (Randy Pinkston), Slough Pond, Temple, Bell County [first county record]; (1) 25 May and 28 May (John Muldrow, Frank Bumgardner), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [first county record, photographed by Muldrow and Bumgardner].

WATERFOWL THROUGH RAPTORS

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (2-4) 11 April (Cathy Liles); 16 April (Toby Hibbits); 2 May (Chris Merkord), several close areas in southeast Brazos County; (2) 15 April (Randy Pinkston), Salado, Bell County; (1) 28 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County; (5-10) throughout May (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [irregular visitor and rare breeder in Central Prairie].

Canada Goose: (2) 12 March; (2-4) 16-24 April (Peter Barnes, John MacFarlane), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [late departure].

Cinnamon Teal: (1) 4 March (Tim Fennell), Mankin's Crossing on San Gabriel River, Williamson County; (up to 9) 8 March through 19 May (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Williamson County; (1) 12 March, 1 April and 16 April (Peter Barnes, Brooke Nicotra), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County; (1-4) 3 March to 25 April (Joe Yelderman, Frank Bumgardner, John Muldrow), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [irregular spring visitor].

Northern Pintail: (1 female) 28 May (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [very late].

Green-winged Teal: (1) 28 May (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [very late].

Redhead: (1) 23 April (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [late].

Ring-necked Duck: (1) 28 May (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [late].

Bufflehead: (36) 8 March (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Williamson County [unusually large number]; (3) 11 March (Darrell Vollert, Glen Shroeter), Yegua Creek Park, Lake Somerville, Washington County [strangely, this is the first recorded observation of this species in Washington County]; (1 female) 22 April (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [late departure]; (1) 2 May (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Williamson County [very late departure].

Common Goldeneye: (2) 12 March (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County; (1 female) 24 March, 26 March, 14 April, 21-24 April (Joe Yelderman), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County; (1) 2 May (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Williamson County [rare fall and winter visitor, remaining much longer into spring than expected].

Hooded Merganser: (1) 12 March (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare to uncommon].

Ruddy Duck: (some) 22 April (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County; (1 female, 2 males) 25 April (Bert Frenz), Highway Stop Lake, Robertson County [late departure].

Swallow-tailed Kite: (3) 7 May (Cliff Shackelford, Jason Singhurst), 3 miles east of Hearne, Robertson County [rare inland, third county record].

White-tailed Kite: (1) 17 April to 18 May (John MacFarlane, Peter Barnes, Cheryle Beck, Brooke Nicotra), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare, north of normal range]; (1) 30 April (Tim Fennell), fields north of Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare, but closer to normal range].

Mississippi Kite: (1-12) 3 April through end of period (Darrell Vollert, et al.), various locations in Washington County [rare and local nesters]; (20) 23 April (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [unusually large number]; (3) 6 May (Matt Wagner, Al Wagner), Wood Lake, College Station, Brazos County [possible return of nesting pair]; (1) 27 May (Fred Collins) and 29 May and 2 June (David Phalen), Hensel Park area, College Station, Brazos County [possible nester].

Bald Eagle: (1 adult) 12 March (Peter Barnes) and 17 April (John MacFarlane), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County; (2) 16 March (Tim Fennell), north of Gonzales, Gonzales County; (1 adult) 28 May (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [rare, but increasing].

Northern Harrier: (1) 26 March (Bert Frenz) and 15 April (Darrell Vollert), south Brazos County [decreasing reports of this once common hawk in Central Texas]

Red-tailed Hawk (Harlan's form): (1) 5 March (Randy Pinkston), Salado, Bell County [rare].

Crested Caracara: 10 reports of single birds in Brazos, Burleson, Falls, Freestone, McLennan, Washington Counties and 1 report of 4 birds in Washington County [rare to uncommon in Central Brazos Valley].

Merlin (richardsoni subspecies): (1 female) 14 April and other times during month (Susan Schaezler), near New Braunfels, Guadalupe County [rare migrant].

Peregrine Falcon: (1 adult) 28 April (Chris Merkord), Brazos County [rare and somewhat late].

QUAILS THROUGH SHOREBIRDS

Ring-necked Pheasant: (1) 29 April and 7 May (Mike & Marea Carlo), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County [probable escapee].

Northern Bobwhite: (1) 12 April (Mary Brandt), Chappell Hills Subdivision, Washington County; (8) 1 May (Bert Frenz), Hords Creek Lake, Coleman County; (1) 25 May (Darrell Vollert), Stop 49 on Burton BBS, Washington County [once common, now rare].

Common Moorhen: (up to 5) throughout period (Keith Arnold), Country Club Lake, Bryan, Brazos County [population crash of local colony that once counted 50+ birds, owing to demise of aquatic vegetation].

Black-bellied Plover: (1) 20 May (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove WMA, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [listed as occasional on Bell County checklist].

Semipalmated Plover: (1+) 22 April and 28 May (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [uncommon locally, but rare elsewhere in Central Brazos Valley].

Mountain Plover: present from 17 October through 25 March, (186) 13 March (Tim Fennell), Granger area, Williamson County [locally common, but exceedingly rare elsewhere in the region; 186 is highest count in recent years].

Black-necked Stilt: (2) 29 March (Randy Pinkston), Temple, Bell County [uncommon migrant]; (4-6) 16 April to end of period (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [rare and local nesters, fide E. G. White-Swift, "apparently a second nesting attempt this season as the first nest attempt resulted in the eggs being lost, most likely to a predator"].

Upland Sandpiper: (200+) 2 April (Tim Fennell), Granger area, Williamson County [unusually large number].

Whimbrel: (4) 1 May (Randy Pinkston), Salado, Bell County [first county record, accidental elsewhere in region].

Hudsonian Godwit: (1) 17 April and 2 May (Brush Freeman), near Bastrop, Bastrop County; (1) 13 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [very rare migrant].

Ruddy Turnstone: (1) 20 May (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove WMA, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [first county record].

Sanderling: (1) 14 May (Randy Pinkston), Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [rare].

Semipalmated Sandpiper: (1+) 22 April and 28 May (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County; (1) 26 April (Karl Kosciuch), Lake Bryan, Brazos County [generally rare migrant, but locally uncommon at WMARSS].

White-rumped Sandpiper: (1) 20 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County; (6) 20 May (Randy Pinkson), Union Grove WMA, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County; (1+) 28 May (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [occasional migrant, but locally uncommon at WMARSS].

Baird's Sandpiper: (2) 1 April (Frank Bumgardner, John Muldrow), Rosenfeld Road, McLennan County; (1+) 22 April (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County; (1) 26 April (Karl Kosciuch), Lake Bryan, Brazos County; (9) 1 May (Bert Frenz), Hords Creek Lake, Coleman County [occasional to uncommon].

Buff-breasted Sandpiper: (2) 28 May (Joe Yelderman), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [rare and late].

Long-billed Dowitcher: (1) 22 April (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [locally uncommon, rare elsewhere, only report this season].

JAEGERS THROUGH TERNS

Franklin's Gull: (1) 26 February (Cliff Shackelford), Overlook Park, Lake Somerville, Washington County [very early arrival]; (700) 17 April (Derek Muschalek), 11 miles northwest of Yorktown, DeWitt County [unusually large number].

Herring Gull: (1) 13 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [late departure].

Caspian Tern: (8) 2 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare].

Common Tern: (1) 13 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare].

Forster's Tern: (3) 25 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [late departure].

Least Tern: (2) 2 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare].

Black Tern: (106) 13 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [unusually large number]; (1) 27 May (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [late migrant].

DOVES THROUGH NIGHTJARS

Eurasian Collared-Dove: (2) 28 May (Waco RBA), McGregor, western McLennan County [about the sixth report of these doves in the county over the last three years and the second consecutive summer they have been reported from the grain co-op in McGregor].

White-winged Dove: (up to 12) 24 March and 27 March and 31 March (Dorothy Bednarski, Glen Shroeter), Independence, Washington County; (1) 29 March (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hill Subdivision, Washington County; (1) 8 April (Darrell Vollert), FM1155 in Chappell Hill, Washington County; (1) 26 May (Darrell Vollert), Brenham, Washington County [pronounced increase in sightings this season]; (1) 26 April (Bert Frenz), Georgetown, Williamson County [status not clear in Williamson County, but probably uncommon].

Common Ground-Dove: (1) 28 March (Ellen Ratoosh), College Station, Brazos County [rare in Brazos County; with this sighting, Ellen's yard list now includes all five species of doves on the county list]; (2) 12 April (Cathy Liles), Brazos bottoms, Burleson County [rare]; (1) 17 April (Brush Freeman), Utley, Bastrop County [on a nest in the same place where there was one a couple of years ago]; (2) 2-3 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare]; (1) 9 May (fide Lorie Black), Ivie Reservoir, Coleman County [status in county is unknown]; (1) 26 May (Mary Lee Archer), Culpepper Shopping Center, College Station, Brazos County [rare, peculiar habitat].

Red-crowned Parrot: (1) 21 May to at least 4 June (Murt Sullivan), campsite 38, Nails Creek State Park, Lake Somerville, Lee County [assumed escapee].

Black-billed Cuckoo: (1) 22 May (Randy Pinkston), Lions Park, Temple, Bell County [rare migrant].

Greater Roadrunner: (1-2) 22 April and 2 May (Fred Brandt), Chappell Hill Subdivision, Washington County; (1) 25 May (Darrell Vollert), stop 42 in Burton BBS route, Clay Creek Road, Washington County [rare in Central Brazos Valley].

Short-eared Owl: (2) 1-12 March (Tim Fennell), CR 110, east Round Rock, Williamson County [rare, continuing from winter season].

SWIFTS THROUGH WOODPECKERS

Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 4 March through rest of period (Marcia Effinger), Chappell Hill, Washington County [very rare summer visitor; return to same backyard feeders for third year]; (1) 16 May, probably beginning in early February (Barbara Allen), "Cheapside", south Gonzales County [rare to uncommon in county].

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: (1 male) 16 March (Marcia Effinger), Chappell Hill, Washington County [early arrival]; (10+) 1-6 May (Marcia Effinger, Kitty Anding, Ellen Ratoosh), several locations in Brazos and Washington Counties [unusually large numbers seen at multiple locations].

Black-chinned Hummingbird: (1 male) 6 April (Cindie Dillard); (1 female/immature) 1 May (Sandy Dillard), Dillard backyard, Bryan, Brazos County [first county records]; (10) 1 May (Bert Frenz), Hords Creek Lake, Coleman County [probably common, but county is not well documented].

Rufous Hummingbird: (1 male) 2 March (Randy Pinkston), Salado, Bell County [occasional in Bell County]; (1) winter through 16 April (Scott & Gail Cole), Brenham, Washington County [rare and late departure].

Green Kingfisher: (1) 16 March (Tim Fennell), Palmetto State Park, Gonzales County [rare].

Red-headed Woodpecker: (1) continuing from winter through 2 April (Tim Fennell), CR 337 0.5 mile north of Hwy 29, 0.5 mile west of Hwy 95, Williamson County [rare in county and western portions of Central Prairie].

Red-bellied Woodpecker: (2) 6 May (Ellen Ratoosh), College Station, Brazos County, "a pair enlarged a hole in the snag in which Downies had successfully fledged young this year, and appear to be nesting in it." [common species, but noteworthy behavior].

Northern Flicker: (1) 26 April (Bert Frenz), CR 486, 10 miles from San Gabriel, Milam County [late departure].

FLYCATCHERS THROUGH BECARD

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher: (1) 23 May (Randy Pinkston), Lions Park, Temple, Bell County [rare].

Acadian Flycatcher: (1) 22 April (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County [early arrival, 3rd earliest date for 10-county area].

Alder Flycatcher: (3 singing and observed) 20 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare or rarely identified].

Alder/Willow Flycatcher: (1) 2 May (Peter Barnes), in willows along the main entrance road, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare or rarely identified].

Willow Flycatcher: (1 identified by Traill's appearance and Willow call note) 20 May (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove WMA, Stillhouse Hollow, Bell County [rare]; (1 identified by field marks, by call note and by song) 21 May (Darrell Vollert), FM 1155, Chappell Hill, Washington County [rarely identified; one of only two or three records for the RBA area].

Brown-crested Flycatcher: (1) 27 March (Willie Sekula), near Poth, Wilson County [early arrival].

Western Kingbird: ("lots") 14 April (Mike Manson), Texas A&M University campus, College Station, Brazos County [earliest record for county; others for area include 3 April in Lee County and 11 April in Bell County]; (6-8) 18 April (Keith Arnold), Bryan, Brazos County; (1) 20 April (Bert Frenz), College Station, Brazos County [early arrivals].

VIREOS THROUGH NUTHATCHES

White-eyed Vireo: (1) 20 February (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County; (1) 21 February (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hill Subdivision, Washington County; (1) 4 March (Mike Manson), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County; (2) 4 March (Chris Merkord), White Rock Road, Brazos County; additional area records in these counties for 5 March, 6 March, 11 March, 12 March [comment by Bert Frenz, "The most recent two years show an increase in sightings of wintering White-eyed Vireos and an earlier arrival by almost one month. Some of this might be explained by an increase in birding activity and a more active recording of data. But it also supports my own personal observation that we now have more White-eyed Vireos wintering and arriving early in our area.]

Bell's Vireo: (1) 9 May (fide Lorie Black), Ivie Reservoir, Coleman County [status in county uncertain, but probably rare to uncommon].

Warbling Vireo: (1) 12 April (Darrell Vollert), FM1155, Chappell Hill, Washington County; (1) 14 April (Darrell Vollert), Brenham, Washington County [first and second earliest spring records for 10-county area].

Red-eyed Vireo: (1 each) 19 March (Scott Brandes, Karl Kosciuch) and 24 March (Mike Carlo) and 25 March (Bert Frenz, Ellen Ratoosh), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County; (1) 25 March (Mark Shavers), College Hills subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [very early; the only other March record for the county is 19 March 1998; these sightings were consistent with the Seadrift, Calhoun, 23 Mar (Petra Hockey) earliest-ever report for the Central Texas Coast and the 30 Mar (Lynn Smith, Georgette Gurensey) early report for Angelina in East Texas].

Chihuahuan Raven: (1) 1 May (Bert Frenz), Hords Creek Lake, Coleman County [probably rare, but little is known for this infrequently birded county].

Tree Swallow: (4) 12 March (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [irregular sightings in spring]; (2 exhibiting intense courtship flight) 14 May and (1 returning to nest, although not located) 20 May (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove WMA, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [not previously known to breed in Bell County; birds could not be located on a 27 May visit].

Northern Rough-winged Swallow: (several) 12 March (Randy Pinkson), Chalk Ridge Falls Park, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [occasional in Bell County].

Bank Swallow: (1) circa 22 April (Waco RBA), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [rare summer resident in county].

Cliff Swallow: (1) 12 March (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [early arrival]; (6000) 18 April (Bert Frenz), Brazos River at US290, Washington County [unusually large number; count based on 3000 nests active or under construction on concrete bridge].

Cave Swallow: (4) 11 April (Karen Russell, Joan Dziezyc), Hwy 6 at Green's Prairie, College Station, Brazos County [second county record for breeding; two pair of Cave Swallows appropriated two complete Cliff Swallow nests]; (168) 25 Apr (Bert Frenz), six locations along Hwy 6 in Brazos County from edge of Robertson County to edge of Grimes County [Heretofore, the species was thought to be very rare in the county, but a detailed 1-day survey of all 21 overpasses along Hwy 6 in Brazos County revealed a surprising count of 84 nests in 6 different locations stretching between the county borders. By comparison, the same area contained 367 Cliff Swallow and 104 Barn Swallow nests.].

Verdin: (1) 9 May (fide Lorie Black), Ivie Reservoir, Coleman County [probably uncommon, but underbirded county lacks records].

Bushtit: (1) 1 May (Bert Frenz), Hords Creek Lake, Coleman County [probably uncommon, but underbirded county lacks records].

Red-breasted Nuthatch: (1) wintering bird present through 18 April (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert), Brenham, Washington County; (1) another present through 3 May (Brush Freeman), Utley, Bastrop County [very late departures; consistent with one in Harrison County, East Texas, until 1 May (Guy Luneau, Mike Lovell) and one in Smith County, East Texas, until 5 May (Peter Barnes).].

White-breasted Nuthatch: (1) 27 March (Chris Merkord), Camp Creek Lake, Robertson County [second record for county, first March record for 10-county RBA area]; (1) 12 April (Ellen Ratoosh), College Station, Brazos County [rare]; (2) 2 April and 30 April and 2 May and 29 May (Tim Fennell), CR337 north of Hwy 29, Williamson County [breeding confirmed]; (4-5) 2 May (Tim Fennell), CR366, San Gabriel River pecan bottom, Williamson County [breeding confirmed]; (1) 27 May (Waco RBA), pecan groves below Lake Waco dam, Waco, McLennan County [E. G. White-Swift states, "After years of no reports of this species in the county this is the third report in two years, all within a half-mile of either the Bosque or Brazos river bottoms."].

Brown Creeper: (1) 26 March (Karl Kosciuch), Texas A&M University campus, College Station, Brazos County [rare in March].

WRENS THROUGH PIPITS

Winter Wren: (1) 12 March (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare in spring].

Marsh Wren: (1-2) 26 February and 3 March (Joe Yelderman), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [rare in county].

Ruby-crowned Kinglet: (1) through 22 May (Brush Freeman), Utley, Bastrop County [late departure].

Wood Thrush: (1) 11 April (Brush Freeman), Utley, Bastrop County [early arrival].

Gray Catbird: (15) 30 April (David Shackelford), Hensel Park, College Station, Brazos County; (1-15 each) 2-3 May (Ellen Ratoosh, Mark Shavers, Darrell Vollert, Cathy Liles, David Scott, Chris Merkord, Karen Russell), eight different locations in Brazos and Washington County [common migrant, but appeared in unusually large numbers after a rainstorm].

Sprague's Pipit: (1) 5 March (Randy Pinkston), Sore Finger WMA, Granger Lake, Williamson County; (2) 18 March (J. W. Sifford), McClung Ranch, Comanche County [rare or rarely identified].

WARBLERS

Big rainstorms May 1-4 brought down high numbers of migrants in Central and East Texas as well as the Coastal Bend. For that day alone, 21 warbler species were reported in Central Brazos Valley along with 5 vireo species and 3 of the 4 migrant thrushes.

Northern Parula: (1) 27 February (Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), Buescher State Park, Bastrop County; (2) 4 March (Mike Manson), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County; (1) 9 March (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hill, Washington County [early arrivals].

Yellow Warbler: (1) 25 May (Darrell Vollert), Burton BBS route, FM390 near Texas 36, Washington County [late migrant].

Magnolia Warbler: (1-15 each) 2-5 May (Judy Winn, Chris Merkord, Darrell Vollert, Ellen Ratoosh, Mark Shavers, David Scott, Peter Barnes, Mike Carlo), throughout Brazos, Freestone and Washington Counties [unusually large numbers following rainstorms].

Golden-cheeked Warbler: (1 male) 12 March (Randy Pinkston), Chalk Ridge Falls Park, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [uncommon in county].

Black-throated Green Warbler: (1) 12 March (Brush Freeman), Utley, Bastrop County [early migrant]. Pine Warbler: (1-2 each) 10 May, 18 May, 25 May, 29 May, 1 June (Darrell Vollert), three different locations in Washington County - FM577 near US290, FM2193 near SH105, FM1948 at Rehburg, all in stands of Lobllolly Pines [Except for a 6/2/98 sighting on FM577, only winter records existed for Pine Warblers in the Central Brazos Valley, with a few stretching into early March].

Cerulean Warbler: (1) 2 May (Tim Fennell), CR123, Round Rock, Williamson County; (1) 2 May (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River at US290, Washington County; (9) 3 May (Brush Freeman), various locations, Bastrop County [rare migrant].

Prothonotary Warbler: (1 male) 14 April (Mike Carlo), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County; (2 males, including one inspecting a nest hole) 18 April (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert), Hughes Lake, Washington County [rare breeder].

Swainson's Warbler: (1-2 each) 9 April to end of period (13 reports by many observers), Lick Creek and Brison Parks in Brazos County, Chappell Hill and Brazos River in Washington County, Richland Creek WMA in Freestone County [rare overall, locally common but often missed; very likely breeding in Lick Creek Park and Brazos River at US290].

Ovenbird: (1) 15 April (Mark Shavers, Bert Frenz, RBAS Field Trip), Hensel Park, College Station, Brazos County [early migrant].

Louisiana Waterthrush: (1) 11 April (Toby Hibbits), Texas A&M University golf course, College Station, Brazos County; (1) 15 April (Ellen Ratoosh, Darrell Vollert), Brison Park, College Station, Brazos County [rare migrant].

Kentucky Warbler: (1 male) 6-29 May (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River at US290, Washington County [common migrant, but rare breeder].

Common Yellowthroat: (1) 23 March (Ellen Ratoosh), College Station, Brazos County [early migrant].

TANAGERS THROUGH FINCHES

Scarlet Tanager: (1) 13 April (Carolyn Cartwright), Brison Park, College Station, Brazos County; (1 each) 14 April and 22 April (Mike Carlo, Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County [rare migrant].

Spotted Towhee: (1) 24 March (Ellen Ratoosh), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County; (1) 7 April and 9 April (Darrell Vollert), FM1155 in Chappell Hill, Washington County [rare in these counties; Eastern Towhee is the expected species].

Eastern Towhee: (1) 3 May (Brush Freeman), Wilbarger Creek near Utley, Bastrop County [late departure or late migrant].

Cassin's Sparrow: (5) 11 April (Waco RBA), Del Mar Ranch off Hwy 6, about 15 miles northwest of Waco, McLennan County [fide E. G. White-Swift, "This is about the eastern edge of their breeding range but Cassin's have been observed in this area periodically over the years."].

Lark Sparrow: (3-4) 8 April (Karen Russell), Hensel Park, College Station, Brazos County [early arrival].

Grasshopper Sparrow: (1) 18 March (J. W. Sifford), McClung Ranch, Comanche County [probably uncommon, but few records for this county]. (1) 29 March (Joan Dziezyc, Karen Russell), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County [rare]; (20+) 30 April (Tim Fennell), intersection of CR112 and CR110, Williamson County [unusually large number].

Henslow's Sparrow: (1) 13 March (Karl Kosciuch), (1) 18 March (Chuck Hamilton, Betty Vermeire), (1) 19 March (Chuck Hamilton, Betty Vermeire, Karl Kosciuch, Scott Brandes), 22 March (Chris Merkord), (2) 25 March (Bert Frenz), (1) 25 March (Ellen Ratoosh), (1) 31 March (Ellen Ratoosh), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County [Of the 14 or so records of Henslow's Sparrow in Brazos County since 1945, very few, if any, of these birds were seen beyond the first report. Many of the sightings were by birders who had never seen a Henslow's before. This year, thanks to the speed of e-mail, a 13 March report of one in Lick Creek Park set off a flurry of activity that allowed many observers to see one and sometimes two Henslow's repeatedly through 31 March.].

Swamp Sparrow: (1) 20 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [very late departure; only exceeded by 5/21 record in Lee County].

Harris Sparrow: (1+) 22 April (Waco RBA), McLennan County [very late departure].

White-crowned Sparrow: (1) 2 May (Cathy Liles), College Station, Brazos County; (1) 2 May (Ellen Ratoosh, Mark Shavers), Brison Park, College Station, Brazos County; (4) 5 May and (2) continuing to approximately 23 May (Susan Bame), near Zionsville, Washington County; (1) 27 May (Carolyn Haluska), Waco, McLennan County [late departures and very late departures; previous latest records for Central Brazos Valley are 18 May 1969, 19 May 1990 and 21 May 1990].

McCown's Longspur: (150+) 4 March (Tim Fennell), CR359 at Friendship Lane, Granger area, Williamson County [large number; rare overall, but regularly seen at this location in winter].

Blue Grosbeak: (1) 16-23 April and 20 May (Peter Barnes, John MacFarlane), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [uncommon migrant, but unusually wide spread of dates]; (1 first spring male) 25 May (Darrell Vollert), Stop 38 on Burton BBS, Mayfair Road, Washington County [late migrant?].

Lazuli Bunting: (3) 2 May (Brush Freeman), western Bastrop County [This spring Lazuli Buntings made an unusually strong showing east of the normal range, reaching as far as Atlanta in Cass County, near the Louisiana border, on 26-28 April (Sonny Long & Beverly Nichols). One in Austin Co. on 26-27 April (Sue & Billie Bernard) is only the second record for the county, the first being in the same backyard in 1997. Other sightings include Jones County on 26 April (fide Lorie Black), Travis County on 27 Apr (Jeffrey Hanson), Bexar County on 2 May (Matt Heindel, Jon Dunn & Rick Hoyer), and over two dozen sightings in North Central Texas (fide Ed Wetzel).].

Indigo Bunting: (1) 29 March (Joan Dziezyc, Karen Russell), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County [early arrival]; (25+) 8 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [unusually large number].

Painted Bunting: (1 male) 12 April (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hill, Washington County [early arrival].

Dickcissel: (1200) 8 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [unusually large number].

Orchard Oriole: (1) 26 April to 29 May (Darrell Vollert), FM1371 near Chadwick-Hogan Road, Chappell Hill, Washington County; (1 first spring male) 30 May (Darrell Vollert), US290 1.5 miles west of Brazos River, Washington County [late departures or possibly nesting birds].

American Goldfinch: (7) 6 May (Ellen Ratoosh), College Station, Brazos County [late departure].


For additions, corrections and new sightings, contact bert@bafrenz.com

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This web site is designed by Bert Frenz. For comments, E-mail to bert@bafrenz.com.
Copyright 2001 Bert Frenz. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 20, 2004.