Seasonal Sightings for Central Prairie and East Texas

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, 2001


GrSpX01.JPG (10621 bytes)Photo by Tim Fennell

 

 

The 66 Texas counties included in this report are:  Anderson, Angelina, Austin, Bastrop, Bell, Bowie, Brazos, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Coleman, Comanche, Coryell, DeWitt, Falls, Fayette, Franklin, Freestone, Gonzales, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Houston, Jasper, Karnes, Lampasas, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Madison, Marion, McLennan, Milam, Mills, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Red River, Robertson, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Walker, Waller, Washington, Williamson, and Wilson.  

Reduced from over 1350 reports of 290 species from 1 March to 31 May 2001.

Weather reports:

Nancy Bird, describing Lake Rayburn in East Texas, on 22 March, "I have lived in East Texas for 14 years and have NEVER seen Rayburn as high as it. Many of the areas we had planned to bird were completely flooded! The picnic tables at Cassells Boykin have water up to the tops of the tables. Hank's Creek is closed."

Darrell Vollert, Washington County, on 28 March, "We had exactly 4 inches of rain yesterday and overnight. New Year's Creek is over the FM1155 bridge north of Chappell Hill. A few migrants were around this morning."

Nancy Bird, Angelina County, on 4 April, "Nancy birded the Azalea Trail after the cool front passed bring a little early morning rain. She found a Blackpoll Warbler …Worm-eating, Blue-winged, Tennessee, 2 Magnolia, Black-throated Green and 2 male Cerulean (1singing), 2 Chestnut-sided, a No. Waterthrush, plus a wonderful look at a singing Veery and a Warbling Vireo. …"

Darrell Vollert, Washington County, on 24 April, "Cloudy the first half of the morning. Cleared up early afternoon. Cool and breezy from the north all day. The north breeze brought the best birding for the season so far."

David Wolf, Angelina/Nacogdoches Counties, "Weather: cold front on April 23-24 brought widespread movement of small numbers of migrants, including on Azalea Trail in Lufkin (NB). April 25-May 4 brought a steady daily movement of small numbers of migrants, but no "fallouts". Unsettled weather and a pre-dawn rain on May 5 set the stage for the biggest fallout of the spring; May 6 brought comparable numbers. Migration quickly petered out after that and only on May 13 was there another minor push of birds."

Tim Fennell, Williamson County, "Strong south winds in April were probably responsible for some nice records on area lakes and ponds."

Nancy Bird, Angelina County, on 5 May, "After the early morning storms … Georgette & Nancy birded the Old Orchard Park in Diboll and then later in the morning the Azalea Trail. Between the two observers and the two parks they found 17 species of warblers."

Darrell Vollert, Washington County, on 4 May, "Today offered the best birding for warblers so far for this spring migration in Washington County. Heard all of the warblers listed below singing except the Ovenbird. Other migrants were around as well. It was Cloudy and windy from the southeast all day. Had a few showers this afternoon...."

David Wolf, Nacogdoches County, "Although it was not an exceptional spring migration this year, 34 species of warblers were reported from March to May! May 5-6 were the best days for numbers and variety of migrants, but some of the scarcer species were found in late April. The rarest warblers seen were the Palm (one record) and Blackpoll (two records)."

Peter Barnes, "May 6. Warbler Day at Camp Tyler in Smith County. Eleven species were present, best being a female Golden-winged, a Chestnut-sided, a Wilson's and a Magnolia. ... Together with the summering warblers at Richland Creek, I had 16 warbler species today."

Ellen Ratoosh, Brazos County, on 6 May, "a Spotted Sandpiper flying down the flood channel, which is a yard first, and not a species I ever expected to see here. We got close to four inches of rain over the weekend."

Tim Fennell, Williamson County, "Passerine migration seemed to run a little late. I usually see the peak of activity the first of May. This year, peak numbers and diversity were seen on 12 May."

Darrell Vollert, "In the evening yesterday (12 May) in Chappell Hill I saw a male Blackburnian Warbler and a male American Redstart fly into a Cedar Elm tree just ahead of a thunderstorm that brought .70 of rain to the area."

Nancy Bird, Angelina County, on 13 May, "Nancy birded the Azalea Trail the morning after the dry frontal system passed through the Lufkin area finding 11 species of warblers."

David Wolf, Angelina/Nacogdoches Counties, "Migration quickly petered out after that [May 6] and only on May 13 was there another minor push of birds. A very strong late cold front on May 21 did not drop any number of birds into our area (they probably got caught elsewhere)."

Darrell Vollert, "Friday, May 25th a half inch of rain during the early morning hours grounded a hand-full of migrants on Harrison Street in Brenham.

Tim Fennell, Williamson County, "The rains of winter continued into the spring, creating lush grasslands throughout the area, eastern Williamson County especially. The wet conditions were probably responsible for: later than usual Sprague's Pipits and Le Conte's Sparrows, high numbers of nesting Dickcissels and Grasshopper Sparrows and possible breeding records for Horned Larks, Tree Swallows and Bank Swallows."

Bird Sightings

LOONS TO CORMORANTS

Common Loon: (4) 4 March (Louis Debetaz); (2) 9 March (Georgette Guernsey), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [uncommon].

Common Loon: (1) 18 March (Peter Barnes), just outside Richland Creek WMA from Hwy 287 and 488, Freestone County [rare].

Common Loon: (1) 22 March (Nancy Bird, Lynn Smith, Georgette Guernsey), Sam Rayburn Lake, San Augustine County [uncommon].

camera.GIF (1399 bytes)  Common Loon: (1 in basic plumage) 5-6 May (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Williamson County [rare and late].

Pied-billed Grebe: (5) 29 April; (4) 5 May (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Williamson County [late departure].

Pied-billed Grebe: (3) 14 April; (1) 21-22 April; (1) 12-13 May; (1) 19 May (Darrell Vollert), Polk's Lake, Chappell Hill, Washington County [late departure; perhaps is breeder].

Eared Grebe: (27) 5 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake dam, Williamson County [occasional].

American White Pelican: (300) 20 May (Tim Fennell), roosting near Granger Lake dam, Williamson County [late for migrants; summering?; photographed]

American White Pelican: (~30) 26 May (Nancy Bird), Cassells-Boykin Park, Angelina County [rare migrating flock].

camera.GIF (1399 bytes) Brown Pelican: (1) 20-22 April (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [very rare inland; photographed].

Neotropic Cormorant: (2) 5 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan), near the TX 147 bridge on Lake Rayburn, San Augustine County [David commented, "this species is still very rare in our area (especially in winter and spring)."].

BITTERNS TO SPOONBILLS

American Bittern: (1) 14 March (Derek Muschalek), near Old Davy Community, DeWitt County [rare].

American Bittern: (1) 19 March (Chris Merkord), TAMU Waste Water Treatment Plant, College Station, Brazos County [rare].

American Bittern: (1-4) 23 March to 8 April (Jesse Fagan, m.ob.) Alazan Bayou WMA, Nacogdoches County [occasional in March; uncommon in April].

American Bittern: (1) 2 April (Bill Elsik), Cypress Isle, 0.5 mile from FR2039 and CR246, Burleson County [occasional].

American Bittern: (3) 29 April to 1 May (Tim Fennell), marsh below dam at Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare].

Least Bittern: (1) 18 May (Jesse Fagan, Brian Gibbons), 19 and 23 May (David Wolf, Nancy Bird), sedge marsh at Alazan Bayou WMA, Nacogdoches County [very rare; first area record since April 1986].

Great Blue Heron: (15, including 13 active nests in tall trees) 29 April; (20+, including 13+ nests) 20 May (Tim Fennell), marsh below dam at Granger Lake, Williamson County.

Little Blue Heron: (80) 4 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [large count].

Tricolored Heron: (1) 16 April (Nancy Bird, Georgette Guernsey, Lynn Smith), Ryan Lake, Angelina County [very rare in spring].

Black-crowned Night-Heron: (1) January through at least 4 March (Nancy Bird, Georgette Guernsey), Lufkin County Club Lake and Ellen Trout Lake, Angelina County [occasional].

Black-crowned Night-Heron: (no.?) 4 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare in May].

Black-crowned Night-Heron: (1) 5 May (Tim Fennell), Willis Creek Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare].

White Ibis: (150) 4 May (Peter Barnes); (75+) 30 May (Derek Hill, Brian Gibbons), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [large count; occasional in May].

Plegadis species: (1) 29 April (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Williamson County [occasional?].

Roseate Spoonbill: (1) 19 May (Brush Freeman, Peggy Holt, et al.), Hwy 90, 2 mi. west of Gonzales, Gonzales County [rare; Brush commented, "a bit early for the area with most not appearing until mid-June."].

Roseate Spoonbill: (1) 30 May (Derek Hill, Brian Gibbons), at northern entrance, off Hwy 287 east of the dam, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare in May].

STORKS AND VULTURES

Wood Stork: (5) 30 May (Derek Hill, Brian Gibbons), northern entrance, off Hwy 287 east of the dam, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare in May].

Black Vulture: (1000) 13 March (Brush Freeman), String Prairie, Bastrop County [unusually large number].

Turkey Vulture: (2 mating) 2 April (Bert Frenz), south of Riesel, Falls County [mating on railroad tracks].

WATERFOWL

In the past three years, Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks have made a significant comeback in the Central Brazos Valley. Following a dearth of sightings, the species has become increasingly common in Brazos and Washington Counties since 1999 and in Milam County since early this year. In the past 3 years, based on 45 reports, the known colonies include 5 in Brazos, 1-2 in Washington, 1 in Milam and 1 in Fayette.

Here are the sightings, broken down to area:

Wixon Creek population (n. of Bryan, Brazos Co.):
6/27/00 in Tabor area (Barbara Lorenz)
4/9/01 at pond on Old Reliance Rd, south of Wixon Valley (Toby Hibbits)
4/12/01 over Hwy 21 at Feathercrest Farms (Toby Hibbits)
4/4 to 4/18/01 in Tabor area (Barbara Lorenz)

Leonard Road population (w. of Bryan/College Station, Brazos Co.):
12/16/00 at Nature's Haven (Sandy Dillard)
2/17/01 at Eye's of Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy, Tyson Hart)
3/27/01 at Leonard Rd. (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy)
4/6/01 at Leonard Road (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy)

TAMU Waste Water Treatment Plant population (w. of College Station, Brazos Co.):
3/7/99 over Vet Research Park, TAMU (Dave Phalen)
5/2/00 off White Creek Road (Chris Merkord)
3/5/01 at Waste Water Treatment Plant (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy)
~3/15/01 off White Creek Road (Chris Merkord)
4/7/01 at Waste Water Treatment Plant (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy)
4/30/01 off FM2818 at TAMU Research Park (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy)

A&M Animal Science Research facility (ASTRC) population (w. of College Station, Brazos Co.):
5/10/97 at Brushy Creek (Marge Williams)
6/28/99 at ASTRC (Toby Hibbits) - including chicks
4/7/01 at Lightsey Rd., Brushy Creek (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy)
4/8/01 at Lightsey Rd., Brushy Creek (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy)

Wellborn population (sw. of College Station, Brazos Co.):
5/10/99 in River Run subdivision (fide Cathy Liles)
6/15/99 in River Run subdivision (Cathy Liles)
4/11/00 at Hopes Creek Road near River Run (Cathy Liles)
4/16/00 at Dowling Rd (Toby Hibbits)
6/15/00 at pond on Dowling Rd (Cathy Liles)
2/24/01 at pond on Hopes Creek Rd near Dowling Rd (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy)
3/27/01 at Hopes Creek Road just before River Bend subdivision (Cathy Liles)

Chappell Hill population (Washington Co.):
4/14/99 east of Chappell Hill in Washington Co. (Darrell Vollert)
5/11/99 over Chappell Hill (Darrell Vollert, Mary Ann Grahman)
5/22/99 at Hughes Lake (Darrell Vollert, Habib Rahman)
7/4/99 at Hughes Lake (Floi Ewing)
8/14/99 at Hughes Lake (Darrell Vollert)
6/29/00 at Hughes Lake (Darrell Vollert)
7/28/00 at Hughes Lake (Darrell Vollert)
7/31/00 at US290 & FM1155 (Darrell Vollert)
4/7/01 at stock pond along FM2193 (Darrell Vollert)
4/28/01 at stock pond along FM2193 (Darrell Vollert)
5/5/01 at SH105 and Flewellen Road (Bert Frenz, Judy Winn, Srinand Karuppoor)
5/5/01 at stock pond along FM2193 (Bert, Frenz, Darrell Vollert)
5/6/01 at Clarann Estate (Darrell Vollert)

Cameron population (Milam Co.):
4/20/01 (and prior) near Cameron (Dennis Shepler)

Ledbetter population (Fayette Co.):
1999-2001 at ranch on Wengler Road (Floi Ewing)
April 2001 (nesting pair) at ranch (Floi Ewing)

Isolated sightings:
12/21/96 - CBC College Station - where?
5/20/97 at Lake Bryan (Ellen Ratoosh)
8/30/97 at Nails Creek SP, Lake Somerville (Bill & Charlotte Neill)
11/6/99 at Forest Lake (Larry & Tonna Harris-Haller)
2/15/01 at Country Club Lake in Bryan (Keith Arnold)
4/7/01 at Roberts Rd. in Washington Co. (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy)

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (no.?) 20 April (Dennis Shepler), Cameron, Milam County.
Dennis states, "There are even greater numbers of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks present than I have seen in past years. Some of these ducks are roosting in the larger trees in Cameron. Many of the small stock tanks that I passed going from our farm to town (Cameron) had a pair or two. There were eight ducks at a feedlot that were scavenging grain around the feed troughs."

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (nesting pair) April (Floi Ewing), pond south of Ledbetter (US 290) on FM1291, right on Bell Settlement Road, left on Wengler Road to first ranch on left, Fayette County.
Floi states, "This is at least the third year that they are at this location. I am not sure they have ever raised chicks. Remote area with lots of wild animals."

Greater White-fronted Goose: (1) 29 December to at least 17 May (Keith Arnold), Country Club Lake, Bryan, Brazos County [appeared 29 December 2000 and remained in the area, often hanging out with domestic geese at edge of golf course].

Snow Goose: (1 dark phase) 18 April (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Williamson County [late migrant].

Snow Goose: (1) from early 1997 to at least 17 May 2001 (Keith Arnold), Country Club Lake, Bryan, Brazos County [arrived in the winter of 1996-97 and remained in area, often associating with flock of domestic geese at edge of golf course].

American Wigeon: (5 males, 5 females) 25 March; (3) 1 April (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [rare in April].

American Wigeon: (2) 6-16 April (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy), Leonard Rd., Bryan, Brazos County [rare in April].

American Wigeon: (2) 5 May (Tim Fennell), Sore Finger WMA, Granger Lake, Williamson County [late].

Mallard: (pair) 6 April (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan, Claudia de la Cruz); (1 female with 4-5 half-grown ducklings) 1 May (David Wolf), Alazan Bayou WMA, Nacogdoches County [David commented, "first confirmed breeding record for Nacogdoches/Angelina Counties and the Rayburn region, though we have long suspected that genuine wild birds have nested here very occasionally."].

Mottled Duck: (2) 4 March (Tim Fennell, Randy Pinkston), pond on CR 359, Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare].

Blue-winged Teal: (pair) 17 May (Keith Arnold), Country Club Lake, Bryan, Brazos County [late migrant].

camera.GIF (1399 bytes) Cinnamon Teal: (16 on 1st) 1-29 March (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, East Round Rock, Williamson County [unusually large number].

Cinnamon Teal: (1 male) 18 March (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare].

Cinnamon Teal: (1) 18 April (Tim Fennell), CR112, Round Rock, Williamson County [late migrant].

Northern Shoveler: (60+) 1 April; (20) 20 April; (1) 29 April; (2) 5 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake dam, Williamson County [late in May].

Northern Pintail: (1 male) ~1-16 April (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy), pond at Leonard Road, Bryan, Brazos County [late edge of normal migration period; only later records for Brazos Valley are: 16 April 1983, 27 April 1991 (Lee Co.) and 28 May 2000 (McLennan Co.)].

Green-winged Teal: (1 drake) 20 and 27 May (Tim Fennell), Sore Finger WMA, Granger Lake, Williamson County [late; photographed].

Canvasback: (1) 16 April (Tim Fennell), Old Settler's Park in east Round Rock, Williamson County [late].

Canvasback: (2 females) 5 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan), TX 147 bridge on Rayburn, San Augustine County [late departure].

Redhead: (1) 29 April (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Williamson County [late].

Ring-necked Duck: (1 drake) 29 April and 5 May and 20 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [late; rare in May].

Greater Scaup: (15) 9 March (Georgette Guernsey), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [late].

Lesser Scaup: (14) 29 April (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [late departure].

Lesser Scaup: (1) 5 May (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Williamson County [late].

possible Black Scoter: (1) 27 March (Peggy Harding), Kilgore, Rusk County [flyover observed without binoculars and described as "a duck with all-black plumage, bill and feet, with silvery undersides of the flight feathers"; only two other records for the East Texas Pineywoods].

Bufflehead: (2) 1 April (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [late edge of departure dates].

Common Goldeneye: (1) 4 March (Louis Debetaz), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [late edge of normal departure dates].

Hooded Merganser: (28) 2 March; (11) 18 March; (16) 4 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [occasional in March; rare in May].

Hooded Merganser: (pair) ~26 March (Georgette Guernsey), Lake Bouton, Angelina County [late].

Hooded Merganser: (nesting observed; all 17 eggs hatched in one nest) March (Stuart Marcus), Trinity River NWR, Liberty County [rare nesting].
Stuart Marcus, "Many of you may remember that I reported a Hooded Merganser nesting on the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge in February 1999, a first for Liberty County. She laid 14 eggs in two Wood Duck boxes on Ander's Pond, all unsuccessful. Well, she's back (or at least a similarly looking Hooded Merganser) and this time laid 17 eggs in one box and one egg in another box. Checking the boxes on 4-5-01 revealed that ALL 17 EGGS SUCCESSFULLY HATCHED WITH ALL FLEDGLINGS LEAVING THE BOX!!! The box with one egg mixed in with 16 Wood Duck eggs is still being tended by a doting Wood Duck. On 3-27-01 while checking the boxes, a female Hooded flew out of the box with the 17 eggs, so we are relatively certain she incubated them. As a side note, we have already had 6 of our 7 Wood Duck boxes occupied with 3 boxes hatching most of the eggs. This is somewhat of an early nesting season compared to our past records, especially considering the unseasonably cool winter and early spring we experienced in Liberty County."

Hooded Merganser: (1 female with 10 young) 20 May (Guy Luneau), Rusk County [breeding is rarely documented for this species in northeast Texas].

Cliff Shackelford, "Hooded Mergansers nesting in the West Gulf Coastal Plain (WGCP) is always worth noting. Good job finding this nest! In our new ecoregional checklist Birds of the Pineywoods of Eastern Texas by Wolf, Shackelford, Luneau and Fisher, we were hard-pressed to find recent nesting records in the checklist area. The most recent records came from Harrison Co. (near Longview)."

Hooded Merganser: (3) 1 April (Tim Fennell), Harber Road, Bell County [no spring records on 2000 Bell County checklist].

Red-breasted Merganser: (2) 18 March (Peter Barnes), just outside Richland Creek WMA from Hwy 287 and 488, Freestone County [rare].

KITES, HAWKS AND EAGLES

Swallow-tailed Kite: (1) 13 March (Brush Freeman), ~10 mi. S of Gonzales near Guadalupe River, Gonzales County [rare].

Swallow-tailed Kite: (1) 2 April (Mimi Wolf), Central Heights, Nacogdoches County [first county record by an observer experienced with the species].

Swallow-tailed Kite: (1) 3 April (Mike Creese), 11 AM, at rest area south of Jasper, Jasper County [rare, but regular].

Swallow-tailed Kite: (1) 13 April (Nancy Bird), from Hwy 190 West, soaring between the Sabine River and Quick Sand Creek, Newton County [rare; early edge of expected arrival time].

Swallow-tailed Kite: (1) 14 April (Carol McWhorter), soaring in the morning on FM 1008 between Dayton and Kenefick right at the Remington Place entrance sign, Liberty County [rare, but regular; other sightings in Liberty County thereafter].

Swallow-tailed Kite: (1) 17 April (Bob Row, et al.); (1) 22 April (Nicholas Block); 29 May (Bob Row, et al.), Martin Dies State Park; (1-2) 25 May; (2) 3 June (Bob Row, et al.), Jasper, Jasper County [occasional].

Swallow-tailed Kite: (1) 18 May (Jesse Fagan, Brian Gibbons), Alazan Bayou WMA, Nacogdoches County [rare; only one or two other records in the area in past 20 years].

Swallow-tailed Kite: (1) 22 May (Brian Gibbons, Charles Dean Fisher), along US69 just south of the Neches River, near Rockland, Tyler County [rare; only one or two other records in the area in past 20 years].

Swallow-tailed Kite: (3) ~26 May (Seth Davidson, fide Ted Eubanks), seen while canoeing the Big Thicket National Preserve, Neches River, north of Silsbee, Hardin County [uncommon].

White-tailed Kite: (1) 18 February (Jesse Fagan, Claudia de la Cruz); (2) 10 March; (pair with one on nest and other bringing nesting material to the nest) 25 March (Jesse Fagan, Charles Dean Fisher); (1, but nest abandoned) 3 May (Jesse Fagan, Claudia de la Cruz, Charles Dean Fisher) Alazan Bayou WMA, Nacogdoches County [very rare; for two weeks one bird was found on the nest as if incubating and the other bird defending the territory while perched on another tree; however it was later determined that the nest was apparently not used or failed].

White-tailed Kite: (1) 20 May (Tim Fennell), scrub on south edge of marsh below Granger Lake dam, Williamson County [rare].

Mississippi Kite: (1) 1 April (Derek Muschalek), near Old Davy Community, DeWitt County [first spring observation].

Mississippi Kite: (4) 4 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [occasional].

Mississippi Kite: (kettle of 10) 21 April; (5 soaring) 22 April; (2) 13 May (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [nesting site in prior years].

Mississippi Kite: (1 adult) 9 April; (1) 21 April; (3 soaring) 23 April; (1 in tree) 27 April; (1 soaring, 4 soaring near Chadwick-Hogan Rd) 5 May; (2 soaring) 6 May; (1 carrying nest material) 12 May; (2) 19 May; (1 perched) 28 May (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hill, Washington County [Darrell, "Mississippi Kites have nested in Chappell Hill since at least 1985. Since that time they have branched out to Chappell Hills Subdivision two miles north of Chappell Hill, the Brazos River bottom east of Chappell Hill, and Washington-on-the-Brazos SHP."].

Mississippi Kite: (1) 28 May (Colin Bludau), 10 miles west of Karnes City, Karnes County [late migrant?].

Bald Eagle: (pair on nest) 10 March (Judy Winn), south of Somerville, Burleson County [uncommon].

Bald Eagle: (pair nesting) March (Alan Byboth); (1) 2 May (Peter Barnes), Lake Tyler, Smith County [increasingly common].

Bald Eagle: (2 adults) 2 October 1999 (Nancy Bird, Louis Debetaz, Carroll Moore, Lynn Smith, Jack Windsor); (1 adult) 18 August 2000 (Nancy Bird, Jack Windsor); (1 adult) 25 August (Georgette Guernsey); (2 adults repairing an old nest) October 2000 (Nancy Bird, Georgette Guernsey); (1 adult, 1 eaglet in nest) 7 March 2001 (Georgette Guernsey); (2 adults, 1 eaglet in nest) 16 March (Georgette Guernsey, Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird); (1 adult at side of nest) 26 March (Jack Windsor, Nancy Bird); (eaglet almost the size of an adult) 26 April (Nancy Bird); (eaglet standing beside nest, 2 adults at lake) 19 May (Jack Windsor, Louis Debetaz, Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Ryan Chapel Road (FM2497), Angelina County [well-watched nest provides nesting details].

Bald Eagle: (1 adult) 24 May (John MacFarlane), Lake Fort Parker, Fort Parker State Park, near Mexia, Limestone County [rare].

Northern Harrier: (1 female) 5 May (Bert Frenz, Judy Winn, Srinand Karuppoor, Darrell Vollert), FR2447 at Red Gully, near Chappell Hill, Washington County [late departure].

Broad-winged Hawk: (1) 13 May (Lynn Smith), Lufkin, Angelina County [uncommon in Pineywoods during summer, starting at the beginning of May].

Broad-winged Hawk: (1 heard calling) 26 May (fide Darrell Vollert, Rio Brazos Audubon Society field trip), Red-cockaded Woodpecker Interpretive Site on FM1375 east of Lake Conroe, Sam Houston National Forest, Walker County [uncommon].

Broad-winged Hawk: (pair) 24 May (Brush Freeman), circling near where FM 969 crosses the Colorado River, Bastrop County [rare breeders?].

Swainson's Hawk: (2) 17 May (Fred Collins), Cockran Baeth Roads, Waller County [late migrants?].

Swainson's Hawk: (1) 19 May (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River Rd. near Chappell Hill, Washington County [late migrant].

Swainson's Hawk: (1) 5-20 May (Tim Fennell), Willis Creek Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County [possible breeder].

Zone-tailed Hawk: (1) ~12 May (Kinky Koi), Bastrop County [rare].

Rough-legged Hawk: (1) 18 March (Jean Martin), along Hwy 79 about 1 mi. east of Thrall, Williamson County [rare].

White-tailed Hawk: (1 immature, very dark, probably recently independent) 17 May (Fred Collins), Cockran Baeth Roads, Waller County [rare, near-summer record].

Crested Caracara: (2) 1 March (Randy Pinkston), Temple Lion's Park, Bell County [breeding behavior observed, "pair of caracaras apparently selecting a nest site and/or building in the top of a dead flat-topped tree with densely tangled vines at the top. One or the other of the pair have been observed around or on this tree the past month. Today was the first time I have seen the pair together. Both are adults, one smaller than the other, presumably the male(?)."].

Crested Caracara: (2) 2 March (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [north of typical range].

Crested Caracara: (1 immature, very pale, especially facial skin, probably recently independent) 17 May (Fred Collins), Cockran and Baeth Roads; (2 immature) 21 May (Fred Collins), Cockran Road, Waller County [rare record of breeding].

Crested Caracara: (3) 24 May (Darrell Vollert), BBS route between Burton and Independence, Washington County [new species for BBS route; found one at stop #15 on Rehburg Road, found one at stop #16, found one at stop #22 on FM1948].

American Kestrel: (1 in a possible nest tree) 12 May (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [occasional after April].

American Kestrel: (1) 26 May (Darrell Vollert, Rio Brazos Audubon Society Field Trip), along FM1791 near Richards, Grimes County [rare; latest spring record for area by over two weeks; may be breeding bird; this location is the eastern edge of the Pineywoods].

Peregrine Falcon: (1) 20 April (Dennis Shepler), 3 miles east of the Brazos River, Milam County [probable first county record].

Peregrine Falcon: (1) 6 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [occasional].

Peregrine Falcon: (1) 21 May (Charles Mills), Texarkana, Bowie County [occasional].

RAILS TO COOTS

Sora: (20+) 29 April to 6 May (Tim Fennell), marsh below dam at Granger Lake, Williamson County [large counts on 29th and 1st].

Sora: (1) 6 May (Derek Muschalek), CR270, Karnes County [uncommon].

Purple Gallinule: (pair) 12 May (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird); (1-2) 15 May (Georgette Guernsey); (4) 22 May (Nancy Bird, Jesse Fagan, David Wolf), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [rare; located in same area they nested last year].

American Coot: (10) 14 April; (2) 21 April; (3) 22 April; (1) 28 April; (1) 12-13 May; (1) 19 May (Darrell Vollert), Polk's Lake, Chappell Hill, Washington County [Darrell states, "Late for this area. A few stick around during the summer. Have never seen chicks in this area."].

PLOVERS TO SANDPIPERS

Black-bellied Plover: (3) 1 May (Fred Collins), on 529 west of 359, Waller County [rare in Waller County].

Snowy Plover: (1) 30 March (Eddie Ray, Guy Luneau) Texas Eastman, Longview, Harrison County [very rare in East Texas Pineywoods].

Semipalmated Plover: (6) 13 April (Chris Merkord), Welch Park, Burleson County [rare, first report since 1989; good photos]

Mountain Plover: throughout winter to (10) 28 March (Tim Fennell), 6 on CR345 and 4 on CR300, Granger Lake area, Williamson County [new late date for Granger area; high count of 38 on 11 March].

Mountain Plover: (20-30) 31 March (Susan Bame, fide Sue Bernard), in her pasture, Burton, Washington County [first county record; no details].

Black-necked Stilt: (3) 22 April (Nancy Bird, Lynn Smith, Georgette Guernsey), smaller lake at Ellen Trout Lake, Angelina County [second county record; first was at Ryan Lake on 9 April 1994].

Black-necked Stilt: (2) 19 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare].

American Avocet: (1) 23 April; (5) 27 May (Tim Fennell) Sore Finger WMA, Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare].

Lesser Yellowlegs: (1) 20 May (Nancy Bird), Lufkin Country Club Lake, Angelina County [late departure].

Willet: (1) 23 April (Tim Fennell) near Friendship Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare].

Spotted Sandpiper: (1) 20 May (Tim Fennell), Sore Finger WMA, Granger Lake, Williamson County [occasional in last half of May].

Upland Sandpiper:
David Wolf, for the central part of the East Texas Pineywoods, notes, "This species has declined greatly as a migrant through our region in recent years."
But,
Darrell Vollert, for Washington County in the Central Brazos Valley, reported flocks of up to 16 Upland Sandpipers almost every morning and evening from 31 March through 7 April.
And,
Fred Collins, for Waller County in the transition zone between Central Prairies and Coastal Prairies reported daily sightings from 30 March to 30 April.

Upland Sandpiper: (7) 4 April (David Wolf, Mimi Wolf), Central Heights, Nacogdoches County [uncommon, one of four East Texas reports this spring].

Upland Sandpiper: (1-16) migrating daily from 31 March to 7 April (Darrell Vollert), migrating through Washington County [common migrant in Central Prairie].

Upland Sandpiper: (no.?) daily from 30 March to 30 April (Fred Collins), his farm, Waller County [common].

Upland Sandpiper: (1) 6 May (Guy Luneau), TXU mine north of Henderson, Rusk County [late].

Upland Sandpiper: (2) 13 May; (3) 14 May; (1) 16 May (Derek Muschalek), 11 miles northwest of Yorktown, DeWitt County [late migrant; rare in last half of May].

Upland Sandpiper: (50+) 1 April; (5) 20 April; (2) 20 May (Tim Fennell), Granger area, Williamson County [common migrant, but 20 May date is late].

Sanderling: (5) 21 May (David Wolf), TX147 causeway, Lake Rayburn, San Augustine County [occasional].

Semipalmated Sandpiper: (4) 13 April (Chris Merkord), Welch Park, Burleson County [rare].

Semipalmated Sandpiper: (1000+) 1 May (Fred Collins) 1 May, 529 west of 359, Waller County [Fred Collins, "There is a nice congregation of shorebirds in Waller County on 529 west of 359. Among them Lesser Yellowlegs, Dowitcher sp., Semipalmated Sandpiper (100s if not 1000's, too far to be sure of how many were Semipalmated but probably most), Baird's Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Wilson's Phalarope, Black-necked Stilt, and 3 Black-bellied Plover (rare in Waller County). In all there were several 1000 shorebirds on May 1."].

Least Sandpiper: (1) 20 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [occasional in last half of May].

White-rumped Sandpiper: (400) 31 May (Guy Luneau), Texas Eastman at Longview, Harrison County [large concentration].

Baird's Sandpiper: (6) 13 April (Chris Merkord), Welch Park, Burleson County [occasional].

Baird's Sandpiper: (5) 21 May (David Wolf), TX147 causeway, Lake Rayburn, San Augustine County [occasional].

Baird's Sandpiper: (1) 27 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare and late].

Long-billed Dowitcher: (3) 13 April (Chris Merkord), Welch Park, Burleson County [rare].

Wilson's Phalarope: (4) 4 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [occasional].

GULLS AND TERNS

Laughing Gull: (2 adult, 1 immature) 9 April (Bert Frenz), one adult viewed in flight from boat dock at Lake Livingston State Park; two (ad., imm.) above the dam at shore adjacent to Trinity River Authority office, Polk County [listed on the Lake Livingston checklist as rare in spring].

Laughing Gull: (1 photographed) 13 April (Chris Merkord), Welch Park, Burleson County [very rare in spring].

Franklin's Gull: (1) 19 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [somewhat late].

Franklin's Gull: (10) 20 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [occasional in last half of May].

Bonaparte's Gull: (327+) 9 April (Bert Frenz), two perched on buoy and in flight from boat dock at Lake Livingston State Park; 25+ in flight feeding below the dam; rafts of 230 and 70 birds above the dam as viewed from the Trinity River Authority office, Polk County [listed on the checklist as rare in spring].

Bonaparte's Gull: (1) 13 April (Chris Merkord), Welch Park, Burleson County [occasional].

Ring-billed Gull: (640+) 9 April (Bert Frenz), 10+ in flight from boat dock at Lake Livingston State Park; 50+ in flight feeding below the dam; 580 above the dam, resting on shore behind from the Trinity River Authority office, Polk County [large count for species listed on the checklist as uncommon in spring].

Herring Gull: (2) 18 March (Peter Barnes), just outside Richland Creek WMA from Hwy 287 and 488, Freestone County [rare].

Herring Gull: (1) 7 April (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan), Texas 147 bridge, Nacogdoches County [scarce].

Herring Gull: (2) 7 April; (6) 8 April; (7) 9 April; (4) 13 April (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy), Welch Park, Burleson County [rare].

Thayer's Gull: (1 first-year) ~12:30 PM, 8 April (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy), Welch Park, Lake Somerville, Burleson County; (same bird) ~ 5 PM, 8 April (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy, Darrell Vollert), Overlook Park, Washington County [if valid id, this would be first area record].

Chris Merkord, "Monday, April 09, 2001 1:27 PM. Thayer's Gull at Lake Somerville 4/8/01. Yesterday Jennifer Reidy and I located a first-winter Thayer's Gull at Welch Park on Lake Somerville. This park is just north of the dam. We called Darrell Vollert who met us out there to look at the bird. Although we could not relocate it in Welch Park, we soon found the bird in another group of gulls between the dam and Overlook Park (just south of the dam). We all got close enough looks to determine that the bird was indeed a Thayer's Gull. This represents the first record of this species for the ten-county area comprising the central Brazos Valley.

The most obvious field marks were as follows:
1. completely black bill shorter than nearby herring gulls
2. dark brown primaries with slight pale edges
3. tertials, secondaries, and scapulars well patterned without the splotchy appearance of herring gull, giving a very pale brown tone overall, much warmer than herring gulls
4. very light edging on secondaries and tertials
5. smooth warm brown color on the front, not streaked as in herring gull
6. rounded head giving the bird a "cute" appearance was clearly visible (except when the bird was facing into the strong SW wind)
Jennifer got a few distant pictures, but I don't think they'll turn out very well."

Darrell Vollert, "Here are my notes on the first-winter Thayer's Gull that Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy, and I saw at Lake Somerville on Sunday, April 8,2001.

"First, Chris and Jennifer saw the gull originally around 12:30PM-in optimum lighting- at Welch Park (Burleson County) at Lake Somerville. I met Jennifer and Chris around 3:15PM at the place in Welch Park where they saw the gull earlier in the day. We saw Herring Gulls and Forster's Terns, but did not see the first-winter Thayer's Gull. We waited at that location for well over an hour. Then we decided to drive over to the area near the dam where Chris and Jennifer had seen a group of gulls and terns earlier in the day. As we approached the site we saw a group of gulls and terns along the shore halfway between the dam and Overlook Park (Washington County land). We walked over a grassy area between the road and the shore and approached the birds very cautiously. There was a strong breeze from the SW and the skies were clear.

"Most of the birds were facing into the stiff breeze. We changed our route toward the birds so we could view them from their sides. Jennifer had a camera with her and approached the group at a different angle hoping to get some good photos. When we got close enough Chris said "their is the bird Jennifer and I saw earlier in the day". We stopped walking then and looked through our binoculars at the gull. The time was around 5:00PM. The field marks I noticed are as follows: The gull did not appear to be "flat-headed", the tertials and secondaries of the gull we saw were edged in a lighter white coloration than that of Herring Gulls-giving the feathers a more scalloped appearance. I also saw more white edging on the primaries of the gull we saw than would be seen on a Herring Gull. When the gull took flight the feathers looked a lighter brown than a Herring Gull's feathers would be. The vent area looked more scalloped than that of a Herring Gull.

"The first-winter Thayer's Gull was the last bird in the group to take flight when we got too close to them. Which I find interesting. The gull flew high and far, towards the west over a peninsula (Wash. Co. land). Jennifer got a few photos she thought would not turn out very good.

"We decided to drive over to Rocky Creek Park, a few miles away to the west, in Washington County. I knew of an area at Rocky Creek Park where gulls and terns grouped near the camping grounds at the park. We found gulls and terns at the spot, but did not see the Thayer's Gull. It was getting late in the afternoon at that time so I had to leave. Chris and Jennifer said they were going back to Welch Park hoping the gull returned to the original area they had found him.

"I received an email from Chris that night stating that he and Jennifer relocated the gull at the original site. Jennifer got a few more shots before the gull took flight towards the northwest. In closing I feel very confident that Chris, Jennifer, and I saw a first-winter Thayer's Gull. I have looked at many photos on the web of first-winter Thayer's Gulls and first-winter Herring Gulls. The gull we saw looked so much like a first-winter Thayer's Gull."

Caspian Tern: (1) 9 April (Bert Frenz) above the Lake Livingston dam, in midst of Ring-billed Gulls resting on shore behind from the Trinity River Authority office, Polk County [listed on the Lake Livingston checklist as rare in spring; new Pineywoods checklist shows only one record in early April].

CaTeX04.JPG (8981 bytes)
Caspian Tern: (1) 29 April (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake dam, Williamson County [rare].

camera.GIF (1399 bytes) Least Tern: (1) 16 April (Tim Fennell), Willis Creek Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare; photographed].

Black Tern: (1) 12 May (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Williamson County [occasional].

Black Tern: (3) 12 and 20 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [occasional].

DOVES TO SWIFTS

Eurasian Collared-Dove: (1) 8 April (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy), Leonard Rd, Bryan, Brazos County [second county record].

Eurasian Collared-Dove: (1) 10 April (David Phalen), Texas A&M University campus, College Station, Brazos County [third county record].

Eurasian Collared-Dove: (2) since ~8 April (Carolyn Busse); (2) 22 and 24 April (Darrell Vollert, Carolyn Busse, Mary Ann Grahmann), Navasota, Grimes County [first county record].

Eurasian Collared-Dove: (2 in courtship display) 16 April; (1) 21 April (Nancy Bird); (1) 13 May (Louis Debetaz), Lufkin Mall, Angelina County [rare].

camera.GIF (1399 bytes) Eurasian Collared-Dove: (2) 20 May (Tim Fennell), Willis Creek Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare; photographed].

White-winged Dove: (1 heard) 9 April (Bert Frenz), from trees near swimming pool at Lake Livingston State Park, Polk County [rare; probable first county record; not listed on the Lake Livingston checklist; only a few records for East Texas Pineywoods according to new regional checklist. The NETFO checklist (counties further east) has 4 records. I also know of several records in Nacogdoches County since April 1999.]
Bert, "I tried to locate this bird, but could not find which tree it was calling from. It called about three times and then remained silent. The first call or two were recognizable as White-winged Dove, but the garbled calls that you can't put words to. The last call was a distinct 'Who cooks for you?'"

Black-billed Cuckoo: (1) 25-28 April; 4 May (Ellen Ratoosh), Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [rare; same or two different birds].

Black-billed Cuckoo: (1) 6 May (Derek Muschalek), Adanal Ranch, Karnes County [rare].

Greater Roadrunner: (1) 7 April (Leaton family, fide Darrell Vollert), along Pickens Road in northwest Washington County [occasional].

Greater Roadrunner: (1) ~28 April (Floi Ewing), old cemetery on Bell Settlement Road south of Ledbetter (US 290) on FM1291, Fayette County [status uncertain, few bird records for this county].

Greater Roadrunner: (1) 8 May (Tom Boykin) Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [rare within city limits].

Burrowing Owl: (2) 4 March; (1) 11 March; (1) 15 March (Tim Fennell, Randy Pinkston), in the concrete piles on the north side of FM 971, Granger area, Williamson County [rare].

Burrowing Owl: (3) 11, 15 and 25 March; (2) 1 April (Tim Fennell), Harber Road, Bell County [no spring records on 2000 Bell County checklist; photographed].

Short-eared Owl: (1) through 29 March (Eddie Ray, Guy Luneau, David Weaver), Sabine Mining company land, Harrison County [rare].

Common Poorwill: (1 heard) 16 April (Glenn Haluska), Waco, McLennan County [rare].

Chimney Swift: (4) 16 March (Georgette Guernsey, Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Ryan Lake, Angelina County [first arrival; Paul D. Kyle, North American Chimney Swift Nest Site Research Project, stated, "The March 16 date is a really good early sighting."].

HUMMINGBIRDS

Green Violet-ear: (1 immature) 9-10 May (Ernest Jasek, Susan Schaezler, Mike Creese, Bob Doe, Jerry Brite, et al.) home of Ernest Jasek, Old Wiederstein Rd, near Garden Ridge, Guadalupe County [rare, photographed by Mike Sims, Keith Bartels, Susan Schaezler].

Clifford Shackelford, "The recent news of two different Green Violet-ears in Texas is great. The Texas Bird Records Committee lists about 32 accepted records for this hummingbird. At Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPW), we are slowly but surely working on a hummingbird book and I have plotted draft range maps for all Texas species. The violet-ear's map is quite interesting in that most documented records are clustered in the Hill Country (central to southern portions) where lots of observers feed and sometimes photograph new and different hummingbirds. At first glance of this map, one's eye immediately notices this Hill Country clustering. I wonder what is so attractive about the Texas Hill Country to this vagrant? Is it because there are lots of observers or is this species attracted to the limestone canyons and hills?
"There is also a cluster of records from the Lower Rio Grande Valley and a couple/few records on the Coastal Bend. Otherwise the last couple/few records are 'singles' scattered east of IH-35. There are no records from the Trans-Pecos, Panhandle, North-central Texas, etc.

Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 4 March; (2) ~24 March and through the end of the period (Sue Bernard), arrived at a feeder hung the day before in their yard in northern Austin County [rare, but have occurred at this location before, arriving early spring and leaving late fall.].

Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 9 March (Margaret Cook), her yard off Lynn Road, north Austin County [she told Darrell Vollert she has had Buff-bellies in her yard each spring and summer since 1995].

Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 24 March and through the end of the period (Marcia Effinger), her yard, Chappell Hill, Washington County [fourth consecutive year as summer resident in this yard; last year it stayed 6 months].

Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 2 and 22 April (Kitty Anding), her feeders, College Station, Brazos County [rare; only the second Brazos County record, the previous one being in 1999].

Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 23-24 April (Karen Russell), her feeders, Bryan, Brazos County [rare; only the third Brazos County record].

Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 13 May (David Veselka), Yoakum, western edge of Lavaca County, only two blocks from DeWitt County [This is the third consecutive spring that a Buff-Bellied has been observed feeding regularly at her feeder. The previous two years Buff-bellied Hummingbird has remained regular at her feeder until late summer or early fall.].

Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 23 April to at least 14 May (Derek Muschalek), his yard, DeWitt County [rare for region].

Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 14-21 May (Brush Freeman), Utley, Bastrop County [rare for area, but rapidly getting more regular].

Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 18 May through end of season (Stan Wellso), Tahitian Village subdivision, Bastrop, Bastrop County [rare].

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: (1 male) 6 March (Sandy Dillard), Bryan, Brazos County [very early arrival; only competing dates are a couple of over-wintering birds in Washington County in 1998-99 and a female that arrived in Brenham on 2 February 1980 and another arriving 7 March 1975 in the same Brenham backyard].

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: (1) 10 March (Georgette Guernsey), her feeder, Angelina County [first arrival].

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: (1 male) 11 March (Andrew Ebel); (1 female) 16 March (Darrell Vollert), Brenham, Washington County [typical early arrival date for this area].

Black-chinned Hummingbird: (2) 1 April; (1) 29 April (Tim Fennell), Granger area, Williamson County [status?].

Rufous Hummingbird: (1) 1 April (Kitty Anding), her feeders, College Station, Brazos County [rare].

Rufous Hummingbird: (1 adult male) 13 August 2000 to at least 6 April 2001; (1 immature male) 4 January to at least 6 March 2001 (Gail Cole, Darrell Vollert), Brenham, Washington County [occasional].

Rufous Hummingbird: (1 female) 27 November to 6 April (Roger and Shirley Hughes, Chuck Ely), Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [rare; captured, identified and banded by Chuck Ely; bird left the day their first female Ruby-throated showed up].

KINGFISHERS THROUGH WOODPECKERS

Ringed Kingfisher: (pair) ~22 May (Lester Jensen, et al.), on pond in Tahitian Village, Bastop, Bastrop County [rare; fide Jeffrey Hanson, "Apparently, these birds were located by a group of 6 birders. One bird, a female, was seen/heard very well by the group. A second bird was heard only, and seen flying away, but I was told that the calls were identical to the female."].

Red-bellied Woodpecker: (1 observed taking bluebird egg) 4 April (Ellen Ratoosh), Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [Ellen writes, "Eastern Bluebird nest in the snag in my back yard was destroyed the night of 3 April. The opening was enlarged, and a small branch broken off. On the 4th, I watched a Red-bellied Woodpecker working over the stump. It poked around in the nest cavity and then flew off with a bluebird egg in its bill! Very strange that whatever destroyed the nest didn't eat all the eggs."].

Northern Flicker: (1) 29 March (Darrell Vollert); (1) 3 and 5 April (Fred and Mary Brandt); (1 male) 13 April (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hills subdivision, Washington County [last date is a bit on the late side for Central Brazos Valley].

Northern Flicker: (pair) 12 May (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [occasional after mid April in East Texas].

Pileated Woodpecker: (1) 24 May (Darrell Vollert), BBS route between Burton and Independence, Washington County [new species for BBS route; found calling at stop #41 at Clay Creek on Clay Creek Road].

FLYCATCHERS

Olive-sided Flycatcher were reported much more frequently this spring than usual.

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (1) 5 May (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert), Nicholson Lake Road near Caney Creek, near Chappell Hill, Washington County [uncommon].

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (2) 5 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan), swamp on Dorr Creek Road, Nacogdoches County [occasional].

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (1) 6 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [uncommon].

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (1) 12 May (Tim Fennell), Williamson County [uncommon].

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (1 calling) 13 May (Nancy Bird), Azalea Trail, Angelina County [occasional].

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (1) 19 May (Brush Freeman, Peggy Holt, et al.), Woods Lake, Gonzales County [late migrant].

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (1) 19 May (Darrell Vollert), FM2447 near New Year's Creek, Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional].

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (1) 19 May (Guy Luneau), Rusk County [occasional].

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (1) 19 May (Guy Luneau), Gregg County [occasional].

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (1) 20 May (fide Susan Schaezler), Old Wiederstein, Guadalupe County [occasional].

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (1) 20 May (Jesse Fagan, Brian Gibbons, David Wolf), Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [occasional].

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (1) 21 May (Mimi Wolf), Sabine County [occasional].

Olive-sided Flycatcher: (1) 25 May (Peter Barnes), University of Texas Health Center at Tyler, Smith County [occasional].

Eastern Wood-Pewee: (1) 6 March (Keith Arnold), Country Club Lake, Bryan, Brazos County [very early; prior early records are 1/1/69, 2/23/77, 3/2/91, 4/13/66 with daily and multiple records from Apr 25 to Jun 1.].
The next report this season was not until:
Eastern Wood-Pewee: (1) 21 April; (2) 6 May; (2) 12 May (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [FOS; typical].

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher: (1 singing) 8 May (Nancy Bird), Azalea Trail, Angelina County [rare; David Wolf, "It was a good spring for Yellow-bellied Flycatchers and there were multiple reports of 1-2 birds from both Angelina and Nacogdoches Counties from May 5-21 (m. obs.)."

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher: (1) 19 May (Brush Freeman, Peggy Holt, et al.), Independence Park, Gonzales, Gonzales County [rare breeder?].

Acadian Flycatcher: (2) 20 May (Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), upper drainages of Alum Creek, Bastrop County [breeding probable; territorial behavior].

Alder/Willow Flycatcher sp.: (1) 19 May (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River, Washington County [rarely identified].

Alder Flycatcher: (1 heard) 24 May (Darrell Vollert), Lake Somerville State Park, Birch Creek Unit, Burleson County [rarely identified; late].

Willow Flycatcher: (1) 5 May (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert), Brazos River Road, Washington County [rarely identified].

Willow Flycatcher: (1 calling, 4 other empids not calling) 13 May (Nancy Bird), Azalea Trail, Angelina County [rare].

Eastern Phoebe: (1) 5 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake dam, Williamson County [late?].

Eastern Phoebe: (1 vigorously singing) 7 May (Ellen Ratoosh), Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [occasional].

Eastern Phoebe: (1) 19 May (Brush Freeman, Peggy Holt, et al.), Independence Park, Gonzales, Gonzales County [either late departure or first known occurrence of nesting in county].
Brush commented, "We found an Eastern Phoebe apparently on territory near the pavilion on the north side of the park. The bird sang constantly for almost the whole hour we were there and was seen going into the pavilion several times to the same location above an I-Beam, where we were unable to determine if there was actually a nest. I have never seen a E. Phoebe in this area this late in the year and certainly not one that I suspected as being a breeding bird. I checked what little I have on this area and cannot find even a record for summer (by the birds clock this should be summer). BLOT shows no summer records nor does he mention any breeding except in the hill country west of San Antonio, Gonzales is about 70 miles due east of San Antonio."].
"These birds are fairly common breeders along the escarpment and in north Texas but they thin out really quick in our part of the country and the bird in Gonzales is exceptional far south for a possible breeder. Robert pointed out a confirmed breeder (nest with eggs) in Luling in Caldwell Co., which is about 18 miles north of Gonzales. This appeared on the breeding bird atlas (online) as well."

Eastern Phoebe: (1 heard) 19 May (Jeffrey Hanson), by the greenhouses, close to the river, Hornsby Bend, Austin, Travis County [Jeffrey commented, "Quite a surprising find, for this property."].

Eastern Phoebe: (1) 20 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake area, Williamson County [late].

Eastern Phoebe: (1) 7 May; (1) 13 May; (1) 22 May (Ellen Ratoosh), floodplain at the Appomattox St. bridge, Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [late departure(s) for this area; not known to breed here].

Say's Phoebe: (1 adult) 22 October to 5 March (Eddie Ray, Guy Luneau, et al.), Pleasant Hill Cemetery near Hallsville, Sabine Mining Company land, Harrison County [one of only a few records for East Texas].

Great Kiskadee: (2) 10 April to at least 14 May (Derek Muschalek), his yard, DeWitt County [rare for region].

Western Kingbird: (1) 16 April; (2) 17 April (Chris Merkord), Texas A&M University campus, College Station, Brazos County [early arrivals].

Western Kingbird: (1) 18 April (Mary Ann Grahmann), Navasota, Grimes County [a bit early].

Western Kingbird: (1) 8 May (Mimi Wolf), south Angelina County; (1) 23 May (Jesse Fagan, David Wolf), Hank's Creek Park on Lake Rayburn, Angelina County [David commented, "this is a very rare migrant through our region, not recorded annually."].

Western Kingbird: (1) 23 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan), Hawks Creek, Angelina County [rare in East Texas].

Eastern Kingbird: (1) 27 March (Georgette Guernsey), Ryan irrigation field, Angelina County [a bit early].

SHRIKES THROUGH VIREOS

Loggerhead Shrike: (1 carrying food to young) 12 May (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Lowe's parking lot area in Lufkin, Angelina County [uncommon].

Loggerhead Shrike: (2 adults feeding 2 fledglings) 24 May (Darrell Vollert), stop #28 along FM390, BBS route between Burton and Independence, Washington County [uncommon].

Yellow-throated Vireo: (1 heard) 16 March (Jim Yantis) Keechi Creek WMA, Leon County [expected for area, but few bird records for this county].

Yellow-throated Vireo: (1) 31 March (Derek Muschalek), six miles southeast Gillett, Karnes County [rare].

Yellow-throated Vireo: (7-8) 20 May (Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), upper drainages of Alum Creek, Bastrop County [breeding probable; territorial behavior].

Unusually number of sightings of Philadelphia Vireo within a few days:

Philadelphia Vireo:  (1) 2 May (Guy Luneau, Mike Lovell), Texas Eastman at Longview, Harrison County [uncommon].

Philadelphia Vireo:  (1) 5 May (Peter Barnes), Camp Tyler, Smith County [uncommon].

Philadelphia Vireo:  (1) 6 May (Brooke Nicotra), northern Smith County [uncommon].

Philadelphia Vireo:  (1) 6 May (Guy Luneau), Rusk County [uncommon].

Philadelphia Vireo:  (1) 6 May (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [uncommon].

Philadelphia Vireo: (4+) 12 May (Tim Fennell), at Macedonia Pecan Bottom, CR 337, Pecan Bottom, and CR 347 River Access, Williamson County [large number for the area].

Hutton's Vireo: (1) 10 March (Brush Freeman), Park Rd 1C ~1.4 mi. west of it's intersection with Old Antioch Rd. in Buescher State Park, Bastrop County [very rare].

Red-eyed Vireo: (1) 30 March (Nancy Bird), her yard, Angelina County [early edge of arrival dates].

Red-eyed Vireo: (25+) 26 April (David Wolf), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [high count].

Red-eyed Vireo: (no.?) 20 May (Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), upper drainages of Alum Creek, Bastrop County [breeding probable; territorial behavior].

LARKS THROUGH SWALLOWS

camera.GIF (1399 bytes) Horned Lark: (1 territorial) 27 May; (2 mating) 30 May; (2 singing) 10 June (Tim Fennell), FM 1105, north of Weir, Williamson County [breeding confirmed; photographed; according to Tim, "appears to be the first evidence of Horned Larks in the breeding season in Williamson Co. since 1976."].

Tree Swallows appear to be increasing their nesting range:

Tree Swallow: (6 checking out nesting boxes) March (Eddie Ray, Guy Luneau), Texas Eastman at Longview, Harrison County [rare breeders in East Texas].

Tree Swallow: (6) 11 March (Jack Windsor), private lake south of Lufkin, Angelina County [very rare; there are no March records for the Pineywoods of East Texas according to the 2001 checklist].

Tree Swallow: (2) 18 March (Carol Gutberlet, Ron Gutberlet), Villages Marina on Lake Palestine, Smith County [early].

Tree Swallow: (2) 4 March; 16 April; 22 April; 1 May (Tim Fennell), in drowned timber at Willis Creek Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare; possible breeding pair, Tim stated, "Two Tree Swallows flying around the same drowned timber at Willis Creek Park on Granger Lake from mid-April through the first week of May"].

Tree Swallow: (1-2) 22 May (Nancy Bird, Jesse Fagan, David Wolf), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [David commented, "likely summering locally (and perhaps breeding?"].

Northern Rough-winged Swallow: (6) 11 March (Jack Windsor), private lake south of Lufkin, Angelina County [occasional in March].

Northern Rough-winged Swallow: (5) 19 March (Chris Merkord), TAMU Waste Water Treatment Plant, College Station, Brazos County [early arrival].

camera.GIF (1399 bytes) Bank Swallow: (2) 5 May; (2) 12 May; (1) 20 May; (2) 30-31 May; (2) 12 June (Tim Fennell), at spillway at Granger Lake dam, Williamson County [possible breeding pair; Tim stated, "Two Bank Swallows have been present at Granger Dam the entire month of May (the banks of the spillway may be suitable for nest burrows)."].

Cliff Swallow: (3) 3 March (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [early arrival].

Cliff Swallow: (1) 6 March (Darrell Vollert), US290 at Brazos River, Washington County [early arrival; a check on 3 March at same location showed none].

Cave Swallow: (1) 7 March (Ellen Ratoosh), over the pond on Hwy 50 just N of the intersection with Hwy 60 on March 7, Burleson County [first county record].

Cave Swallow: (12 and 3 nests) 30-31 May; (8) 10 June (Tim Fennell), FM 971 bridge over Berry Creek east of Georgetown, Williamson County [breeding confirmed; nests found].
Tim stated, "I also found a small colony of Cave Swallows (my first nesting record for Williamson) at the Berry Creek bridge on FM 971, east of Georgetown. All of the U.S. breeding swallows except Violet-green could be nesting in Williamson this season. I had two Tree Swallows flying around the same drowned timber at Willis Creek Park on Granger Lake from mid- April through the first week of May (I haven't had time to check since then) and two Bank Swallows have been present at Granger Dam the entire month of May (the banks of the spillway may be suitable for nest burrows).

Cave Swallow: (1 nest) 30 May (Russell Nelson), under the US 190 bridge at the park along Sulphur Creek near where US 190 and 281 meet on the south side of Lampasas, Lampasas County [status?].

Barn Swallow: (1) 3 March (Darrell Vollert), Wichita Ranch, Washington County [early arrival].

Barn Swallow: (first sighting of spring) 6 March; (female started incubating) 10 April; (young hatched) 23 April; (2 fledged) 13 May; (female incubating again) 20 May (Ellen Ratoosh), Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [detailed breeding record].

CHICKADEES THROUGH KINGLETS

Carolina Chickadee: (7 eggs) 24 March; (pair feeding 7 chicks) 31 March; (7 fledglings) 14 April (Ellen Ratoosh), Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [large brood; Oberholser states brood size of 3-8, usually 6].

Red-breasted Nuthatch: (1) 5 January; 12 January; 26 January; 2 February; 9 February; 11 February; (1 female) 30 March (Darrell Vollert, Margie Young), Harrison Street, Brenham, Washington County [uncommon; Margie has had a nuthatch in her yard every winter since the winter of 95-96].

White-breasted Nuthatch: (1) 22 April (Nicholas Block), south unit of Martin Dies State Park, Jasper County [occasional].

White-breasted Nuthatch: (1) 2 May (Nancy Bird, Jack Windsor), Old Orchard Park, Angelina County [occasional].

White-breasted Nuthatch: (1) 28 May (Brush Freeman, Cliff Shackelford), Alum Creek area, Bastrop County [rare].

Brown Creeper: (1) 1 April (Darrell Vollert), along Old Chappell Road near Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [rare in April].

Brown Creeper: (1) 5 April (Randy Pinkston), Temple Lions Park, Bell County [late in season].

Bewick's Wren: (1 banded) 31 March (Dorothy Metzler, James Ingold), Marion County [first one banded in spring in Marion County].

House Wren: (1) 7 May (Derek Muschalek), 11 miles northwest of Yorktown, Karnes County [somewhat late departure].

Winter Wren: (2) 6 March (Darrell Vollert), US290 at Brazos River, Washington County [rare].

Winter Wren: (1) 4 April (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird, et al.), Marion Ferry road, Angelina County [first April record for species in county].

Sedge Wren: (1) 12 April (Georgette Guernsey), Crown Colony, Angelina County [first April sighting for county].

Sedge Wren: (2) 4 March; (1) 15 and 17 and 25 March; (2) 1 April; (2) 8 April; (3) 12 April; (2) 14 April; (1) 28 April (Darrell Vollert) Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional].

Marsh Wren: (5+) 29 April to 1 May (Tim Fennell), marsh below dam at Granger Lake, Williamson County [late].

Golden-crowned Kinglet: (2) 11 March (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [rare in March].

Golden-crowned Kinglet: (1) 16 March (Georgette Guernsey, Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Ryan Lake, Angelina County [late].

Ruby-crowned Kinglet: (1) 6 May (Derek Muschalek), Huisache grove, Karnes County [late departure].

BLUEBIRDS TO WAXWINGS

Western Bluebird: (1 male) 3 or 4 times from 2 February to 5 March (Traci Jean Carson), Tehuacana, Limestone County [far west of normal range; no county records or records further east of this location; to the west it is listed as vagrant in McLennan County].

Veery: (1 heard) 22 April (Georgette Guernsey, Lynn Smith), Azalea Trail, Angelina County [occasional].

Veery: (1) 24 April (Nancy Bird), Azalea Trail, Angelina County [scarce migrant].

Veery: (1) 27 April (Nancy Bird, Jack Windsor), Alazan Bayou, Nacogdoches County [occasional].

Veery: (1) 2 May (Jesse Fagan, David Wolf), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches; (1) 3 May (David Wolf), Lanana Creek; (1) 7 May (Matt White), Nacogdoches County [occasional; more reports than usual this spring].

Veery: (1) 13 March (Nancy Bird), Huntington, Angelina County [occasional].

Gray-cheeked Thrush: (1) 25 April (Nancy Bird); (1) 30 April (Georgette Guernsey), Azalea Trail, Angelina County [occasional migrant].

Gray-cheeked Thrush: (1) 26 April (David Wolf), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [occasional migrant].

Gray-cheeked Thrush: (1) 27 April (David Wolf), Lanana Creek, Nacogdoches County [occasional migrant].

Gray-cheeked Thrush: (1) 5 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan), Nacogdoches County [occasional migrant].

Gray-cheeked Thrush: (1) 8 May (Louis Debetaz), Angelina College Forest Fitness Trail, Angelina County [occasional].

Gray-cheeked Thrush: (1) 15 May (Matt White), near Ayish Bayou, San Augustine County [occasional migrant].

Swainson's Thrush: (3) 20 May (Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), upper drainages of Alum Creek, Bastrop County [breeding probable; territorial behavior].

Hermit Thrush: (1) 8 April (David Wolf), west Nacogdoches County [last report of the season].

Wood Thrush: (4) 20-28 May (Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), upper drainages of Alum Creek, Bastrop County [breeding probable; singing birds in four territories; first such found in area in many years].

American Robin: (nest with nestlings) 28 March (Heather Mathewson) Texas A&M University campus, College Station, Brazos County [early nesting; although an uncommon breeder in Brazos County, nesting dates are not on record. According to Oberholser, breeding is "Early Mar. to Aug. (no egg dates available, but young in nest from Mar. 28 to Aug.)"].

Gray Catbird: (1) 1 March (Darrell Vollert), neighbor's back yard, Chappell Hill, Washington County [early arrival].

Gray Catbird: (90+) 5 May (fide David Wolf), Nacogdoches County [high count; David commented, "Gray Catbirds were second commonest migrant in a major push on May 5, when 90+ seen"].

Northern Mockingbird: (1 imitating Willet call) 9 May (Ellen Ratoosh), Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [mimicking a very rare bird for this area].

Sprague's Pipit: (3) 15 April (Derek Muschalek), 11 miles northwest of Yorktown, DeWitt County [somewhat late departure].

Cedar Waxwing: (5) 20 May; (17) 21 May (Ellen Ratoosh), Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [somewhat late].

Cedar Waxwing: (12) 24 May (Darrell Vollert), May Way Street, Brenham, Washington County [late departure].

Cedar Waxwing: (5) 27 May (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hill, Washington County [late departure].

WARBLERS

WARBLERS REPORTED THIS SEASON - PINEYWOODS
David Wolf, Nacogdoches County, "Although it was not an exceptional spring migration this year, 34 species of warblers were reported from March to May! May 5-6 were the best days for numbers and variety of migrants, but some of the scarcer species were found in late April. The rarest warblers seen were the Palm (one record) and Blackpoll (two records)."

Peter Barnes commented, "Guy Luneau located 22 warbler species on May 6, quite a feat for northeast Texas."

Blue-winged Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Pine Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Palm Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Prothonotary Warbler, Worm-eating Warbler, Swainson's Warbler, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Kentucky Warbler, Mourning Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat. (34).

WARBLERS REPORTED THIS SEASON - CENTRAL PRAIRIES
Golden-winged Warbler, Tennessee Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Cape May Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Blackburnian Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Pine Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Prothonotary Warbler, Swainson's Warbler, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Louisiana Waterthrush, Kentucky Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Hooded Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, Canada Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat. (30).

Golden-winged Warbler: (1) 22 April (Lynn Smith), her yard, Lufkin, Angelina County [only a few records for Angelina County].

Golden-winged Warbler: (2) 23 April (David Shackelford), Hensel Park, College Station, Brazos County [occasional].

Golden-winged Warbler: (1) 1 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare].

Golden-winged Warbler: (1) 4 May (Louis Debetaz, Jack Windsor), Ryan Lake, Angelina County [occasional].

Golden-winged Warbler: (1) 6 May (Derek Muschalek), Adanal Ranch, Karnes County [occasional].

Golden-winged Warbler: (1 female) 6 May (Peter Barnes), Camp Tyler, Smith County [occasional].

Golden-winged Warbler: (2) 6 May (Guy Luneau), Rusk County [occasional].

Golden-winged Warbler: (1 male) 6 May (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional].

Golden-winged Warbler: (1 male) 24 April (Rick Schaefer, Chris Collins); (1 female) 3 May (David Wolf); (1 male) 5 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan); (1 female) 6 May (David Wolf, et al.), (1 female) 18 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan, Brian Gibbons), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [18 May sighting is very late; David commented, "this last bird showed slight characteristics approaching a Lawrence's-type hybrid"].

Tennessee Warbler: (60+) 26 April (David Wolf), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [high count; most common migrant that day].

Tennessee Warbler: (17) 6 May (Derek Muschalek), Adanal Ranch, Karnes County [high count].

Tennessee Warbler: (75+) 6 May (David Wolf), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [high count].

Northern Parula: (1 male singing on territory) 5 March (Jennifer Reidy, Chris Merkord), Lick Creek Park, Brazos County [early arrival].

Northern Parula: (1) 7 March (Brush Freeman), Utley, Bastrop County [early arrival].

Northern Parula: (1 male feeding two immatures), 15 May (Georgette Guernsey), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [breeding evidence].

Northern Parula: (2 feeding fledglings) 8 May (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River at US290, Washington County [breeding evidence].

Yellow Warbler: (26) 6 May (Derek Muschalek), Adanal Ranch, Karnes County [high count].

Yellow Warbler: (2 singing) 25 May (Derek Muschalek), his yard, DeWitt County [late migrant?].

Chestnut-sided Warbler: (20+) 5-6 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan, et al.), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [high count].

Chestnut-sided Warbler: (15 with 5 in a single tree) 6 May (Brooke Nicotra), north Smith County [high count].

Magnolia Warbler: (26) 6 May (Derek Muschalek), Adanal Ranch, Karnes County [high count].

Magnolia Warbler: (45+) 5 May; (50+) 6 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan, et al.), Nacogdoches County [high counts].

Cape May Warbler: (1) 5-6 May (Derek Muschalek), Huisache grove behind his mailbox, Karnes County [rare].

Cape May Warbler: (1) 9 May (Randy Pinkston), Temple Lions Park, Temple, Bell County [rare].

Golden-cheeked Warbler: (1 male) 20 April (Tim Fennell), Cedar Breaks Park, Lake Georgetown, Williamson County [rare?].

Black-throated Green Warbler: (1) 21 March (Guy Luneau), Rusk County [early arrival].

Black-throated Green Warbler: (28) 6 May (Derek Muschalek), Adanal Ranch, Karnes County [high count].

Blackburnian Warbler: (1) 24 May (Brush Freeman), Wilbarger Creek, Bastrop County [somewhat late migrant].

Yellow-throated Warbler: (1) 16 March (Georgette Guernsey, Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Ryan Lake, Angelina County [early edge of arrival dates].

Yellow-throated Warbler: (1 singing male) 28 May (Brush Freeman, Cliff Shackelford), Alum Creek area, Bastrop County [breeding bird; first evidence of breeding since 1992-93; a second individual was singing as though on territory on 22 May in the upper reaches of Alum Creek].

Pine Warbler: (1) 11 April (Darrell Vollert), heard one singing in a stand of medium height Loblolly Pine trees at the intersection of FM390 and SH105, Washington County [rare in April].

Palm Warbler: (1) 4 May (Louis Debetaz, Jack Windsor), Ryan Lake area, Angelina County [very rare; 4th county record; second spring sighting].

Blackpoll Warbler: (1 male) 24 April (Nancy Bird), Azalea Trail, Angelina County [rare migrant; only the second county record; "after the cool front passed bringing a little early morning rain"].

Blackpoll Warbler: (1) 4 May (Chris Sargent), Lion's Park, Temple, Bell County [rare migrant].

Blackpoll Warbler: (1 male) 5 May (Chris Collins, Jesse Fagan, Robert Truss, David Wolf), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [rare].

Cerulean Warbler: (1 heard) 5 April (Lynn Smith) her yard; (1) 14 April (Nancy Bird), VFW Pond, Angelina County [rare migrant].

Cerulean Warblers were spotted in East Texas a surprising number of times.

Cerulean Warbler: (1) 14 April (Nancy Bird), VFW pond, Lufkin, Angelina County [rare].

Cerulean Warbler: (1 male) 22 April (Kay Burnell), near Appleby, Nacogdoches County [rare].

Cerulean Warbler: (2 males) 24 April (Nancy Bird), Azalea Trail, Angelina County [rare migrant].

Cerulean Warbler: (2 males) 26 April (David Wolf), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [rare].

Cerulean Warbler: (1 male) 1 May (Georgette Guernsey), Ryan Lake area, Angelina County [rare migrant].

Black-and-white Warbler: (14) 6 May (Derek Muschalek), Adanal Ranch, Karnes County [high count].

Black-and-white Warbler: (3) 20 May (Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), upper drainages of Alum Creek, Bastrop County [breeding probable; territorial behavior].

American Redstart: (11) 6 May (Derek Muschalek), Adanal Ranch, Karnes County [high count].

American Redstart: (25+) 5 May; (30+) 6 May (David Wolf, et al.), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [high counts].

American Redstart: (several) 26 May (Susan Schaezler), her yard, southeast of New Braunfels, Guadalupe County [late migrant].

Prothonotary Warbler: (1 male) 31 March (Jesse Fagan, Claudia de la Cruz, Ruth Heino), Alazan Bayou WMA, Nacodgoches County [first arrival].

Prothonotary Warbler: (1) 20 April (David Shackelford), Hensel Park, College Station, Brazos County [few records for College Station, although occasional for the Central Brazos Valley].

Prothonotary Warbler: (10-15) 30 May (Derek Hill, Brian Gibbons), at southern entrance, southwest of the dam off 488, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare in region; high count].

Worm-eating Warbler: (1) 24 April (Nancy Bird), Azalea Trail, Angelina County [scarce migrant].

Worm-eating Warbler: (1) 2 May (Jesse Fagan, David Wolf), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [rare].

Swainson's Warbler: (1) 6 April (Mimi Wolf, David Wolf), Dorr Creek Road, Nacogdoches County [earliest arrival by a day; territorial].

Swainson's Warbler: (1) 10 April; (4 singing) 16 April (Lynn Smith, Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Ryan Lake, Angelina County [early edge of expected dates].

Swainson's Warbler: (1) 17 April; 5 May; 8 May (Darrell Vollert), Hwy 290 and Brazos River, Washington County [rare, typical arrival date, known breeding area].

Swainson's Warbler: (1 singing) 17 May but not located thereafter (Darrell Vollert), in a thicket along FM1155 on the north side of downtown Chappell Hill, Washington County [not a known nesting site; Darrell states, "Good habitat for them to nest in, as there is a creek nearby … That warbler may have been a young male or just out of his normal territory."].

Swainson's Warbler: (1 singing) 18 April and 26 May (Darrell Vollert), Jackson Creek near Gaskamp Road and SH105, Washington County [nesting bird].

Swainson's Warbler: (1) 27 May (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [rare].
Darrell, "On Sunday, May 27th in the morning- while doing my weekly bird survey of Clarann Estate- I heard a Swainson's Warbler singing north of Cedar Creek. The song was very faint and at the threshold of my hearing. I decided to cross the creek and try to find the singing warbler. The bird song led me to area that was slightly open with leaf litter covering the forest floor. It was moist woodland as well, very good habitat for nesting Swainson's Warblers. I could not see the warbler. He then flew into a thicket that was impenetratable. I decided to leave and was on my way back to the creek, but then I heard the Swainson's Warbler singing again in the original area where I heard him singing. I decided to be patient hoping he would pop up on an exposed perch. After waiting for about 10 minutes the Swainson's Warbler flew up to an exposed perch about 25 feet above the ground and began singing. I watched him for approximately 5 minutes before he flew away to the east. I wonder if this Swainson's has been at that site for very long this spring. The forest is fairly large and he could have been in the northern region of the forest and therefore I could not hear him singing. Or he could be a young male trying to establish a territory. I doubt if he is a late migrant."

Swainson's Warbler: (4 breeding territories) 20-28 May (Brush Freeman), Alum Creek, Bastrop County [good showing for the county].

Swainson's Warbler: (1) 26 May (Darrell Vollert, Rio Brazos Audubon Society Field Trip), Stubblefield Recreation Area (from Richards, go east on FM149, then make a left turn on FM1375 and travel east, and then turn north onto FR215), northern tip of Lake Conroe, southern Walker County [rare].

Swainson's Warbler: (2) 30 May (Derek Hill, Brian Gibbons), at southern entrance, southwest of the dam off 488, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare].

Ovenbird: (5) 6 May (Derek Muschalek), Adanal Ranch, Karnes County [high count].

Northern Waterthrush: (1) 24 May (Derek Muschalek), 6 miles southeast of Gillett, Karnes County [late migrant].

Louisiana Waterthrush: (4) 31 March (Derek Muschalek), six miles southeast Gillett, Karnes County [unusually large number].

Louisiana Waterthrush: (4) 20 May (Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), upper drainages of Alum Creek, Bastrop County [breeding probable; territorial behavior].

Kentucky Warbler: 6-10 April (m.obs.), Nacogdoches County [David Wolf, "Kentucky Warblers arrived back on their breeding territories April 6-10."].

Kentucky Warbler: (1) 4 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan, et al.), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [late migrant].

Kentucky Warbler: (17+ territories of breeding birds) 20-28 May (Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), upper drainages of Alum Creek, Bastrop County [breeding probable; territorial behavior].

Kentucky Warbler: (5-10) 30 May (Derek Hill, Brian Gibbons), at southern entrance, southwest of the dam off 488, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare in region].

Mourning Warbler: (1) 5 May (Nancy Bird, Georgette Guernsey), Old Orchard Park; (1) 5 May (David Wolf), Nacogdoches; (1) 6 May (David Wolf), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [presumably uncommon, but only reports for East Texas and Central Prairie this season].

Common Yellowthroat: (1) 22 March (Nancy Bird, Lynn Smith, Georgette Guernsey), Sam Rayburn Lake, Angelina County [a bit early].

Common Yellowthroat: (25+) 5 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [high count].

Common Yellowthroat: (4-5 singing on territory?) 30 May (Derek Hill, Brian Gibbons), at northern entrance, off Hwy 287 east of the dam, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [probable breeder, previously unreported for the Central Brazos Valley].

Common Yellowthroat is an uncommon migrant in May but rarely to the last week of May. Heretofore, breeding has not been established in the Central Brazos Valley and except for Richland Creek WMA, there is only one other record of yellowthroats staying beyond May; Bird Life of Texas lists the breeding period as early April to mid-July with eggs 9 April to 22 June and the migration period from mid-April to mid-May with extremes of 4 June and 4 July. Subsequent discussions with Peter Barnes brought to light that in 2000 he found yellowthroats on three occasions in June and once in July, strongly supporting the speculation that the species breeds at the WMA. He also found one on 2 June 2001.

Hooded Warbler: (1) 22 March (Nancy Bird, Lynn Smith, Georgette Guernsey), Sam Rayburn Lake, Angelina County [a bit early by Pineywoods records].

Hooded Warbler: (1 adult male) 23 March (Darrell Vollert), Margie Young's yard in Brenham, Washington County [typical arrival date by Central Brazos Valley records].

Hooded Warbler: (1 male singing) 1 April and 19 May (Darrell Vollert), along Cedar Creek at Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [probable breeder].

Hooded Warbler: (11 breeding territories) 20-28 May (Brush Freeman), Alum Creek, Bastrop County [good showing for the county].
TANAGERS

Scarlet Tanagers
David Wolf, Nacogdoches County, stated, "Scarlet Tanagers staged the best movement through our region that we have seen in 30 years of watching, both in frequency of sightings and numbers."

Brush Freeman, commenting on spring migration along the Central Texas Coast, "Never in any year have I seen the numbers of Scarlet Tanagers that I saw this season especially between April 15-20. It was not difficult to see a few hundred each morning.

Bert Frenz, reporting on the TOS meeting, "Surprisingly, Scarlet Tanagers were found in good numbers at eight of the nine birding sites during field trips at the Corpus Christi TOS meeting, April 26-28, only missing the barren bay site of Indian Point."

Scarlet Tanager: (1 male) 20 April (David Shackelford), Hensel Park, College Station, Brazos County [occasional].

Scarlet Tanager: (2 males) 21 April (Nancy Bird), Azalea Trail, Lufkin; (1+) through 2 May (m. obs.) Angelina County [uncommon].

Scarlet Tanager: (1 male), 24 April (Darrell Vollert; Mary Brandt), Chappell Hills subdivision, Washington County [rare; Darrell writes, "This was only my second sighting of a spring male Scarlet Tanager in Washington County.].

Scarlet Tanager: (1+) almost daily from 26 April to 6 May, including (3 males, 4 females) 27 April; (2 males; 5 females) 30 April (David Wolf, et al.), Pecan Park, Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [high counts].

Scarlet Tanager: (~160-170) 19 April (Brush Freeman), Port O'Connor, Calhoun County [exceptional number].

Scarlet Tanager: (1) 28 April (David Scott), Guadalupe St., College Station, Brazos County [rare migrant].

Scarlet Tanager: (1 male) 30 April (David Shackelford), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County [occasional].

Scarlet Tanager: (1 male) 30 April and 1 May (Habib Rahman), Bryan, Brazos County [occasional].

Scarlet Tanager: (2) 1-2 May (Guy Luneau), Texas Eastman at Longview, Harrison County [uncommon].

SPARROWS

Olive Sparrow: (1) 5 May (Derek Muschalek), CR271, Karnes County [rare].

Spotted Towhee: (1 adult male) 7 April (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy), Roberts Rd., Washington County [late and rare].

Eastern Towhee: (1) 1 April (Tim Fennell), Granger area, Williamson County [rare].

Bachman's Sparrow: (1-2 heard) 26 May (Chuck Hamilton, Rio Brazos Audubon Society field trip), while driving north on FM1791 (3 miles north of FM149), Sam Houston National Forest, Montgomery County [uncommon].

Chipping Sparrow: (2) through at least 6 May (Nancy Bird), her feeders, Angelina County [likely nesters since they have nested in her yard in prior years].

Clay-colored Sparrow: (1) 5 May (Ellen Ratoosh), Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [rare spring migrant; "perhaps grounded by the storms last night"].

Vesper Sparrow: (1) 31 March (Guy Luneau), Henderson Airport, Rusk County [late departure for East Texas Pineywoods].

Vesper Sparrow: (2) 20 April (Tim Fennell), Willis Creek Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County [late departure for Central Prairie].

Grasshopper Sparrow

Tim Fennell, Williamson County, on 27 May, "Grasshopper Sparrows are more abundant than I have ever seen them. On my BBS (Wahlberg Route) on 5/27, I had seven Grasshopper Sparrows on the route. Since the route began in 1980, Grasshopper Sparrows had been recorded during only three years (2 birds maximum). On 5/26, between 8:30 and 9:30 am, I did an informal survey of the grasslands on the eastern edge of Round Rock and I counted 69 Grasshopper Sparrows. Of the 69, fourteen birds were heard only. Of the birds seen, eight were carrying insects (I could only identify five of the insects and they were, you guessed it, grasshoppers).

Tim Fennell, Williamson County, on 12 May, "It looks like it is going to be a banner year for Dickcissels and especially Grasshopper Sparrows (I heard and saw them at many places on the route that I haven't encountered them in the past 4 years- I think the rainfall this year is the cause of this as previously parched fields are incredibly lush)."

camera.GIF (1399 bytes) Sightings by Tim Fennell in Williamson County this spring:
(40+) 16 April, CR110 and CR112, east Round Rock
(120+) 20 April, CR 117/110/105, east Round Rock
(30+) 29 April, Granger area
(20+) 5 May, Willis Creek Park
(no.?) 12 May, found in many places in area along BBS route
(30+) 20 May, Granger area
(69) 26 May, east Round Rock
(7) 27 May, BBS route (actual BBS count)

Sightings in other areas:
Grasshopper Sparrow: (1) 26 April (Truman Powell), Trinidad, Henderson County [occasional].

Grasshopper Sparrow: (6) 6 May (Guy Luneau), TXU mine north of Henderson, Rusk County [rare].

Grasshopper Sparrow: (1 showing territorial behavior) 12 May (Fred Collins), his farm, Waller County [first spring occurrence for this species on his ranch; listed as an occasional nester on the UTC checklist and an uncommon nester in the Central Brazos Valley].

Grasshopper Sparrow: (1 pair) 24 May (Darrell Vollert), BBS route between Burton and Independence, Washington County [new species for BBS route.]
Darrell observed, "I found one male and one female perched together on a barbed wire fence at stop #50 on Rocky Hill School Road at Old Independence Road. The male Grasshopper Sparrow displayed and sang and called often. The pair mated several times. This is the first time that I have ever seen Grasshopper Sparrows in Washington County. Pat Giddings has the only other record that I am aware of for the county. I watched the two sparrows for several minutes after my survey was finished. The male Grasshopper Sparrow's lesser coverts had orange coloration on them that was more visible when the bird extended his wings outward. The female did not have the orange coloration on her wings. It was easy for me to tell just by looking at the plumage of the two birds which one was the male and which one was the female."

GrSpEPL1.JPG (13042 bytes)

 

Grasshopper Sparrow: (2 chicks, brancher stage) ~29 May (Elaine Peterson Long), Brazos County [a tractor disturbed a nest, killing two, but the remaining two were brought in to wildlife rehabilitator; photographed]. camera.GIF (1399 bytes)

 

Grasshopper Sparrow: (15) 29 May (Colin Bludau), various in SW part of county, Karnes County [breeding confirmed].

Outside the region:
Rich Kostecke, commenting on the Southern High Plains of Texas during May, "Early signs seem to indicate that it may be a bang-up year for our grassland-nesting sparrows. In particular, Grasshopper Sparrows strike me as being much more common than in previous years."

Grasshopper Sparrow: (1) 6 May (Marty Campbell, Rich Kostecke), Lake Alan Henry Wildlife Habitat Area; (2) 6 May (John Brunjes), Muleshoe NWR, Bailey County; (several) 7 May (Rich Kostecke, et al.), Beach Family Ranch, Garza County [occasional].

Henslow's Sparrow: (1) 10 March (Sheridan Coffey, Jimmy McHaney, Charlie Amos), Upshur County [rare].

Henslow's Sparrow: (4) 17 March (Dorothy Metzler, et al.), Marion County [a total of 16 separate birds that have been banded or observed in a 10 acre plot of fields during the past 12 months].

Le Conte's Sparrow: (1) 29 April (Tim Fennell), grassy spillway leading to marsh below dam at Granger Lake, Williamson County [late departure].

Harris's Sparrow
Bert Frenz, "Harris's Sparrows remained or migrated much later than usual throughout eastern and central Texas."

Harris's Sparrow: (2) all winter to 15 March; (1) 20 March (David Wolf, Mimi Wolf), Central Heights, Nacogdoches County [late departure].

Harris's Sparrow: (8) 31 March (Bert Frenz), Hickory Creek Park, Lake Lewisville, Denton County [late migrants].

Harris's Sparrow: (5) 31 March (Mike Creese, San Antonio Audubon Society Field Trip), ranch of Susan and Donald Schaezler, northeast of San Antonio, Guadalupe County [late].

Harris's Sparrow: (1) 31 March (Petra Hockey, Brush Freeman); (2) 8 April (Brush Freeman, E. Carpenter), Cliburn Ranch near Seadrift, Calhoun County [late].

Harris's Sparrow: (2) 24 April (Cameron Cox, Michael Andersen), FM 883 near Berclair, Goliad County [very late departure].

Harris's Sparrow: (2) 9 and 11 April; (1) 16 April; (2) 21 April; (2) 23-25 April (Mary Ann Grahmann), Chadwick-Hogan Road just south of Chappell Hill, Washington County [rare this late in the season; the latest prior record was 19 April; recorded on video].

Harris's Sparrow: (1) 2 May (Darrell Vollert), along fence line on FM577 near SH105 in Brenham, Washington County [very late sighting; latest area record].

White-crowned Sparrow: (4) 21 April; (6) 23 April; (2 in morning; 6 in afternoon) 24 April; (6 seen singing) 25 April; (2) 2 May (Mary Ann Grahmann), Chadwick-Hogan Road just south of Chappell Hill, Washington County [expected to end of April; rare in May].

White-crowned Sparrow: (1) 5 May (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake dam, Williamson County [late].

Dark-eyed Junco
Bert Frenz, "Dark-eyed Juncos, particularly the Oregon form, were especially common this winter and their occurrence continued long into spring."

Dark-eyed (Oregon) Junco: (20) 10 March (Darrell Vollert), Washington-on-the-Brazos SHP, Washington County [unusual concentration of Oregon race since normal mix is 20:1 Dark-eyed to Oregon].

Dark-eyed Junco: (2) 31 March (Derek Muschalek), six miles southeast Gillett, Karnes County [late departure].

Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco: (2) until 3 April (Jimmie & Bob Putnam), Angelina County [late departure].

Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco: (1) 4 April (David Wolf, et al.), Nacogdoches County [late migrant].

Dark-eyed (Gray-headed) Junco: (1) 20 March and 9-15 April (Mimi Wolf), Central Heights, Nacogdoches County [first showed up in mid-January; very rare form for East Texas; David Wolf commented, "the "Gray-headed" Junco in Central Heights lingered until April 15 before it left for its normal haunts in the Rocky Mountains (MW). This extreme rarity was first detected in mid-January and stayed much later than 'Slate-coloreds' have ever lingered in our area."].

McCown's Longspur: (1) 1 March (Gary Fritcher), Burleson County [rare; There 13-14 records of McCown's Longspurs in the Central Brazos Valley, most of which we only have dates, so it is possible some of these are also from Burleson Co. But all of these are prior to 1976. We have had no records in the past 25 years.].

McCown's Longspur: (1) 11 March (Tim Fennell), sharp "L" turn on CR 359/Friendship Lane, Williamson County [rare].

CARDINALS, GROSBEAKS AND BUNTINGS

Northern Cardinal: (123) 24 May (Darrell Vollert), BBS route between Burton and Independence, Washington County [most common species on the route; present at 46 of the 50 stops; a trend that has continued for many years along this route].

Rose-breasted Grosbeak: (1) 27 March (Peggy Harding), Rusk County [very early arrival].

Rose-breasted Grosbeak: (1 female) 16 May (Jesse Fagan, David Wolf), south Angelina County [late migrant].

Black-headed Grosbeak: (1 male) 2 May (Susan Schaezler), south of New Braunfels, Guadalupe County [rare].

Blue Grosbeak: (1) 5 March (Jimmie & Bob Putnam), their feeder, Angelina County [extremely early; no March records in new 2001 Pineywoods checklist].

Blue Grosbeak: (2, including a nest with 4 pale white eggs) 20 May (Tim Fennell), about 5 ft. from ground in 9-ft. Cedar Elm on south edge of marsh below Granger Lake dam, Williamson County [rare].

Blue Grosbeak: (1 molting male) 5 May (Bert Frenz, Judy Winn, Srinand Karuppoor, Darrell Vollert); (1 adult male) 29 May (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River Road, Washington County [breeding bird or late migrant?].

Lazuli Bunting: (1) 13 April (Brooke Nicotra), FM1804, northern Smith County [rare].

Lazuli Bunting: (1) 27 April (Beverly Nichols), her yard, Atlanta, Cass County [very rare in East Texas; this yard also had Lazuli Buntings in 26-28 April and 11 October 2000].

Indigo Bunting: 7 March (Derek Muschalek), 11 miles northwest of Yorktown, DeWitt County [early arrival].

Indigo Bunting: (1) 24 March (Nancy Bird), her feeder, Angelina County [ties the earliest county sighting record].

Indigo Bunting: (~70-80 mostly males, 7-to-1 females) 21 April (Nancy Bird), Azalea Trail, Angelina County [large count].

Indigo Bunting: (150+, females by 4:1) 5 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan), Nacogdoches County [high count; dominant migrant in the good fallout that day].

Painted Bunting: (1 male) 12 April (Fred and Mary Brandt), Chappell Hill subdivision; (1) 14 April (Darrell Vollert), Polk's Lake near Chappell Hill, Washington County [first of season, early edge of arrival dates].

Painted Bunting: (1) 14 April (Nancy Bird), VFW pond, Lufkin, Angelina County [early arrival].

Painted Bunting: (49) 24 May (Darrell Vollert), BBS route between Burton and Independence, Washington County [second most common species on the route; present at 37 of the 50 stops].

DICKCISSELS THROUGH BLACKBIRDS

Dickcissels were especially common this spring and it could indicate a good breeding season ahead.

Dickcissel: (3-4) 17 April (Darrell Vollert), Hwy 290 and Brazos River, Washington County [typical date when species becomes common in migration].

Dickcissel: (20-25) 28 April (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hill, Washington County.

Dickcissel: (300+) 29 April (Tim Fennell), Granger area, Williamson County.

Dickcissel: (100+) 5 May (Bert Frenz, Judy Winn, Srinand Karuppoor, Darrell Vollert), found singing at almost every site visited in the countryside around Chappell Hill, Washington County [common].

Dickcissel: (1) 5 May (Bert Frenz), singing on wire on SH105 between Brazos River and Navasota, Grimes County [probably many more in the area, but strangely this is the first record for the county].

Dickcissel: (400+) 5 May; (500+) 6 May; (300+) 20 May (Tim Fennell), Williamson County [common migrant].

Dickcissel: (many) 11 May (Adrienne Watt) between Rodgers and Buckholtz (Hwy 190), Milam County ["The fields between Rodgers and Buckholtz (Hwy 190) in Milam county were alive today with dickcissels."].

Dickcissel: (1) 24 May (Darrell Vollert), stop #48 on Rocky Hill School Road, BBS route between Burton and Independence, Washington County [uncommon; species not found last year].

Dickcissel: (6) 22 April; (7) 6 May; (6+) 12 May; (1 in flight) 27 May (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [common].

Dickcissel: (20+) 28 May (Colin Bludau), various in 1 mi. radius around Coy City, Karnes County [breeding confirmed].

Dickcissels have also been noted in greater numbers in other areas. For example, John Brunjes near Clarendon, Donley County, in the Texas Panhandle, noted, "Dickcissel 100's - These were very common this year after being hard to find last year".

Bobolink: (9) 1 May; (4) 5 May; (1) 9 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan), Alazan Bayou WMA, Nacogdoches County [rare].

Bobolink: (30+) 2 May (Jason Pike), Sabine Mining Co. land, Harrison County [rare].

Bobolink: (40) 6 May (Guy Luneau, Joan Luneau), TXU mine north of Henderson, Rusk County [rare].

Yellow-headed Blackbird: (1) 19 March (Kimberlee Dickerson, fide Karl Kosciuch), Texas A&M dairy farm, College Station, Brazos County [early date for uncommon migrant; previous early date was 5 April].

Yellow-headed Blackbird: (6) 6 May (Guy Luneau, Joan Luneau), TXU mine north of Henderson, Rusk County [rare].

Great-tailed Grackles appear to have made a serious intrusion into Angelina County, but are still largely avoiding other parts of the East Texas Pineywoods.

Great-tailed Grackle: (1 female) 23 March (Louis Debetaz), Angelina County Airport, Angelina County [rare; only third sighting for the county].

Great-tailed Grackle: (1 male) 26 March (Jack Windsor, Nancy Bird), Ryan Chapel Road (FM2497), Angelina County [rare].

Great-tailed Grackle: (3 males) 7 April (Nancy Bird), Huntington, Angelina County [rare; David Wolf commented, "Great-tailed Grackles were seen in Angelina County this spring: ... None seemed to stayed around; are these birds migrants? This species still has not invaded the Pineywoods eco-region with any regularity, though it keeps creeping in closer around the perimeter of the region; we do not have any records for well-birded Nacgodoches Co."].

Brown-headed Cowbird: (1 albinistic female "White-headed") 24 March (Ellen Ratoosh), Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [Ellen writes, "a female visited my yard with an almost completely white head, throat, and nape, and a few white feathers in her wings. Quite strange looking."].

ORIOLES THROUGH FINCHES

Audubon's Oriole: (1 immature male) 2 May (Susan Schaezler), her home south of New Braunfels, western Guadalupe County [details and two poor-quality photos submitted to TBRC; if accepted this would be one of very few records for the area].

Baltimore Oriole: (20-30+) 5 May (Shirley Wilkerson), Kurten, Brazos County [high count].

Baltimore Oriole: (75+) 5 May (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan), Nacogdoches County [high count; David commented, "May 5 was a major push and this species was the third commonest migrant that day."].

Purple Finch, common this winter, continued well into spring in East Texas, with one remaining as late as 24 April.

Purple Finch: (up to 8) early January to early March (Traci Jean Carson), Tehuacana, Limestone County. [very rare in recent years; common this winter].

Purple Finch: (30-60) 4-5 March (Ray Berry), Cass County [large count for so late in the season; part of a continued invasion this year].

Purple Finch: (1) 13 March (Jesse Fagan, David Wolf, Mimi Wolf), south Nacogdoches County [uncommon].

Purple Finch: (2) 31 March (Guy Luneau), Rusk County [very late].

Purple Finch: (1) continued to visit as late as 24 April (Jimmie & Bob Putnam), Putnam ranch, Angelina County [very late departure date].

House Finch: (1 female) 14 May (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Azalea Trail, Angelina County [first sighting on Azalea Trail; uncommon in Pineywoods].

Red Crossbill: (5, including 1 adult male) 8 May (Matt White), off TX 63 near Caney Creek turnoff, in pine savannah in south Angelina County [very rare; this is our third report this year (the other two were in January)].

Pine Siskins tarried long into spring.

Pine Siskin: (75) still present throughout March (Peggy Harding), Rusk County [Peter Barnes, "Pine Siskins were still present in large numbers throughout March"].

Pine Siskin: (30) 31 March (Hazel Bluhm), Marion County [large count late in season].

Pine Siskin: (2) 23 March; (2) 2 April; (2) 12 April (Georgette Guernsey), Angelina County [uncommon in April; several weeks after wintering Pine Siskins had disappeared 2 visited Crown Colony on April 12].

Pine Siskin: (2) 14 April (Rick Schaefer), Nacogdoches County [uncommon in April].

Pine Siskin: regular through 15 April (Darrell Vollert), at his feeders in Chappell Hill and at homes in Brenham, Washington County [very good winter for siskins has extended into the spring].

Pine Siskin: (3 flying north) 29 April (Mimi Wolf), Nacogdoches County [late migrant].

Pine Siskin: ("hordes") through 25 April; still present at least to 4 May (Brenda Muncrief), Huntsville, Walker County [late departure].

The Central Prairie and East Texas Pineywoods weren't the only areas with late siskins:
John Hoogerheide, Kerrville, Kerr County, "Its now May 10 and I am still being overrun with Pine Siskins. When will the little guys head up north."

Contributors

Charlie Amos, Michael Andersen, Kitty Anding, Keith Arnold, Susan Bame, Peter Barnes, Keith Bartels, Sue Bernard, Ray Berry, Nancy Bird, Hazel Bluhm, Nicholas Block, Tom Boykin, Fred Brandt, Mary Brandt, Jerry Brite, John Brunjes, Kay Burnell, Carolyn Busse, Alan Byboth, Marty Campbell, E. Carpenter, Traci Jean Carson, Sheridan Coffey, Gail Cole, Chris Collins, Fred Collins, Margaret Cook, Cameron Cox, Mike Creese, Claudia de la Cruz, Seth Davidson, Louis Debetaz, Kimberlee Dickerson, Sandy Dillard, Bob Doe, Andrew Ebel, Marcia Effinger, Bill Elsik, Chuck Ely, Floi Ewing, Jesse Fagan, Tim Fennell, Charles Dean Fisher, Bert Frenz, Brush Freeman, Gary Fritcher, Brian Gibbons, Mary Ann Grahmann, Georgette Guernsey, Carol Gutberlet, Ron Gutberlet, Carolyn Haluska, Glenn Haluska, Chuck Hamilton, Jeffrey Hanson, Peggy Harding, Ruth Heino, Toby Hibbits, Derek Hill, Petra Hockey, Peggy Holt, John Hoogerheide, Roger and Shirley Hughes, James Ingold, Ernest Jasek, Lester Jensen, Srinand Karuppoor, Karl Kosciuch, Rich Kostecke, Cathy Liles, Mark Lockwood, Elaine Peterson Long, Guy Luneau, Jimmy McHaney, Carol McWhorter, John MacFarlane, Stuart Marcus, Heather Mathewson, Chris Merkord, Dorothy Metzler, Brenda Muncrief, Derek Muschalek, Russell Nelson, Beverly Nichols, Brooke Nicotra, David Phalen, Randy Pinkston, Truman Powell, Jimmie & Bob Putnam, Habib Rahman, Ellen Ratoosh, Eddie Ray, Jennifer Reidy, Bob Row, Karen Russell, Chris Sargent, Rick Schaefer, Susan Schaezler, David Scott, Cliff Shackelford, David Shackelford, Dennis Shepler, Mike Sims, Lynn Smith, Robert Truss, David Veselka, Darrell Vollert, Adrienne Watt, David Weaver, Stan Wellso, Matt White, Shirley Wilkerson, Jack Windsor, Judy Winn, David Wolf, Mimi Wolf, Jim Yantis, Margie Young.


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

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Revised: April 20, 2004.