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.


Summer Season:  June 1 - July 31, 2001


DickT01.jpg (13802 bytes)Photo by Tim Fennell. 14 June 2001.

 

 

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 700 reports of 173 species from 1 June to 31 July 2001.

This spring and summer has been a remarkably successful nesting season. Common birds breed prolifically and rare birds nested in areas where they have not been seen in decades. Undoubtedly this success is related to the plentiful spring and June rains and the reasonable temperatures throughout that period, providing bountiful forage and insects. Drier and hotter weather in July did not blunt the success that was already assured.

Weather reports:

Darrell Vollert, 9 June, Washington County, "The agricultural fields along FM2447 in the Brazos River looked like lakes on this date due to the heavy rains we received from Tropical Storm Allison. I did not drive down Brazos River Road on this date, as it was too muddy. New Year's Creek at FM2447 was moving at a swift pace and the creek was up almost to the bottom of the bridge. The creek was out of its banks at FM1155 and the road was closed for almost a day due to the high water."

Darrell Vollert, 19 June, "The mosquitoes were horrible along the Brazos River and I did not bring along insect repellent. Big mistake! We have been having normal temperatures thus far this summer and above average rainfall. Tropical Storm Allison brought 7.35 inches of rain to the Chappell Hill area. The water level of the Brazos River is pretty high and all of the streams and creeks in this area are full. All of the stock tanks are full to the brim as well."

Darrell Vollert, 24 June, "A Red-eyed Vireo has been singing in the same area since early May. This bird was not at that location last summer either. Now there are three male Red-eyed Vireos singing in the forest. The reason could be that the area is completely filled with water from the recent heavy rains we have received, attracting an abundance of insect life. The forest is unbelievably verdant. Remember, Bert, in early May during the RBAS field trip we heard a waterthrush calling in that area. There was some water in that area at that time and it was muddy in there. Mosquitoes were abundant in the forest that day. They have gotten worse since then. Last summer and the summer before last the wetland area was completely dry by mid-June."

Darrell Vollert, 12 July, "We had been receiving good rains about every week this summer through July 1st. The weekend of June 30-July 1 we had 2.2 inches of rain here in Chappell Hill. It has heated up dramatically since July 2nd. High temperatures have been in the mid-90s daily since then. A high-pressure cell has been setting on top of us since early July, but is expected to move slightly to the northwest over the weekend giving us a slight chance for rain. Even with the very hot weather we have been having here things are still very green outside. This has been a very successful nesting season for birds in this area. I have seen many fledglings of a number of species in the past few weeks. Many species of birds are still singing."

Darrell Vollert, 17 July, "It has been very hot and dry here in the Chappell Hill area of eastern Washington County the past two and a half weeks. This year's breeding season has been a major success for most bird species in the area. I think the good rains we received in June made a big difference. Insects are plentiful due to the ample rain we received last month. I am amazed at the number of bird species that are still singing. For instance Painted Buntings are still singing most of the day."

Darrell Vollert, 28 July, Washington and Brazos County, "Although today's high temperature of 90 degrees was not too bad considering it has been in the upper 90s to 100 degrees this week. Bryan/College Station had some good rains on Thursday and again today. We have not had significant rain in Washington County since July 1st. At least it has not been as bad as last summer. Cannot take another hot summer like last year."

Darrell Vollert, 4 August, "It is still very hot and dry here in Washington County. Have not had any measurable rain since July 1st. Been in the mid to upper 90s the past few weeks, with the exception being last Thursday [26 July] when cloud cover kept the temperatures in the upper 80s. Have had a few days when the temperature has reached 100 degrees. As I write this the temperature is 99 degrees."

Tim Fennell, summer season, Williamson County, "Vegetation in the area started out very green and the bird song abundant at the beginning of June as a result of the abundant rain of the winter and spring. Although some rain continued into June, the last significant rain in the area occurred the last week of June. By July 12th, high temperatures had risen to 100 F and remained there for the rest of the season (and beyond), setting records for the area. Granger Lake remained at high levels, offering little shorebird habitat."

Bird Sightings

GREBES THROUGH ANHINGAS

Pied-billed Grebe: (5) 29 April; (4) 5 May; (4) 17 July (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Williamson County [occasional in summer].
Pied-billed Grebe: (1) 13 July (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Kurth Lake area, Angelina County [occasional in summer].
Pied-billed Grebe: (6) 19 July (Fred Collins), water reservoir at FM2855 and FM529, Waller County [rare in summer].
Pied-billed Grebe: (30-35 chicks) 19 July (Brush Freeman), Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR, Colorado County [nesting confirmed].
Pied-billed Grebe: (2) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Alcoa Lake, Milam County [occasional].

American White Pelican: (18) ~4 July (Truman Powell), below Richland Creek Reservoir Spillway, Freestone County [occasional in summer].
American White Pelican: (3) 11 July (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Ryan/Allen Lakes, Angelina County [occasional in summer].
American White Pelican: (28) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Alcoa Lake, Milam County [occasional in summer].
American White Pelican: (6) 27 July (Tim Fennell), Trinidad Power Plant Lake, Henderson County [occasional in summer].

Double-crested Cormorant: (at least 4 active nests) 15 July (David Wolf), southeast of TX147 bridge on Lake Rayburn, San Augustine County [first confirmed breeding record for Angelina/Nacogdoches Counties and Lake Sam Rayburn region].

David Wolf, "Double-crested Cormorant - at least 4 active cormorant nests were visible southeast of the TX 147 bridge on Lake Rayburn (San Augustine County) on 15 July; one of these was definitely determined to be a Double-crested nest with a bird apparently incubating (and the others were likely this species, including several with chicks in them). In spite of occasional summer sightings over the years, this is the first confirmed breeding record for the Angelina/Nacogdoches County and Lake Sam Rayburn region, and one of very few breeding records for anywhere within the Pineywoods (they have nested on Toledo Bend Reservoir before)."

Double-crested Cormorant: (1) 15 July (Chris Merkord), dam on Lake Somerville, Washington County [rare in summer].

Neotropic Cormorant: (no.?) 23 June (Truman Powell), Lake Palestine, Henderson and Smith Counties [rare].
Neotropic Cormorant: (1) 2 July (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Fiberboard Lake, Angelina County [David Wolf, "This species is still rare and irregular within the Pineywoods."].
Neotropic Cormorant: (quite a few) 19 July (Brush Freeman), Fayetteville Lake, Fayette County [occasional].
Neotropic Cormorant: (21) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Alcoa Lake, Milam County [occasional].
Neotropic Cormorant: (1) 31 July (Matt White), Lake Tawakoni, Hunt/Rains/Van Zandt counties [uncommon in summer].
Neotropic Cormorant: (2 in breeding plumage) 3 August (Tim Fennell), upper reaches of Lake Buchanan, Llano/Burnet County [rare in summer].

Anhinga: (1) 8 July (Brush Freeman), circling with Wood Storks and White Ibis near the Colorado River on 969 near Utley, Bastrop County [few July sightings].

BITTERNS THROUGH SPOONBILLS

American Bittern: (1) 24 June (Jesse Fagan, Claudia de la Cruz), Alazan Bayou WMA, south Nacogdoches Count [no prior summer records on 2001 Pineywoods checklist].

David Wolf commented, "A totally out-of-season bird. They were heard "booming" here in late April and early May, so we must ask if this species could possibly breed here? Shortly after this sighting the marshes here dried up and no more were seen this season."

Tricolored Heron: (1 adult) 22 June (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment ponds, McLennan County [rare in June; post breeding dispersal typically does not start until mid-July].

Reddish Egret: (1) 19 July (Brush Freeman), Eagle Lake LCRA, Colorado County [occasional?].
Reddish Egret: (1 juvenile) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Sore Finger WMA, Granger Lake, Williamson County [rare].

Black-crowned Night-Heron: (1 adult) 8 July (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [early migrant].
Black-crowned Night-Heron: (1) 19 July (Fred Collins), in rice field north of FM529 east of Morrison Road, Waller County.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron: (1) 18 June; (1 adult) 9 July; (1) 26 July; (1 adult, 1 juvenile) 31 July (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hill subdivision, Washington County [occasional].
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron: (1) 8 July (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [uncommon, but not often documented in July].
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron: (1) 17 July (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Granger Lake, Williamson County [occasional in July].
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron: (2 in flight) 25 July (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional].

White Ibis: (200+) 2 July (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Fiberboard Lake, Angelina County [uncommon].
White Ibis: (2) 8 July (Brush Freeman), circling with Wood Storks and Anhinga near the Colorado river on 969 near Utley, Bastrop County [occasional].
White Ibis: (45+) 11 July (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Ryan/Allen Lakes, Angelina County [uncommon].
White Ibis: (10-11) 15 July (Brush Freeman), Shipp Lake, Bastop County [occasional].
White Ibis (5-6) 15 July (Brush Freeman), 304 north of String Prairie, Bastop County [occasional].
White Ibis: (6) 14 July (Kathy Godwin, D. D. Currie); (10) 21 July (Derek Hill leading Prairie & Timbers Audubon trip), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County. [rare in summer].
White Ibis: (1) 21 July (Fred Collins), his farm on Repka Rd., Waller County [fairly common].
White Ibis: (49 in various plumages) 15 July; (3 adults) 19 July; (60+ in various plumages) 26 July; (80+ in various plumages) 29 July (Darrell Vollert), in flight over FR2447, Chappell Hill, Washington County [rare, especially in these numbers].

White-faced Ibis: (1) 22 and 24 June (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment ponds, McLennan County [uncommon].
White-faced Ibis: (1 adult) 7 July (Darrell Vollert), FR2447 near Chappell Hill, Washington County [rare in summer].

Roseate Spoonbill: (1) 30 May (Derek Hill, Brian Gibbons); (1) 3 June (Barbara Corbin, Bill Hughes); (no.?) 4 July (Truman Powell); (1) 8 July (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare in first part of summer].
Roseate Spoonbill: (1) 15 July (Brush Freeman), Shipp Lake, Bastop County [uncommon].
Roseate Spoonbill: (1) 24 July (Terry Junek), CR265, Burleson County [uncommon].
Roseate Spoonbill: (3) 4 August; (5) 7 August (Fred Collins), his farm on Repka Road, Waller County [uncommon].

STORKS AND VULTURES

Wood Storks appeared to have another good season, with many post-breeding sightings, several of which were quite early:
Wood Stork: (3) 2 June (Peter Barnes, Traci Jean Carson), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [early arrival].
Wood Stork: (2) 3 June (Ron Haaseth, Debbie Finch), Baytown Nature Center, eastern Harris County [early arrival].
Wood Stork: (1) 4 June (Ray Berry), Caddo Lake, Marion County [early arrival].
Wood Stork: (21) 23-24 June (Jeff Mundy), one mile north of Gonzales on Highway 183, which is just South of Luling, Gonzales County [early for area].
Wood Stork: (15) 28 June (Georgette Guernsey), Ryan Lake, Angelina County [early for area].
Wood Stork: (~75) 1 July; (110) 8 July (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [uncommon].
Wood Stork: (2) 2 July (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Fiberboard Lake, Angelina County [occasional].
Wood Stork: (8) 3 July (Derek Muschalek), flying over Gillett, Karnes County [fairly common].
Wood Stork: (no.?) ~4 July (Truman Powell), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [uncommon].
Wood Stork: (54) 8 July (Brush Freeman), near the Colorado river on 969 near Utley, Bastrop County [uncommon].
Wood Stork: (15) 11 July (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Ryan/Allen Lakes, Angelina County [uncommon].
Wood Stork: (3) 15 July (Brush Freeman), 304 north of String Prairie, Bastop County [uncommon].
Wood Stork: (12) 14 July (Kathy Godwin, D. D. Currie); (200-300) 21 July (Derek Hill leading Prairie & Timbers Audubon trip); (40) 22 July (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [uncommon].
Wood Stork: (5) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Alcoa Lake, Milam County [uncommon].

Turkey Vulture: (nest with one nearly-feathered chick) 21 July (Mike Masser), his property just north of Caldwell High School, Burleson County [few confirmed nesting records].

WATERFOWL

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks continue to do well in the Central Brazos Valley, a trend that started a couple of years ago:
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (pair) 27 June; (1) 4 August (Dan Wilkerson), farm on Hwy 36 North, 3 miles before Comanche, Comanche County [status unclear; few records for this county].
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (1) 7 July (Shirley Wilkerson), on a pond off Hwy 50 between Hwy 21 and Hwy 60, Tunis, Burleson County [occasional].
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (2) 17 July (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lake, Round Rock, Granger Lake, Williamson County [occasional].
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (2) 17 July (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River Road, Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional].
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (1) 17 July; (2) 19 July (Darrell Vollert), FR2447, Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional].
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (8) 19 July (Fred Collins), south of Hebert and east of FM362, Waller County.
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (2) 1 June; (4) 9 June; (19 with 12 young) 15 June, (29 with 16 young) 16 June; (6) 20 June; (24 with 17 young) 22 June; (28 with 17 young) 24 June; (10) 28 and 30 June; (42 with 28 young) 2 July; (64 with 37 young) 23 July; (92 with 20 young) 3 August; (38 with 22 young) 6 August (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment ponds, McLennan County [uncommon].

Frank Bumgardner, "The Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks and Black-necked Stilts had excellent nesting results at the sewage ponds in Waco this year."

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (22, including 12 juveniles) 27 July; (51, including 36 juveniles) 29 July (Tim Fennell), Waco Sewage Treatment Ponds, McLennan County [occasional].
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (26) end of July (Dennis Shepler), near Cameron, Milam County [uncommon].
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (2) 5 May (Bert Frenz), SH105 and Flewellen Road; (4) 5 May (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert), pond on FM2193 near SH105; (2) 28 June (Darrell Vollert) pond along FR2193 near SH105; (1) 26 July (Darrell Vollert), FR1155 near its intersection with FR2193, Washington County [these locations are within a mile of each other].

Fulvous Whistling-Duck: (40) 19 July (Fred Collins), in rice field north of FM529 east of Morrison Road, Waller County.

Mallard: (2 pairs, males in eclipse plumage and capable of flight) 8 July (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [not listed in summer on the 2000 Bell County checklist].
Mallard or Mottled Duck: (6) 14 July (Kathy Godwin, D. D. Currie), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [Mallard is rare in summer; Mottled Duck is rare at this location].
Mallard-type ducks: (9, including 2 ducklings) 17 July (Tim Fennell), Sore Finger WMA, Granger Lake, Williamson County [neither Mallards nor Mottled Ducks are common in summer].

Mottled Duck: (2) 8 July (Brush Freeman), Sayersville Road, Bastrop County [occasional].
Mottled Duck: (2) 15 July (Brush Freeman), Shipp Lake, Bastop County [occasional].
Mottled Duck: (lots) 19 July (Brush Freeman), Eagle Lake LCRA, Colorado County [fairly common].
Mottled Duck: (2) 19 July (Brush Freeman), Shipp Lake, Bastrop County [occasional].

Blue-winged Teal: (1) 1 July (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare in summer].
Blue-winged Teal: (2 females) 8 July (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [occasional].
Blue-winged Teal: (2) 19 July (Brush Freeman), near La Grange, Fayette County [occasional in late July].

Northern Shoveler: (1) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Alcoa Lake, Milam County [rare in summer].
Northern Shoveler: (1) 3 and 6 August (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment ponds, McLennan County [early arrival].
Northern Pintail: (1 male in eclipse plumage and capable of flight) 8 July (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [not listed in summer on the 2000 Bell County checklist].

Ruddy Duck: (2) 19 July (Brush Freeman), near La Grange, Fayette County [very rare in summer].
Ruddy Duck: (3) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Alcoa Lake, Milam County [rare in summer].

KITES, HAWKS AND EAGLES

Osprey made unexpected appearances this summer in East Texas and the Central Prairie:
Osprey: (1) 4-8 July (Mike Dillon), Martin Creek Lake, Panola/Rusk counties [very rare in summer].
Osprey: (1) 8 July (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [rare in summer].
Osprey: (1) 12 July (Brush Freeman), Colorado River, Sayersville Rd, Bastrop County [rare in summer].
Osprey: (1) ~12-19 July (Brush Freeman), Lake Bastrop, Bastrop County [rare in summer].
Osprey: (nesting pair) 3 May to at least 4 August (George Russell), just offshore from Wilderness Cathedral, Lake Livingston, San Jacinto County [very rare in summer].

Swallow-tailed Kites were often seen in Liberty and Jasper Counties, but not outside that well-known territory.
Swallow-tailed Kite: (1) 17 April; 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) 3 June (Barbara Tilton), 1 mile south of the intersection of US 90 and FM 1409 in Dayton, Liberty County ["We have been seeing them on and off about 3-5 miles further south through the season, but not with any regularity. This is south of the city of Dayton (in Liberty County) and the Kenefick sightings are northeast of the city of Dayton."].
Swallow-tailed Kite: 6 June (Lynn Barber), flying just over the tree-top level, over FM1008 north of Dayton, Liberty County.
Swallow-tailed Kite: (4, including one with distinctly shorter tail feathers) 1 July (John Whittle), at the intersection of US 96, Texas 105 and FM 2246, Evadale, in southwest Jasper County [occasional].
Swallow-tailed Kite: (5) 20 July (Sue Davison), just west of the Trinity River Bridge on highway 90 between Liberty and Dayton, Liberty County.

White-tailed Kite: (1) 5 June (Kent and Debbie Moore), Sawdust Ranch, Hwy 1361, between Snook and Somerville, Burleson County [rare; only the second June record for the area, the previous one being 10 June 1983 in Lee County].
White-tailed Kite: (1) 15 July (Brush Freeman), 2571 near Upton, Bastop County.

Mississippi Kites have nested in Washington and Brazos Counties for a number of years. The good crop this year was closely monitored by Darrell Vollert:
Mississippi Kite: (2 soaring) 17 June (Darrell Vollert), over Old Chappell Road on the west side of Clarann Estate near Chappell Hill; (1) 25 June (Darrell Vollert), at Masonic Cemetery on Old Chappell Hill Road in Chappell Hill; (2 copulating) 10 July (Ann Hinton), (2 adult, 1 sub-adult) 10 July; (2 adults, 1 sub-adult) 14 July; (3 adults, 1 subadult) 28 July; (2 adults, 1 subadult, 1 juvenile perched in pecan trees) 4 August (Darrell Vollert) Clarann Estate near Chappell Hill, Washington County.
Mississippi Kite: (1 flying just above the tree tops eating its prey on the wing) 21 June (Darrell Vollert); (1 adult soaring) 30 June (Darrell Vollert, Scott and Gail Cole), Brazos River at US290, Washington County.
Mississippi Kite: (1 soaring and chasing Barn Swallows) 1 July (Darrell Vollert), at the SH105 bridge over the Brazos River, Washington County.
Mississippi Kite: (several) ~30 June - 1 July; (1) 17 July (Joan Dziezyc), near her house, Wellborn area, Brazos County.
Mississippi Kite: (2 adults) 9 July through 16 August (Darrell Vollert, Fred and Mary Brandt), Brandt's residence, Chappell Hill subdivision, Washington County.
Mississippi Kite: (1) 29 July (Mary Dabney Wilson), flew over her yard in College Hills subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [probable migrant].

Mississippi Kite: a history of the 2001 breeding season, (Darrell Vollert), along FM1155 North, Chappell Hill, Washington County.
Darrell on 23 July, "I have a few thoughts before I write about my Mississippi Kite observations for the past few days. I have seen Mississippi Kites in the Chappell Hill area during the summer months since at least 1985. From the mid 80's to the mid 90's Mississippi Kites nested in large pecan trees near the Chappell Hill United Methodist Church on the east side of downtown. Since 1998 Mississippi Kites have been nesting on the north side of Chappell Hill in my neighborhood. Since that time I have learned a great deal about the daily lives of the kites. Have watched several broods of kites grow from the chick stage to the juvenile stage.
"A few things I have learned is that Mississippi Kites are very social birds and they are very approachable birds (at least the ones in the Chappell Hill area). I can walk right under the tree where a kite is perched and they will not fly away. They look down upon me with a very curious look about them. Mississippi Kites and Swallow-tailed Kites are the two most graceful flyers in North America in my eyes. They seem to fly with such little effort and they seem to thoroughly enjoy flying. I have seen Mississippi Kites at play many times. Have observed them chasing Barn Swallows and Barn Swallows chasing kites.
"The favorite food of the Mississippi Kite is grasshoppers. I have observed kites eating countless grasshoppers. They bring grasshoppers to their nestlings shortly after they have hatched. The residents of Chappell Hill seem to genuinely enjoy having Mississippi Kites around in the summer months. Kites are very beneficial birds to have around. We have had a problem in the county with an over-abundance of grasshoppers this summer and last summer. I have mentioned to my neighbors that the kites love eating grasshoppers. Most of the residents of Chappell Hill have a big yard with lots of big trees and open space. This is the type of habitat that Mississippi Kites prefer.
"I don't fully understand why in some years the Mississippi Kites in this area will raise two chicks and in other years only one chick. It may have something to do with food supply for the nestlings.
"In about a month the Mississippi Kites in this area will migrate south to their winter homes. I always hate to see them leave, but I know they will be back in the area again in the spring."

MiKi02.JPG (7507 bytes)

9Apr - 1-2 adults seen regularly starting this date
12 May - adult carrying nest material
27 May - female on nest
28 May; 3, 5, 6 & 8 Jun - 1 male perched near nest
9-16 Jun - male near nest; female on nest
17 Jun - female on nest, 3 others soaring high above
18-22 Jun - male perched near nest, female on nest
23 Jun - two adults near nest with at least one chick
24 Jun - 2 adults at nest with 2 chicks, one adult brought a wingless cicada to the chicks
30 Jun - 2 adults at nest containing 2 chicks
3 Jul - 2 adults feeding 2 nestlings grasshoppers and a cicada. The larger of the two kite chicks was standing on the edge of the nest. The larger kite chick had black feathers developing on the wings. Otherwise the chick was white with a black bill and black coloration around the eyes.
4 Jul - 2 adults, 2 nestlings, the smaller chick still had white feathers all over its body and a much smaller head than the larger chick. Must be at least three days younger than the other chick.
6 Jul - 2 adults, 2 nestlings, got good looks at the larger of the two kite chicks. The head was white, the wings were mostly black, and the breast was mostly white with some reddish-brown streaking
7 Jul - 2 adults, 2 chicks were standing on the edge of the nest and panting
8 Jul - 1 first summer, 2 adults, 2 nestlings
9 Jul AM - 2 adult soaring
9 Jul PM - 1 adult shading 2 nestlings from the sun
10-11 Jul - 2 adult, 2 nestlings. The larger chick's wings are getting darker, the back of its head is getting some brown feathers, and the breast has more brown streaking now. The smaller chick has an all-white head and some black feathers on the wing.
12 Jul - 2 adult and 2 nestlings. The two nestlings were standing at the edge of the nest. They are really growing. Got a good look at the smaller of the two. The smaller kite is getting more black feathers on the wings and brown feathers on the back of the head. Both nestlings' tails are black now. While at a neighbor's residence this evening I saw one of the adult kites perched in a large Cedar Elm. It was calling another adult kite perched in a pecan tree across FR1155. The calls were a "pew-pew" and another call that sounds like a louder version of the chip call of a warbler- a "chip-chip-chip". I have listened to Thayer Birding Software's "The Birds of North America". Have never heard the Mississippi Kite calls on the Thayer CD-ROM before. The "pew-pew" call is the one that I hear most often here.
14 Jul - 2 adults, 2 nestlings standing in nest.
15 Jul - 2 adult birds, 2 chicks, with the larger of the two kite chicks seen branching in the morning for the first time.
16 Jul - 2 adults, 2 chicks in the nest. In the evening I heard the two Mississippi Kite nestlings calling "pew-pew" for the first time. The call they made sounded more like a begging call than the "pew-pew" call the adult kites make.
17 Jul - 2 adults, 2 chicks in the nest.
18 Jul - In the morning I saw two adult Mississippi Kites soaring and a kite soaring that looked like a juvenile. The bird in question had heavy brown streaking on the breast and belly. In the evening I observed two adult Miss. Kites perched in a dead hackberry tree near the nest and the two nestlings in the nest.
19 Jul - In the morning I saw two adult Mississippi Kites soaring. In the evening I saw an adult Miss. Kite perched in a dead hackberry tree near the nest. The smaller kite chick was in the nest and the larger kite chick was branching near the nest. Saw the larger kite chick make its first flight - a short one to one of the nearby dead hackberry trees where an adult kite was perched. The larger kite chick's breast and belly are heavily streaked with brown coloration, the back of the head is gray and has fine black streaking, the back is mostly black with some white spotting, and its short tail and banded. The smaller kite chick was standing in the nest and flapping its wings.
20 Jul - In the morning I saw an adult Mississippi Kite perched in a dead hackberry tree and the larger kite chick perched in same tree. Watched the larger kite chick fly approximately 20 feet into a nearby living hackberry tree. Observed the smaller kite chick standing in the nest and flapping its wings. In the evening I observed two adult Mississippi Kites perched in dead hackberry trees near the nest. Saw the larger kite chick perched in a dead hackberry tree near the nest. The chick was constantly calling softly "pew-pew, pew, pew". I took several photos of the larger kite chick perched in the dead. The chick looked down upon me with much curiosity. A little later the chick flew back into the nest tree and continued to call. An adult kite flew into to nest tree and fed the smaller kite chick a large insect. The adult kite was still perched at the nest when left when I left at 8PM.
21 Jul - Early in the morning around 7:30AM I observed an adult Mississippi Kite and the larger kite chick perched in a dead hackberry near the nest. The smaller kite chick was standing in the nest and flapping its wings. In the late morning and early afternoon hours I observed the larger kite chick perched in a dead hackberry tree near the nest. The kite chick constantly called "pew-pew." I took several photos of two adult Mississippi Kites perched in dead hackberry trees. At one point in the morning I observed four Mississippi Kites at once - 2 adults perched in a dead hackberry tree, one sub-adult perched in the same tree as the nest, and one adult kite soaring overhead. The smaller kite chick was observed flapping its wings in the nest. Observed the larger kite chick fly from a dead hackberry tree into a nearby living hackberry tree. It continued to call in the living tree. Observed an adult kite feed the smaller chick a caterpillar. Observed another adult kite feed the larger chick a grasshopper. Later I observed the sub-adult kite fly into a dead hackberry tree with a large grasshopper in its talons. I watched the kite tear apart and eat the grasshopper. The kite would grab the grasshopper with its talons and put it with its beak and then grab it again and place it on a branch and hold it with its talons. It's amazing how much like a kite's talons are used like a human hand for grasping things. In the evening I observed two adults and one sub-adult Mississippi Kite perched in dead hackberry trees near the nest. Saw the smaller kite chick in the nest. Watched an adult kite feed the smaller chick. Did not hear the larger kite chick calling in the evening. An adult kite was with the kite chicks when I left at 7:50PM.
22 Jul - Saw one adult kite early in the morning perched in a dead hackberry tree near the nest. A little later the larger kite chick was perched in a dead tree and calling "pew-pew." Observed the smaller chick perched on a branch near the nest and heard it calling "pew-pew." Saw the larger chick fly around the dead hackberry trees and the living trees several times. Two adult kites were in the immediate area. The larger kite chick perched again in a dead hackberry tree and a snuck up under the tree to get a photo. It got spooked and flew away. It did this to me twice. In the evening I heard the larger kite chick's begging call coming from a neighbor's tree. Observed an adult kite perched in a dead hackberry tree near the nest. Saw the smaller kite chick squatting in the nest late in the evening and the larger kite chick was perched in a living hackberry tree away from the nest tree.
23 Jul - Early in the morning around 7:30AM I observed one adult Mississippi Kite soaring and the larger juvenile kite perched in a dead hackberry tree near the nest. The smaller juvenile kite was squatting in the nest. My sister, Mary Ann Grahmann, and I watched the Mississippi Kites from 1:05PM-1:20PM. The larger juvenile kite was perched fairly low in a living hackberry tree away from the nest. The kite was constantly calling "pew-pew." The smaller juvenile kite was branching about 7 feet away from the nest. The smaller juvenile was also calling "pew-pew" as well. Mary Ann got good video footage of the larger juvenile perched just above us. She was unable to get any footage of the smaller juvenile. I took several photos of both juveniles. The smaller juvenile looks much like the larger juvenile now. At one point in the early afternoon we saw eight Mississippi Kites at one time. The two juveniles were perched in living hackberry trees, a sub-adult was soaring nearby, an adult kite flew into the tree where the smaller juvenile was perched and fed the juvenile a grasshopper, three adult kites were soaring fairly high up, and another juvenile kite fly by just above the tree tops. I always thought there was another Mississippi Kite nest on the west side of Chappell Hill. Seeing a different juvenile kite in flight proved me right. In the evening I saw only the smaller juvenile kite branching near the nest. This juvenile should be flying about very soon.
1 Aug - 2 juvenile Mississippi Kites perched in hackberry trees along FR1155. Both were constantly calling "pew-pew", begging to be fed. We saw an adult kite feed one of the juveniles 3 times within 15 minutes. All the times a grasshopper was fed to the juvenile kite. The juvenile kite even called as it tore apart its food. The other juvenile kite was fed once during the time we spent watching the kites.
16 Aug - The family of Mississippi Kites are still present in Chappell Hill on FR1155. I am seeing them daily. Saw one of the adults feeding the two juveniles this morning at my residence. It is funny watching the adults feeding the two juveniles now. When an adult kite brings food to one of the juveniles the other juvenile kite, perched nearby, will fly to the adult and try to wrestle the prey away from the first juvenile. The two juveniles are heard constantly calling "pew-pew" in the morning and late afternoon. They also make loud screeching calls when prey is brought in for them to consume.

Bald Eagle: (1) 14 July (Kathy Godwin, D. D. Currie); (1 adult) 22 July (Peter Barnes), perched in a tree just south of the intersection of Hwy 287 and FM488 just south of the spillway on the east side of FM488, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare for this area].
Bald Eagle: (1 fledgling) late July (fide Mike Dillon), Martin Creek Lake, Panola/Rusk counties [rare in July].

David Wolf, "Bald Eagle - for years it has been unclear whether this species remained in our region in the summer months, after breeding in the late winter/spring, or drifted northward (there are summer banding recoveries of Texas birds from the Great Lakes region that hint at this). With the great increase in breeding pairs in our area, this summer it was quite clear that at least a good number of adults stay around all summer, as there were sporadic summer sightings at Kurth and Ryan Lakes in Angelina County, and at three different sites around upper/middle Sam Rayburn Reservoir (various observers)."

camera.GIF (1399 bytes) Cooper's Hawk: (1 adult with 1 fledgling) 16-17 June; (2 fledglings) 19 June (Tim Fennell), Hairy Man Road along Brushy Creek, Round Rock, Williamson County [breeding confirmed; photographed; Tim reported, "An adult and fledgling along Brushy Creek in Round Rock on 6/16 and 6/17. The adult was observed bringing the fledgling food on 6/16. An immature bird was seen in the same area last July."].
Cooper's Hawk: (1) 26 June (Georgette Guernsey), Crown Colony, Lufkin, Angelina County [occasional in summer].

Broad-winged Hawk: (1) 19 June (Brush Freeman), 969 at Colorado River, Utley, Bastrop County [territorial; very rare breeder; pair seen in area in late May].
Broad-winged Hawk: (1 adult, 2 fledglings) 15 and 25 July (Brush Freeman), Bastrop State Park, Bastop County [rare record of breeding].
Broad-winged Hawk: (1) 24 June (Eddie Ray), Marion County [uncommon nester in East Texas Pineywoods].

Swainson's Hawks appeared in a number of Central Prairie sites, suggesting local nesting. A detailed observation of a juvenile attended by adults in Williamson County brings clear documentation of successful breeding, probably the first such record for the area.
Swainson's Hawk: (1 light-phase adult) 18 June and 13 July (Tim Fennell), over I-35 between mile marker 247 and 248 in Pflugerville, Travis County [rare in summer; possible nester; one also seen here 13 June 1999].
Swainson's Hawk: (1) 5 May (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert); (1) 19 and 23 May and 23 June (Darrell Vollert); (1 light morph adult) 11 and 14 and 17 July (Darrell Vollert, Mary Ann Grahmann), Brazos River Rd. near Chappell Hill, Washington County [first thought to be a late migrant, but its persistence makes it a summer visitor or breeder; first summer record since 1985 in Central Brazos Valley area].
Swainson's Hawk: (3 light-phase adults) 17 July (Tim Fennell), 1 at Granger Lake dam and 2 on Hwy 29; (1 light-phase adult) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Hwy 79, Williamson County [rare in summer].
Swainson's Hawk: (1 adult protecting territory, 1 juvenile in adjacent tree, perhaps 1 more juvenile calling) 19 August (Tim Fennell); (2 adults, with one adult feeding a recently fledged juvenile) 21 August (Brush Freeman), Willis Creek Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County [breeding confirmed; same area where adult was observed from 5-20 May; probably the first documented record of breeding in the area].

Tim Fennell, "Earlier in the summer, you asked me about the possibility of breeding Swainson's Hawks at Willis Creek Park on Granger Lake. Well today I found an adult with a juvenile. I first heard a Red-shouldered calling and then realized another raptor was calling in a tree next to it. It turned out to be an adult Swainson's (this was in the same area I saw an adult Swainson's all of May). As I walked over to investigate, I saw a juvenile Swainson's lower down in an adjacent tree and it started calling. At that point, the adult made a couple of low, screaming passes at me so I vacated the area quickly. There may have been another juvenile calling in the same group of trees."

Brush Freeman, "I traveled up there this morning and found the birds in exactly the area Tim had them three days ago. Not only did I find them in the same spot but I found the youngster as he described in a note to me last night. I spent over an hour with these birds and if this bird was not fledged from the immediate area it must have been very local as I suspect the juvenile has only been out of the nest only for 2-3 weeks. Through a scope I saw one of two adults present bring a small food item to the young bird though I could not tell what it was. When one of the two adults present landed about 10-12 ft from the juvenile in a large, nearly dead willow, the juvenile clamored up the limb, wings spread, like a Hoatzin almost, wings flaying and looking for support. I approached the tree and the young bird just stayed put, unconcerned. I took photos and watched it for sometime longer. All the while both adult birds were screaming bloody murder overhead and circling quite low. I do not think this bird was reared too far away and in fact may be within yards of the nest site. It is capable of flight and once on the wing it does nicely, however landing back on a perch remains a problem it seems and at one time it came to rest in a tangle of small twigs in which it almost seemed ensnared, unable to relocate its right wing to the rest position. With the scope I was able to see a number of natal feathers especially on the left flank, neck and vent, though for the most part they have disappeared and only a few remain, the base of the gape is still slightly "swollen" but this is to a minor degree. I saw no other Swainson's Hawks anywhere the remainder of the morning.
"I spent a bit of time looking for confirmed breeding records of the species for the area last night and was unable to find anything in the literature I have except 'possibles'."

Peregrine Falcon: (1 adult and 1 juvenile going talon-to-talon over the lake) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Alcoa Lake, Milam County [rare, particularly in summer].
Peregrine Falcon: (1) 1 August (Darrell Vollert, Mary Ann Grahmann), along FR2447, Brazos River bottoms, near Chappell Hill, Washington County [rare, particularly in summer].

PHEASANTS THROUGH COOTS

Ring-necked Pheasant: (1 adult male) 6 July (Fred Collins), Hebert Road, 3 miles east of FM362, Katy Prairies, Waller County [rare; probable escapee].

Fred Collins commented, "Adult Male Ring-neck Pheasant on Hebert Road about 3 miles east of FM362. I chased this bird with my truck and then on foot. I was about to decide it was not freighted. It finally left the road and entered the deep grass and I lost it. I ventured into the grass where I thought it had gone and it flushed and flew about 75 yards away. Its waddle was absolutely vivid; the plumage suggested it was less than a mature adult but the wattle and bold nature made me think it was a high condition breeding male. I have very little experience with pheasant. I don't know if this was a pen reared bird or a wild one. This is only the third time I have observed pheasant on the prairies: all three incidences within the last 7 years and all in Waller County."

Wild Turkey: (1 flushed off a nest) 18 June (Matt White), on native prairie in northern Franklin County [rare].
Wild Turkey: (1 hen) 4 July (Dan Wilkerson), his farm near Comanche, Comanche County [status uncertain, few records for this county].
Wild Turkey: (1) 22 July (Tim Fennell), FM1786, western Milam County [first county record from a birder, but apparently more common than we suspected].

Tim Fennell, "This one floored me as well! I assume it is part of reintroduction efforts statewide but don't know the status of such programs in Milam Co. I checked for bands but could not see any. I have seen 10+ at a time (including displaying males) in the riparian area below Granger Dam."

Matthew Wagner, "Rio Grande turkeys are fairly common in Milam County. In fact, that county has a spring turkey season. TPW conducted turkey stockings in Milam and surrounding counties in the 70's and 80's. Turkeys are more common along the Little and San Gabriel Rivers, and associated tributaries. The Alcoa property also has a sizeable turkey population, and the sighting from FM 1786 could be from that population. Most all counties to the east do not have turkeys in any numbers, until you get east of the Trinity River - Then you pick up Eastern wild turkeys which were stocked in the late to mid 90's with birds from other eastern states. The area in between Rio Grande and Eastern turkey range has too many habitat and land use problems for turkeys to survive, and seems to be geographically and "dead spot" for turkeys in general."

Northern Bobwhites may be making a comeback:
Northern Bobwhite: (1 heard) ~10 June (Hugh Brown), his property, Lee County [listed as rare all year in his June 2000 checklist].

Hugh Brown wrote, "The fire ants are yielding to the parasitic wasps, I think, and a lot of wildlife is returning after 10 years of fire ant hell. Last week a Bobwhite called, first since 1991. There is hope."

Northern Bobwhite: (1 calling) last two weeks of June (Nancy Bird), her home, Angelina County [This is the first time in over 11-12 years Bobwhite have been heard in the area.].
Northern Bobwhite: (4) 11-30 June (Eddie Ray), Sabine Mining Co. land, Harrison County [uncommon].
Northern Bobwhite: (1 heard) 10 July (Chris Merkord), near the building on the north end of the dam, Granger Lake, Williamson County [occasional].
Northern Bobwhite: (2 heard) 22 July (Tim Fennell), CR 436, south of Hwy 79, a few miles west of Thorndale, near Milam border but in Williamson County.
Northern Bobwhite: (2) 26 July (Dennis Shepler), Milam County [occasional].

Purple Gallinule: (3 adults, 6 fledged young) 29 June (Georgette Guernsey); (6 adults, 5 juvenile) 13 July (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [one pair has been observed since 12 May and is located in same area they nested last year; last year the young were first found on 30 June].
Purple Gallinule: (1 adult, 2 juveniles) 1 July (Nancy Bird), VFW Lake on Ford's Chapel Road, Angelina County [rare].

David Wolf, "Purple Gallinules apparently nested in Angelina County for the second year in a row at Kurth Lake, and likely at another lake within Lufkin (fide Nancy Bird). This species is VERY local, uncommon and irregular in our part of the region."

Purple Gallinule: (1) 19 July (Brush Freeman), Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR, Colorado County.
Purple Gallinule: (~16, including 2 with chicks) 19 July (Brush Freeman), Eagle Lake LCRA, Colorado County.

Common Moorhen: (2) 15 July (Brush Freeman), 304 north of String Prairie, Bastop County.
Common Moorhen: (1-2 chicks) 31 May and 7 June; (2 two-thirds-sized chicks) 14 June; (1 nearly full-sized chick) 21 June; (new brood of at least 2 chicks) 28 June; (2 chicks) 5 July; (3 one-third-sized chicks with 2 adults) 12 July; (2 adults with 3 young) 26 July and 2 August; (1 immature, likely from first brood) 9 August (Keith Arnold), Country Club Lake, Bryan, Brazos County [weekly surveys show this species at an all time low, probably due to change in vegetation].

American Coot: (1) 8 July (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [occasional in summer].
American Coot: (1) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Alcoa Lake, Milam County [occasional in summer].
American Coot:  (3-4) present all summer (Keith Arnold), County Club Lake, Bryan, Brazos County [present at this small lake every summer].

PLOVERS THROUGH SANDPIPERS

Black-bellied Plover: (1) 21 July (Brush Freeman), private ranch near Utley, Bastrop County [early arrival].

Semipalmated Plover: (2) 3 August (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment ponds, McLennan County [uncommon].

Black-necked Stilt: (2 pair nesting) 1 June; (7) 9 June; (9, including 1 young) 15, 16, 18, 20 and 22 June; (9, including 1 immature and 2 other nests) 24 June; (13 with 1 immature plus nests with 4, 1 egg) 28 June; (13 with 1 immature plus nests with 4, 2 eggs) 30 June; (13 with 1 immature, no eggs, 1 new nest) 3 July; (12 with no young) 23 July; (7) 3 August; (3) 6 August (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment Plant, McLennan County [rare breeder in Central Prairie, but regular at this one location].

Frank Bumgardner, "The Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks and Black-necked Stilts had excellent nesting results at the sewage ponds in Waco this year."

Black-necked Stilt: (2) 10 July; (1) 11 July; (4, plus 2 a mile away) 24 July (Terry Junek), irrigation pond on CR265, Burleson County [first summer record for county and surrounding counties].

American Avocet: (1) 20 July (Grant Critchfield), Stillhouse Park, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [occasional in summer].
American Avocet: (3) 27 July (Dennis Shepler), Milam County [early migrant].
American Avocet: (1) 28 July (Guy Luneau), Texas Eastman in Longview, Harrison County [occasional].

Greater Yellowlegs: (1) 14 July (Fred Collins), his property on Repka Road, Waller County [early arrival].
Greater Yellowlegs: (1) 3 August (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment Plant, McLennan County [early arrival].

Solitary Sandpiper: (1) 3 July; (5) 23 July; (11) 3 August; (10) 6 August (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment Plant, McLennan County [3 July is early arrival].

Joe Yelderman, "The Solitary Sandpiper is definitely a migrant that is usually absent in June but shows up again in early July and then is common by mid to late July through the fall migration usually absent by early November."

Willet: (2) 20 July (Grant Critchfield), Stillhouse Park, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [not listed for summer or fall on Bell County checklist].

Spotted Sandpiper: (1) 11 July (Jason Pike), Martin Creek Lake, Panola/Rusk Counties [rare; early arrival].
Spotted Sandpiper: (4) 13 July (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Kurth Lake area, Angelina County [first of fall migrants].
Spotted Sandpiper: (1) 14 July (Kathy Godwin, D. D. Currie); (1) 21 July (Derek Hill leading Prairie & Timbers Audubon trip); (3) 22 July (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare in early July].

Upland Sandpiper: (1 heard) 7 July (Brush Freeman), Utley, Bastrop County [early migrant].
Upland Sandpiper: (1) 8 July (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hill, Washington County [early migrant].
Upland Sandpiper: (8) 10 July (Chris Merkord), on south side of Alligator Rd 1.8 miles West of Hunt-Jones Rd, Bell County [first wave of migrants].

Long-billed Curlew: (1) 4 June (Fred Collins), his farm, Waller County [very rare at this date].

Fred Collins, "Flew over my house in early afternoon and landed in a pasture to the south. The bird was silent. The bird seemed to have somewhat dull plumage, but was very long-billed, no distinctive facial or crown marks, warm buff-colored below, especially the underwing yet the upperwing was paler than normal, with a somewhat two-toned appearance like one sees on whimbrels or upland sandpipers. I attributed this to feather wear. I assume the bird has not completed its flight feather molt. This is my most unusual date for LBC in Waller County, early or late? I believe my previous late records for the area (Katy prairie) were a small flock (24) on May 6 in West Harris County and a group of 3 at the same location on May 12, 1992. The majority of wintering LBC usually leave by the first week of April."

Bert Frenz, "In my database I have only one other June record: 24 June 1969 by Lawrence S. Dillon (probably in Brazos County). On 10 July 2000, Darrell Vollert found what probably is a very early fall migrant, our only July date for the species. The latest spring departure dates I have for the counties further inland than Waller are: 11 April 1953 (specimen, probably Brazos Co.), 12 April 1973 (probably Brazos Co.), 15 April 1973 (Waco, McLennan Co.)."

At Galveston Island, 8 June 2001, Jim Stevenson and Mort Voller, "There was a Long-billed Curlew and several Semipalmated Plovers, both uncommon this time of year. "

Long-billed Curlew: (1) 7 July (Fred Collins), FM362 north of Hebert Rd, Katy Prairies, Waller County [early migrant; Fred commented, "This bird landed in a large closely-grazed pasture where the species is a common resident all winter."].
Long-billed Curlew: (1) 8 July (Darrell Vollert), FR1155 North, Chappell Hill, Washington County [early migrant].

Least Sandpiper: (1) 1 June; (1) 20 June; (4) 23 July; (51) 3 August; (23) 6 August (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment Ponds, McLennan County [abundant on McLennan checklist, but that status seems unlikely for June].
Least Sandpiper: (1 juvenile) 8 July (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [early arrival].

White-rumped Sandpiper: (4) 2 June (Peter Barnes, Traci Jean Carson) on the mudflats to the right of the main entrance road to the north unit of Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [late edge of departure dates].
White-rumped Sandpiper: (2) 1 and 9 June (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment Ponds, McLennan County [late edge of departure dates].

Long-billed Dowitcher: (3) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Sore Finger WMA, Granger Lake, Williamson County [first migrants].

Wilson's Phalarope: (1 female) 15 June (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment Ponds, McLennan County [very late departure].

GULLS AND TERNS

Laughing Gull: (2) 2 June (Traci Jean Carson, Peter Barnes); (2) 3 June (Barbara Corbin, Bill Hughes), Richland-Chambers Reservoir, Freestone County [first area record for summer in 24 years].
Laughing Gull: (1) 28 June (Brush Freeman), Colorado River near Utley, Bastrop County [rare].

Caspian Tern: (1) 8 July (Brush Freeman), viewed from the fishing pier in the LCRA North Shore Park of Lake Bastrop, Bastrop County [occasional].
Caspian Tern: (2) 19 July (Brush Freeman), Fayetteville Lake, Fayette County [occasional].
Caspian Tern: (3) 21 July (Guy Luneau, Joan Luneau), Lake O' the Pines, Marion County [occasional].

Forster's Tern: (1 in breeding plumage) 13 July (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Kurth Lake area, Angelina County [first of fall migrants].

Least Tern: (2) 7 July (Guy Luneau), Texas Eastman in Longview, Harrison County [rare].
Least Tern: (2) 8 July (Brush Freeman), viewed from the fishing pier in the LCRA North Shore Park of Lake Bastrop, Bastrop County [rare].

DOVES THROUGH OWLS

Eurasian Collared-Doves continued their phenomenally rapid spread across Texas:
Eurasian Collared-Dove: (2) 27 May (Ron Gutberlet, Carol Gutberlet), Cherokee County [first county record].
Eurasian Collared-Dove: (2) 9 June (Dennis Shepler), Hearne, Robertson County [first county record].
Eurasian Collared-Dove: (1 heard) 1 July (Charles Mills), Texarkana, Bowie County [this is the county where the species first appeared in Texas in 1995].
Eurasian Collared-Dove: (5) 19 July (Brush Freeman), backroads near Halletsville, Lavaca County.
Eurasian Collared-Dove: (no.?) 19 July (Brush Freeman), La Grange, Fayette County.
Eurasian Collared-Dove: (1) 31 July (Darrell Vollert, Carolyn and Ray Busse, Mary Ann Grahmann), (12) daily through 5 August (Carolyn and Ray Busse), Busse residence, Navasota, Grimes County [first county record occurred here ~8 April 2001].

White-winged Dove: (4-5) 2 June (Darrell Vollert), Jackson Street Park at the intersection of Jackson Street and Mansfield Street in Brenham, Washington County [occasional].
White-winged Dove: (1) 19 July (Darrell Vollert), on a power line along Old Chappell Hill Road closer to Brenham than Chappell Hill, Washington County [still uncommon, but increasing population].

Monk Parakeet: (2) 3 August (Mary Dabney Wilson), College Hills subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [probable escapee].

Yellow-billed Cuckoo: (nest with 3 eggs) 21 July (Guy Luneau, Joan Luneau, Scott Luneau), Rusk County [breeding evidence; common species].

Greater Roadrunner: (1) 21 July (Guy Luneau, Scott Luneau), Rusk County [occasional].
Greater Roadrunner: (pair carrying out fecal sacs and feeding grasshoppers to chicks) ~29 July to 5 August; (young on nest) 9 August (Grant Critchfield), Temple Parkon Belton Lake, Bell County [nesting details; uncommon species].

Groove-billed Ani: (1) 19 July (Brush Freeman), ~5 miles east of Halletsville, Lavaca County [rare].

Barred Owl: (2 fledglings) early June (Margaret Cook), her yard on Newman Road, north Austin County [nesting confirmed].

HUMMINGBIRDS THROUGH WOODPECKERS

Buff-bellied Hummingbirds again summered in Austin, Bastrop and Washington Counties. As yet there is not direct evidence of breeding, but the consistent presence of two birds each at three widely separated locations suggests nesting:
Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (2) 4 March to at least 28 August (Sue and Billie Bernard), residence on Stokes Road in northern Austin County [rare, but regular at this location].
Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 18 May through at least 7 June (Stan Wellso), Tahitian Village subdivision, Bastrop, Bastrop County [rare].
Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 19 June (Brush Freeman), Dodge property on Wilbarger Creek, Utley, Bastrop County [rare].
Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (2) spring through at least 24 June (Margaret Cook), her yard on Newman Road, north Austin County [rare].
Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 24 March into August; (2 chasing each other) 21 July (Marcia Effinger), her yard, Chappell Hill, Washington County [fourth consecutive year as summer resident in this yard].
Buff-bellied Hummingbird: (1) 25 July (Derek Muschalek), his yard, 11 miles northwest of Yorktown, DeWitt County [occasional].

Some observers found Ruby-throated Hummingbirds this summer more common than usual:

Darrell Vollert, 6 June, Washington County, "Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are more common this summer. The reason must be the abundance of wild flowers and store-bought plants that are in full bloom now due to the good rains we have been receiving."
Ellen Ratoosh, 1 July, Brazos County, "There seem to me to be more Ruby-throated Hummingbirds frequenting my feeder than other years, mostly males but occasionally females too."
Carolyn Haluska, 17 July, McLennan County, "Just lately we are seeing many Ruby-throated Hummingbird males - also probably migrating. That leaves more of what remains of the flowers, insects for the females and young. We see females as well and now and then some of this year's babies. They may still be trying to feed heavily to build up stores. The males had plenty of time for that and they didn't get thin laying eggs and trying to take care of babies, so the males are ready for migration."

Black-chinned Hummingbird: (juvenile being taught by adult female to drink from feeder) 23 June (Carolyn Haluska), Waco, McLennan County.

Carolyn Haluska, "A Black-chinned female brought a baby to the kitchen feeder Saturday, showing it how to find food there. The young one fluttered around, but didn't try it at that time. They may be having more luck teaching which flowers provide good hummer food."

Post-breeding arrival times for Rufous Hummingbird in Texas:
Rufous Hummingbird: (1 male) 20 July (fide Jane Crone), 10 miles north of Fredericksburg, Gillespie County, Edward's Plateau.
Rufous Hummingbird: (several) 20 July (Pat Hall), Rockport, Aransas County, Central Texas Coast.
Rufous Hummingbird: (1) 21 July (Marion Schott), near Elgin, Bastrop County, Central Prairie.
Rufous Hummingbird: (1 adult male) 27 July (James Loesch), Elm Mott, McLennan County, Central Prairie.
Rufous Hummingbird: (1) 31 July (fide Cliff Shackelford), Erath County, North Central Texas.

Ringed Kingfisher: (1 male) 8 July (Brush Freeman), viewed from the fishing pier in the LCRA North Shore Park of Lake Bastrop, Bastrop County [rare; Brush, "maybe one of the birds reported by Wellso et. al earlier from Tahitian Village a few miles away."].

Green Kingfisher (probable): (1 heard) 19-20 June (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River at US290, Washington County [very rare].

Darrell Vollert, 19 June, "Green Kingfisher (1, probable) only heard this bird along the Brazos River at US290. The mosquitoes were horrible along the Brazos River and I did not bring along insect repellent. Big mistake. Made a brisk walk through the woods."
Darrell Vollert, 20 June, "Green Kingfisher (1, again probable) I heard this bird calling along the Brazos River. It was getting late and I did not want to keep John and Mary Ann in the woods for much longer. It was getting very hot in the woods."

Red-headed Woodpecker: (1 adult) 12 July (Brush Freeman), 1441 north of Lake Bastrop, Bastrop County [rare].

Hairy Woodpecker: (3) 10 June (Eddie Ray), Cass County [uncommon, but not often seen in summer].

FLYCATCHERS

Eastern Wood-Pewee: (1) 22 July (Brush Freeman), McKinney Roughs, Bastrop County [occasional in summer].

Acadian Flycatcher: (1) 16 June (Darrell Vollert), along Nicholson Lake Road at Caney Creek, Washington County [occasional].
Acadian Flycatcher: (1 nestling fledged and released) July (fide David Phalen), by the Eyes of Texas rehab center, Brazos County [very few July records].
Acadian Flycatcher: (1) 23-24 July (Dennis Shepler), Milam County [very few July records].

Least Flycatchers arrived earlier than usual, setting several new records:
Least Flycatcher: (1) 21 July (Derek Hill leading Prairie & Timbers Audubon trip), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [early migrant].
Least Flycatcher: (1) 29 July (Guy Luneau), Texas Eastman in Longview, Harrison County [occasional; early edge of migration].
Least Flycatcher: (3) 29 July (Derek Muschalek), Old Davy Community, DeWitt County [early migrant; no other July records listed in 1994 checklist for Central Texas Coast].
Least Flycatcher: (1 calling) 29 July (Richard Kostecke), Ralls sewage ponds, Crosby County [first July record for Southern High Plains].
Least Flycatcher: (2) 31 July (Derek Muschalek), Huisache grove behind his mailbox, Karnes County [early migrant].

Although Eastern Phoebes are known to breed in the Edward's Plateau and in East Texas, there are very few records in the Central Prairie. This year was clearly the exception:
Eastern Phoebe: (1) 2 June (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [few summer records].
Eastern Phoebe: (1) 19 May; (2) 20 June (Brush Freeman, Peggy Holt, et al.), Independence Park, Gonzales, Gonzales County [very rare in summer; suspected nest out of sight on I-beam].
Eastern Phoebe: (1) 7 May; (1) 13 May; (1) 22 May; (1) 3-4 June; (1) 24 June (Ellen Ratoosh); (nest found) 1 July (Ellen Ratoosh, Darrell Vollert), floodplain at the Appomattox St. bridge, on the edge of Bee Creek and Emerald Forest Park, Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [first summer record for the 10-county area and first record of breeding since 1936].

Bert Frenz, "Breeding Bird Surveys (BBS) show Eastern Phoebe present on the following Brazos Valley routes: Oakwood in Leon/Freestone, Thornton in Limestone/Robertson, Kosse in Limestone/Falls, Hearne in Robertson, Oak Grove in Madison/Grimes/Walker, Gause in Milam. They have not been reported on the following local routes: Carlos in Grimes/Brazos, Burton in Washington, Peach Tree in Brazos/Grimes. Since Texas BBS routes are most likely conducted in May rather than June, probably none of these document a summer record. Besides, neither of the Brazos County routes includes Eastern Phoebe at all.

"In a 1936 letter that I have seen, Eleanor Scoates wrote to Dr. Oberholser about seeing "old and young" phoebes in the woods behind her house in College Station in August 1935 and that is probably the observation he used in his Bird Life of Texas to designate Brazos County as a breeding site. Oberholser specifies the breeding period to be mid-February to late July. He considered the winter resident period to be early October to late March, with extremes of July 9 and May 28.

Ellen Ratoosh, 1 July, "This afternoon, Darrell came by my house and we went and looked under the Appomattox St. bridge over the Emerald Forest floodplain. We easily found the Eastern Phoebe nest, which was attached to the side of one of the supporting arches that run the length of the bridge. ... The Phoebe nest is a neat cup about 5" in diameter, and about the same in depth. One side of it is attached to the bridge support with mud. It appears rounder and more finely built than the swallow nests, with less mud. Woven grass stems and other plant material make p most of the cup, with the finest material towards the top of it. Wasps have built a small blobby mud nest at the bottom of the Phoebe nest. The nest is over the water. We didn't see any activity at the nest. I took some photos with my little point and shoot type camera. … There were some owl feathers under the bridge, and I hope they weren't hunting baby phoebes!"

Eastern Phoebe: (1 nestling) brought in 11 June, released 5 July (Eyes of Texas Rehabilitation Center), found along Wellborn Road, College Station, Brazos County [very rare in summer, third nesting record for the county].
Eastern Phoebe
: (2) 10 July (Chris Merkord), near spillway below the dam, Granger Lake, Williamson County [very rare in summer].

Chris Merkord, "The exception to the doldrums was one Eastern Phoebe singing from a small tree near the spillway below the dam. I listened to him sing as I walked by, but still in the Minnesota frame of mind, I thought little of it. When I returned that way an hour later the bird was not singing, but two Phoebes were sitting in the same tree. It was not until I got home that I realized how few breeding records there are near here."
Brush Freeman, "I did look at the Clearinghouse records to see if there were any summer records for the area, as I know Tim would have put those in, however I found nothing and I certainly have not had the species there at this time of year."
Randy Pinkston, "Speaking only for the Temple-Belton-Salado area in Bell County, my experience is that Eastern Phoebe is a fairly common breeding species here in blackland prairie habitats east of the I-35 corridor. It wouldn't surprise me to find them nesting in Williamson County. As you know, they usually seek out shady places like porches, the underside of old bridges, etc."

Eastern Phoebe: (1 singing) mid-April to mid-July (Rusty Alderson), Leander, Williamson County [occasional breeder].

Rusty Alderson, "I recently (last week) moved to Leander, in Williamson County, and one of the first interesting "birding events" that I experienced in my new environs, was a singing eastern phoebe. I have heard it (them?) often over the last three months (I spent most of my weekends in Leander while my house was under construction). One speculative indication that eastern phoebes may be breeding in the area: the local mockingbirds have high fidelity "eastern phoebe" renditions in their repertoire."

Brown-crested Flycatcher: (4, including fledglings) 21 June (Brush Freeman), Independence Park, Gonzales, Gonzales County [fairly common, but breeding rarely confirmed].

Great Kiskadees have expanded their territory northward:
Great Kiskadee: (1) 12 and 18 June; (2) 21 August (Mary Ann Grahmann), Chadwick-Hogan Road, Chappell Hill, Washington County [new county record; first record in Central Brazos Valley].
Great Kiskadee: (1) most of the summer (m.ob.) Baytown, Harris County.
Great Kiskadee: (1-2) 10 April to at least 4 August (Derek Muschalek), his yard, DeWitt County [rare].

Western Kingbirds made a substantial movement eastward this season. Previously the eastern edge of common breeding was Brazos County with a few present in Washington County. This year Western Kingbirds were nesting in multiple locations in Washington County and extended into the Harris County:
Western Kingbird: (2) 20 May (Ken Hartman), Sharp Rd. east of Nelson Farms Preserve, Katy Prairie; (4 - 2 pair? - with 1 sitting on nest and another feeding her) 26 May (Kinjo Yonemoto, Tracy Keltonic), power substation at Fannin and Braes Bayou in Houston; (nesting pair with 1 sitting on nest built on light pole) 3 June (Laura Karr), parking lot of a Conoco station in far Southwest Houston, Harris County [rare; east of normal territory].

Washington County sightings.

Darrell Vollert, "Western Kingbirds are more common in Washington County this summer. Western Kingbirds have adapted well to an urban environment. The kingbirds are using power line poles for nests. The nests are being built where the wires are attached to the poles. I have seen up to five Western Kingbirds in downtown Brenham in one day."

Nesting locations:
FM1155 near US290, Chappell Hill.
FM1371, south side of Chappell Hill.
Chadwick Hogan Road, Chappell Hill.
US290 one mile west of Brazos River.
FM389, Brenham.
North Park Street and South Market Street, Brenham.
Becker Street, Brenham.
Blinn College campus, Brenham.
US290 and SH36, Brenham

Western Kingbird: (~20) 1 July (Ellen Ratoosh), on the power lines that run between St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and the old Northrop-Grumman plant along the Hwy 6 bypass between Emerald Forest and Raintree subdivisions, College Station, Brazos County [common, but high count].
Western Kingbird: (no.?) 19 July (Brush Freeman), historic Osage Park and the Settlers Confederate Cemetery at Wiemar, near La Grange, Fayette County.

After alerting several active summer birders to the apparent lack of recent Loggerhead Shrike sightings, a few sightings were reported. But it certainly seems like the breeding population of this species has decreased substantially. The following Central Brazos Valley sightings were reported:
Briarcrest Country Club, Bryan, Brazos County (Shirley and Dan Wilkerson).
Along Wallace Road at Coulter Field Airport, Bryan, Brazos County (Shirley and Dan Wilkerson).
Kurten Cemetery Road, Brazos County (Shirley and Dan Wilkerson).
Hwy 6 bypass between Emerald Forest and Raintree subdivisions, College Station, Brazos County (Ellen Ratoosh).
US290 one mile west of Brazos River, Washington County (Darrell Vollert)
FR2447, Chappell Hill, Washington County (Darrell Vollert).
Between Milam and Bell County, in Milam County (Dennis Shepler).

VIREOS THROUGH LARKS

WEViSW01.jpg (19635 bytes)White-eyed Vireo: (pair with nest, both began incubating) 3 June; (1 bird hatched) 16 June; (1 bird fledged, 1 unhatched egg) 23 June; (bird flying well from tree to tree with parents attending/feeding) 24 June; (still singing) 5 August (Shirley Wilkerson), Kurten, Brazos County [details of breeding cycle of a pair of White-eyed Vireos that built a nest and incubated eggs right next to their garage, in a very low branch, about 5 feet high, in a crepe myrtle tree. Wilkerson's expressed surprise that they would build so close to where they go in and out, especially with their cars.].

Photo taken by Shirley's daughter with a Nikon Digital 2.11 mega pixel camera through Shirley's spotting scope.

Bell's Vireo: (1 observed singing) 9 June (Randy Pinkston), along FM 2011 at the western end of Lake Cherokee at the northern edge of Rusk County [rare summer resident].
Bell's Vireo: (2 pairs and a nest with recent fledglings) 13-15 July (Guy Luneau, David Weaver), TXU mine north of Henderson, Rusk County [rare; breeding evidence].

Yellow-throated Vireo: (1) 16 June (Brush Freeman, Mark Adams), Alum Creek, Bastrop County [uncommon].
Yellow-throated Vireo: (1) 15 July (Brush Freeman), 2571 near Upton, Bastop County [uncommon].

Warbling Vireo: (2 on territory) 22 May to 19+ June (Brush Freeman), Webberville Park on the Bastrop/Travis County line [unexpected in summer; appear to be breeding pair with male actively defending territory and singing constantly; unknown as breeder for region].
Warbling Vireo: (1) 18-19 June (Brush Freeman), Dodge property along Wilbarger Creek, Utley, Bastrop County [singing bird presumably on territory; second summer record].

Red-eyed Vireo: (1) 14 June (Darrell Vollert), Nicholson Lake Road at Caney Creek, Washington County [occasional in summer].
Red-eyed Vireo: (1) 16 June (Darrell Vollert), along Lynn Road, Austin County [occasional].
Red-eyed Vireo: (2) 19 June; (3) 20-21 June (Darrell Vollert); (2) 30 June (Darrell Vollert, Scott and Gail Cole); (3) 7 July (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River at US290, Washington County [occasional in summer].
Red-eyed Vireo: (1) 14 July (Kathy Godwin, D. D. Currie), South Unit, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [occasional].
Red-eyed Vireo: (2) 2 June; (5) 10 June; (3) 17 June; (3) 23 June; (1) 2 July; (1) 14 July; (1) 28 July; (3 adults, 3+ juveniles) 4 August (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional in summer].
Red-eyed Vireo: (2) 1 August (Darrell Vollert, Mary Ann Grahmann), along Lost Lane at Little Cedar Creek near its confluence with New Year's Creek at the FR2447 bridge, Brazos River bottoms, near Chappell Hill, Washington County [rare in August].

Green Jay: (2 banded) 23-23 June (Sumner Dana, Tracey Norris), ranch about 60 miles south of San Antonio, Karnes County [status?].

camera.GIF (1399 bytes) Horned Lark: (1 territorial) 27 May; (2 mating) 30 May; (2) 10 June; (2) 14-15 June; (4+, including 1 singing adult and at least 1 juvenile) 17 July (Tim Fennell), FM 1105, ~1 mile north of FM971 in Weir, eastern Williamson County [first confirmed nesting record for the county and the first evidence of the species in the breeding season since 1976; photographed].

SWALLOWS

Purple Martin: (5000 post-breeding and migrant) 11 June (E. G. White-Swift), Connally-Compton funeral home on the southweast corner of the intersection Waco Drive and New Road in Waco, McLennan County [start of post-breeding roost].

E.G. White-Swift, "Even though the last of the spring shorebirds and a few passerines have not yet left the area fall migration has begun in Waco. For the last five years, post-breeding and migrant Purple Martins have night roosted in the Live Oak trees by the Connally-Compton funeral home on the southweast corner of the intersection Waco Drive and New Road in Waco, McLennan County. Last night, June 11, 2001, at 8:51 p.m., about 5,000 Purple Martins were coming into the roost at dusk. When I last checked the roost site about a week ago, there were only Great-tailed Grackles in the roost trees.
"In previous years, this roost has peaked at between 20,000 and 25,000 Purple Martins. The roost has typically peak in late July and is usually inactive by about August 10. At least on banded bird, found dead below the roost three years ago, was a hatching year bird that had been banded in Cedar Hill in Dallas County. Another interesting fact about the Waco roost is that it has moved three times over the past 20 years. If you were to connect the dots between all three roost sites it would be almost a five mile straight line."

Purple Martin: (gathering for fall migration) 26 June (Truman Powell), around hospitals on South Beckham Street, Tyler, Smith County [post-breeding roost].

Truman Powell, "This year may not be the largest gathering yet, but it certainly is very large. The "swirl" extends out over 3 city blocks, and many martins aren't coming to roost yet. It is truly one of Mother Nature's spectacles that takes place every year here."

Purple Martin: (1500 staging in early evening) 1 July (Ellen Ratoosh), on the power lines that run between St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and the old Northrop-Grumman plant along the Hwy 6 bypass between Emerald Forest and Raintree subdivisions, College Station, Brazos County [post-breeding gathering].
Purple Martin: (100,000) 12 July through end of month (George Russell), east end of the bridge over Lake Livingston on highway 190 (which is a few miles from Palmetto Creek), Polk County [large post-breeding gathering and roost].

George Russell, 18 July, "At about 8:30 pm I started following purple martins as they headed south from our house. At about 8:45 I could see great black swirls of martins at the e. end of the hwy 190 bridge over Lake Livingston. By 9 pm I estimated a minimum of 100,000 martins + on the eastern half of the bridge at about 5,000 between each pilon. There are 10 I-beam perches per pilon and on just one I estimated 750+ each or 7,500 between the heavily populated pilons."

Purple Martin: (50,000+ in mixed flock with grackles) 27 July to at least 3 August (Dan and Shirley Wilkerson, David Phalen), across from Kyle Field and near Vet school, Texas A&M University campus, College Station, Brazos County [large roost].

Tree Swallow: (2) 4 March; 16 April; 22 April; 1 May; (1) 10 June; (1) 14 June; (1) 17 June (Tim Fennell), Willis Creek Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County [breeding probable].

Tim Fennell, "Up to two adults seen on four different dates (3/4, 4/16, 4/22 and 5/1) in drowned timber at Willis Creek Park, Granger Lake. I saw an adult dive-bombing juvenile Purple Martins at the same location on 6/10/01. At least one still present as of 6/17. There are no records between mid-April and mid-August on the Travis Audubon Checklist. "

Tree Swallow: (adult pair) 20-22 May; (1 in fresh juvenal plumage) 25 June (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [very rare; suspected breeding]
Tree Swallow: (2) 30 June (Eddie Ray), Sabine Mining Co. land, Harrison County [occasional].

Northern Rough-winged Swallow: (3) 1 July (Nancy Bird), VFW Lake on Ford's Chapel Road, Angelina County [rare].
Northern Rough-winged Swallow: (2) 10 July (Chris Merkord), Alligator Rd, Bell County [few summer records].

camera.GIF (1399 bytes) Bank Swallow: (2) 5 May; (2) 12 May; (1) 20 May; (2) 30-31 May; (2) 12 June; (5+) 14 June (Tim Fennell), at spillway at Granger Lake dam, Williamson County [possible breeding pair, photographed].
Bank Swallow: (1) 24 June; (2) 28 and 30 June (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment Ponds, McLennan County [rare].

Cave Swallow: (12 and 3 nests) 30-31 May; (8) 10-14 June (Tim Fennell), FM 971 bridge over Berry Creek, Williamson County [breeding confirmed; Tim's first nest in this part of the county, as far east in the county as he has seen them nesting].
Cave Swallow: (colony with 26 nests) 15 July (Brush Freeman), off 304, Bastop County.
Cave Swallow: (no.?) 19 July (Brush Freeman), La Grange, Fayette County.
Cave Swallow: (no.?) 19 July (Brush Freeman), backroads near Halletsville, Lavaca County [fairly common].

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; (eggs hatched) 5 June; (second clutch of 3 fledged) 26 June (Ellen Ratoosh); (started building another nest after House Sparrow took over prior nest) 2-3 July; (3 chicks in nest) 4 August; (2 of 3 in third clutch fledged) 16 August, Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [nesting history; surprising that swallows started a third nest after two successful ones].
Barn Swallow: (2 adults, 2 nestlings standing on rim of nest) 5 August (Darrell Vollert), neighbor's front porch, Chappell Hill, Washington County [third brood for this pair this year]

NUTHATCHES THROUGH GNATCATCHERS

camera.GIF (1399 bytes) White-breasted Nuthatch: (2) 10 June (Tim Fennell), CR 337, .5 mile N of HWY 29, Williamson County [breeding probable-A; photographed].
White-breasted Nuthatch: (1) 1 July (Peter Barnes), south unit, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare].

Bewick's Wren: (2) 23 June; (1) 4 July (Eddie Ray), Sabine Mining Co. land, Harrison County [no prior summer records according to the 2001 Pineywoods checklist; red-backed form].
Bewick's Wren: (2 banded) 23-23 June (Sumner Dana, Tracey Norris), ranch about 60 miles south of San Antonio, Karnes County [fairly common?].

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: (1) 4 June (Mark Elwonger), Arenosa Creek BBS, Lavaca County [very rare; breeding probable - territorial behavior].
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: (1) 3 August (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment Ponds, McLennan County [rare].

BLUEBIRDS THROUGH THRUSHES

Eastern Bluebirds appeared to have a very good nesting season in Washington County:
Eastern Bluebird: (20+ males, females and juveniles) 23 June; (7) 11 and 17 July (Darrell Vollert, Mary Ann Grahmann), perched on power lines at one location along FM2447, Washington County [large concentration for one spot in June; infrequent in July].
Eastern Bluebird: (1 female on 5 eggs) 9 April; (1 female incubating 5 eggs) 25 June; (1 female with food in her bill, 3 chicks in nest box) 2 July; (2) 23 July (Darrell Vollert), Floi Ewing's residence, Chappell Hill subdivision, Washington County [detailed breeding record].
Eastern Bluebird: (1) 21 July (Darrell Vollert), in route to and from Washington-on-the-Brazos SHP from Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional in last half of July].
Eastern Bluebird: (3) 22 July (Darrell Vollert), calling in flight over FR1155-South in Chappell Hill in the evening, Washington County [occasional in last half of July].
Eastern Bluebird: (16+, including 10+ juveniles) 1 August (Darrell Vollert, Mary Ann Grahmann), FR2447, Brazos River bottoms, near Chappell Hill, Washington County.

Wood Thrush: (3) 16 June (Brush Freeman, Mark Adams), Alum Creek and Park Road 1C, Bastrop County [rare breeder].

Brush Freeman, "It is an amazing breeding season. For the first time in a decade Wood Thrushes are in my area and I now know of 9 territories, a Yellow-throated Warbler is on territory here also the first one I have seen around here in about the same time. Numbers of Kentucky & Hooded Warblers on territory is the highest I have ever seen in Bastrop County not to mention an increase in other more regular warbler breeders."

American Robin: (3) 29 June and 12 July and 19 July; (2-3 singing, 1 hopping) 20 July; (2) 3 August (Darrell Vollert), Harrison Street, Brenham, Washington County [uncommon in summer].
American Robin: (2) 2 August (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hill, Washington County [unusual to be singing at this date].

WARBLERS

Northern Parulas had a good breeding season:
Northern Parula: (3 males, 1 female, 2 fledglings) 16 June (Darrell Vollert), Lynn Road and Stokes Road in northern Austin County [fairly common].
Northern Parula: (12) 16 June (Brush Freeman, Mark Adams), Alum Creek and Park Road 1C, Bastrop County [good count].
Northern Parula: (1 juvenile) 23 June (Darrell Vollert), practice singing along Little Cedar Creek at Clarann Estate, near Chappell Hill, Washington County.
Northern Parula: (3) 2 July (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Fiberboard Lake, Angelina County [common breeder in East Texas].
Northern Parula: (2) 5 May; (2 feeding fledglings) 8 May; (4) 19 May; (3 singing) 19-20 June; (2 males, 2 females, 3 fledglings) 21 June (Darrell Vollert); (2) 30 June (Darrell Vollert, Scott and Gail Cole); (3) 7 July (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River at US290, Washington County [breeding evidence].
Northern Parula: (1+ singing) 8 July (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [fairly common, but not many recorded for July].
Northern Parula: (1 male, 1 immature) 13 July (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Kurth Lake area, Angelina County [common]
Northern Parula: (1 singing) 19 July (Brush Freeman), historic Osage Park and the Settlers Confederate Cemetery at Wiemar, near La Grange, Fayette County.
Northern Parula: (1 singing) 19 July (Brush Freeman), backroads near Halletsville, Lavaca County [occasional].
Northern Parula: (3+) 14 July (Kathy Godwin, D. D. Currie); (~5 still singing a bit) 21 July (Derek Hill leading Prairie & Timbers Audubon trip), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [fairly common, but not often recorded in July].
Northern Parula: (1 young female) 4 August (Darrell Vollert) Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [uncommon].

Yellow Warbler: (1) 21 July (Brush Freeman), Barton Ranch near Utley, Bastrop County [rare in summer in Central Prairie, first "fall" observation].

Black-throated Blue Warbler: (1 female banded) 25 June (Sue Morris) Camp Swift, Bastrop County [rare anytime; not expected in summer].

Blackburnian Warbler: (1 male) 12 July (Hazel Bluhm), her yard, Marion County [first summer record in northeast Texas].

Yellow-throated Warbler: (1 on territory) 15 June (Brush Freeman), Utley, Bastrop County [very rare breeder in Central Prairie].

Brush Freeman, "A Yellow-throated Warbler is on territory here also the first one I have seen around here in about the same time. … The warbler is the big news as I haven't had a suspect breeder in Bastrop County in over 10 years."

Yellow-throated Warbler: (1) 2 July (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Fiberboard Lake, Angelina County [uncommon in East Texas].
Yellow-throated Warbler: (2) 13 July (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Kurth Lake area, Angelina County [uncommon in East Texas].

Pine Warbler: (1 singing) 16 June (Darrell Vollert), along Stokes Road in northern Austin County [few if any summer records in Austin County; in a medium height Loblolly Pine tree].
Pine Warbler: (1) 2 July (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Fiberboard Lake, Angelina County [very common in East Texas].
Pine Warbler: (young everywhere) 15 July (Brush Freeman), Bastrop State Park, Bastop County [fairly common in pines of Bastrop State Park].

Prairie Warbler: (1 singing) 14 June (Brooke Nicotra), Old Sabine Bottom WMA, Smith County [uncommon in Pineywoods].
Prairie Warbler: (2 males, 1 female, 1 immature) 13 July (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Kurth Lake area, Angelina County [not often recorded in July].

Black-and-white Warblers were seen much more often this summer than most:
Black-and-white Warbler: (1 female) 21 June (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River at US290, Washington County [rare in June].

Darrell Vollert, "The surprise sighting of the morning. Saw this bird along the path near the barred wire fence. Close to the river. One of the parulas chased the warbler away. She apparently had gotten to close to one of the parula fledglings. There is so much of this forest that I have not yet explored. Wouldn't surprise me if Black-and-White Warblers nested in the forest. Good habitat for them."

Black-and-white Warbler: (1) 2 July (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Fiberboard Lake, Angelina County [uncommon].
Black-and-white Warbler: (5 singing) 15 July (Brush Freeman), Bastrop State Park, Bastop County [large number for July].
Black-and-white Warbler: (~2) 21 July (Derek Hill leading Prairie & Timbers Audubon trip), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [occasional].
Black-and-white Warbler: (1) 22 July (Brush Freeman), McKinney Roughs, Bastrop County [occasional in summer].
Black-and-white Warbler: (1) all summer through at least 9 August (Susan Schaezler), near New Braunfels, Guadalupe County [occasional in this area?].
Black-and-white Warbler: (1 female) 27 July (David Phalen), East Brookfield, College Station, Brazos County [occasional].
Black-and-white Warbler: (1 female) 1 August (Darrell Vollert, Mary Ann Grahmann), FR2447, Brazos River bottoms, near Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional].
Black-and-white Warbler: (1) 4 August (Darrell Vollert) Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional].

Prothonotary Warbler: (2) 14-17 June (Tim Fennell), mouth of Willis Creek at Willis Creek WMA, Granger Lake, Williamson County [occasional breeder but may be first record for county; photographed].

Tim Fennell, "One adult carrying caterpillars on 15 June and one adult feeding a fledgling on 17 June at Willis Creek WMA, north shore of Granger Lake. A bird was seen just south of this area last August."

Prothonotary Warbler: (10-12) mid-May to mid July (Grant Critchfield), Belton Lake at Leon River, Iron Bridge Park (Bell County) and Horseshoe Bend WMA (Coryell County) [rare breeder in these counties].

Swainson's Warblers were reported much more often than usual, suggesting a very good breeding year:
Swainson's Warbler: (1) 27 May; 2 Jun (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [rare].

Darrell Vollert, "Earlier this morning during my bird survey at Clarann Estate I heard a Swainson's Warbler singing north of the property. I crossed Cedar Creek to seek out the singing warbler. I found the Swainson's Warbler singing about 25 feet above the forest floor. The forest floor was covered with dry leaves and American Beautyberry and yaupon holly shrubs were scattered about- perfect habitat for nesting Swainson's Warblers. The warbler sang from his high perch for at least 15 minutes before flying to the southern edge of the woods. I relocated the singing warbler over the middle of Cedar Creek. … I barely could hear the warbler singing last Sunday over the din of the singing vireos. Today I sat on a log and waited for a few minutes to see if I could hear the Swainson's singing. After a few minutes had gone by the warbler began to sing. The song was faint, but I heard it. To me it is very rewarding to find a singing Swainson's Warbler, as they don't make it very easy to find them in the habitat they prefer. Often times I get scratched up and my glasses get fogged up in the moist woodlands that these warblers prefer, but seeing this rare warbler on its nesting grounds is well worth the trouble."

Swainson's Warbler: (5 territories defended by males) June (Brush Freeman, Mark Adams), Alum Creek and Park Road 1C, Bastrop County [occasional, but very good numbers].
Swainson's Warbler: (1 singing) 18 April and 26 May (Darrell Vollert), Jackson Creek near Gaskamp Road and SH105; (1 singing) 26 June (Darrell Vollert, Mary Ann Grahmann), along SH105 near Flewellen Road at Jackson Creek, Washington County [nesting bird].
Swainson's Warbler: (1) 19 (Darrell Vollert); (2 males and possibly 1 female) 20 June; (2 males) 21 June (Darrell Vollert, John McClung, Mary Ann Grahmann); (1) 30 June (Darrell Vollert, Scott and Gail Cole); (1-2) 7 July (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River at US290, Washington County [rare].
Swainson's Warbler: (4) 2 June (Peter Barnes, Traci Jean Carson) south unit off FM 488; (1) 1 July; (1) 8 July (Peter Barnes); (2 singing, 1 seen) 21 July (Derek Hill leading Prairie & Timbers Audubon trip); (1) 22 July (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare breeder].

Louisiana Waterthrush: (1) 15 July (David Wolf), south Nacogdoches County [early migrant].
Louisiana Waterthrush: (1) 23 July (Derek Muschalek), six miles southeast of Gillett, Karnes County [early migrant].
Louisiana Waterthrush: (1) 31 July (Derek Muschalek), stock pond behind his mailbox, Karnes County [early migrant].

Kentucky Warblers bred in areas where they have not been seen for some time:
Kentucky Warbler: (5) 16 June (Brush Freeman, Mark Adams), Alum Creek and Park Road 1C, Bastrop County [good count].

Brush Freeman, in his summer report, "Kentucky Warbler: 20+, 15 June ff, Bastrop County. These birds are to be found in exceptional numbers in the county this season. Far more than in previous 12+ years."

Kentucky Warbler: (1) 20-21 June (Darrell Vollert, Mary Ann Grahmann, John McClung): (1) 30 June (Darrell Vollert, Scott and Gail Cole), Brazos River at US290, Washington County [rare].
Kentucky Warbler: (2) 1 July (Peter Barnes), south unit, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare].
Kentucky Warbler: (1 male, 1 female) 11 July (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Ryan/Allen Lakes, Angelina County [uncommon].
Kentucky Warbler: (1 singing) 15 July (Brush Freeman), Bastrop State Park, Bastop County [occasional].

Common Yellowthroat: (1) 2 June; (2) 1 July; (>1) 8 July (Peter Barnes); (~5 singing) 21 July (Derek Hill leading Prairie & Timbers Audubon trip); (5) 22 July (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County. [rare in summer; presumed breeder; not known to breed further south and west in the Central Brazos Valley].

Hooded Warbler: (9) 16 June (Brush Freeman, Mark Adams), Alum Creek and Park Road 1C, Bastrop County [good count].

Yellow-breasted Chat: (1) 2 July (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Fiberboard Lake, Angelina County [common breeder in East Texas].
Yellow-breasted Chat: (1) 13 July (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird), Kurth Lake area, Angelina County [common].
Yellow-breasted Chat: (5 singing) 1 July; (several singing) 8 July; (1-2) 22 July (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [fairly common].

SPARROWS

Lark Sparrows were present in good numbers in the Central Prairie, with much evidence of breeding:
Lark Sparrow: (2) 11 June (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hills subdivision, Washington County [occasional].
Lark Sparrow: (2 males singing, pair gathering nesting material, eating gravel) 19 June; (1 singing) 3 July (Darrell Vollert), Stella Michalak's residence off US290 one mile west of the Brazos River, Washington County [occasional nesters].
Lark Sparrow: (2 banded) 23-23 June (Sumner Dana, Tracey Norris), ranch about 60 miles south of San Antonio, Karnes County.
Lark Sparrow: (1 male, 1 female) 28 June (Georgette Guernsey), Angelina County Airport, Angelina County [uncommon].
Lark Sparrow: (1) 23 June and 1 July and 1 August (Darrell Vollert), along FM2447, Washington County [occasional].
Lark Sparrow: (1 adult, 1 juvenile) 5 July (Darrell Vollert), Mustang Road, Brenham, Washington County.
Lark Sparrow: (1) 7 July (Shirley Wilkerson), Hwy 50 between Hwy 21 and Hwy 60, Tunis, Burleson County [occasional].
Lark Sparrow: (nest) 7 July (Eddie Ray, Guy Luneau), Sabine Mining Co. land, Harrison County [uncommon; breeding evidence].
Lark Sparrow: (13, including one with a nest in a grill) 10 July (Chris Merkord), Friendship Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County [occasional].
Lark Sparrow: (20) 17 July (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake area, Williamson County [occasional].
Lark Sparrow: (20+) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Milam County [occasional].
Lark Sparrow: (6) 29 July and 1 August (Dennis Shepler), Milam County [occasional].

Grasshopper Sparrows continued a successful breeding season started earlier this spring and were found in a wide spread area stretching from the northeast in Franklin, Nacogdoches and Rusk Counties to the Central Prairie in Williamson County and south to DeWitt County:
Grasshopper Sparrow: (5+) 10 June; (5+) 17 June; (2 juveniles) 17 July (Tim Fennell), Granger area, Williamson County.
Grasshopper Sparrow: (over 30 pairs singing/territorial/nesting) late June and early July (Matt White), on a native prairie in north Franklin County [occasional; another indication of a good breeding season].
Grasshopper Sparrow: (12) 4 July (Derek Muschalek), Lackey Ranch Road, DeWitt County [fairly common].
Grasshopper Sparrow: (1) 15 July (Guy Luneau, David Weaver), Rusk County [occasional].
Grasshopper Sparrow: (1 juvenile) 17 July (Jesse Fagan), Alazan Bayou WMA in south Nacogdoches County [rare; David Wolf commented, "Perhaps raised locally, this is an extremely rare and local breeding bird within our part of the Pineywoods."].

GROSBEAKS THROUGH DICKCISSELS

Blue Grosbeaks had a good breeding year:
Blue Grosbeak: (1 male) 4 July; (1 male singing) 25 July (Derek Muschalek), Lackey Ranch Road, DeWitt County [breeding probable: territorial].
Blue Grosbeak: (4) 14 July (Kathy Godwin, D. D. Currie), North Unit, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare].
Blue Grosbeak: (1 first-summer male) 23 June; (1 adult male) 30 June; (2 adult males) 1 July; (2 adult males, 1 adult female, 1 first summer male) 7 July; (1 singing) 14 July; (2 adult males singing, 2 first-summer males singing, 1 female) 15 July; (1 adult male singing) 17 July; (1 female) 19 July; (1 adult male singing, 1 female) 26 July; (1 singing) 29 July; (1 adult male singing) 1 August (Darrell Vollert), at Hackberry trees along FM2447 near its dead end, Washington County [occasional].

Indigo Buntings had a good breeding season throughout the Central Prairie:
Indigo Bunting: (15) 5 May (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert); (1) 19 May; (2) 29 May; (1 adult male) 23 June; (adult males singing, females and juveniles) 1 August (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River Rd., near Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional].
Indigo Bunting: (1) 19 June; (1 male) 21 June (Darrell Vollert); (1 male) 30 June (Darrell Vollert, Scott and Gail Cole), Brazos River at US290, Washington County [occasional].
Indigo Bunting: (1 male) 10 July (Chris Merkord), Willis Creek Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County [occasional].
Indigo Bunting: (6) 14 July (Kathy Godwin, D. D. Currie), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [occasional].
Indigo Bunting: (1 singing) 19 July (Brush Freeman), near La Grange, Fayette County.
Indigo Bunting: (3) 5 June (Mary Ann Grahmann); (4 adult males, 1 female) 21 July (Darrell Vollert), Washington-on-the-Brazos SHP, Washington County [occasional].
Indigo Bunting: (1) 28 April; (1) 29 May; (1 male) 9 June; (2 adult males) 23 June; (3 adult males) 30 June; (3 singing) 1 July; (3 adult males singing) 7 July; (1 adult male singing) 11 July; (4 adult males singing) 14 July; (3 males singing, 1 female) 15 July; (4 males singing, 1 female, 2 juveniles) 17 July; (8 males singing, 8 females) 19 July; (3 males singing) 26 July; (5 males singing; 4 females with 2 carrying food) 29 July; (7 adult males singing, 18+ females and juveniles) 1 August (Darrell Vollert), FR2447, near Chappell Hill, Washington County.
Indigo Bunting: (25-35) all summer (Grant Critchfield), Lake Belton, Iron Bridge Park in Bell County and Horseshoe Bend WMA in Coryell County [uncommon].

Grant Critchfield, "I've had the opportunity to regularly visit two sites on the upper end of Belton Lake every week this summer. I really have never spent any 'real' time in those areas before so my observations may have been of a 'regular' summer or of a unique summer. I really have no basis to form an opinion. All I can say is that there seemed to be a 'lot' of them this year. Each of the two locations, Iron Bridge Park (Bell Co.) & Horseshoe Bend WMA (Coryell Co.), provide stretches of about 1 mile each of usually unvisited lakeshore with very shallow waters. The shores have dense stands of mature black willow (up to 50 ft tall) complete with typical native riparian understory. It was in standing dead willows that the Prothonotary Warblers were observed going in and out of old woodpecker holes. … The Indigo Buntings were always common from mid-May until mid-July . During this time they were so numerous that you could literally not be out of sight or sound of them at either location. I can only guess that I heard/saw 25 - 35 per visit with no difficulty at each site. There could have been more but I never counted them specifically. They are still common here in early August, but not nearly as vocal. I can probably only see 6 - 8 per visit."

Painted Buntings had an abundant breeding season:
Painted Bunting: (1 photographed) ~6 June (Shirley Wilkerson), Kurten, Brazos County.
Painted Bunting: (20 fledglings) 7 July (Guy Luneau), Texas Eastman in Longview, Harrison County [good breeding season].
Painted Bunting: (1 singing) 7 July (Darrell Vollert); (3 adult males, 1 female) 30 June (Darrell Vollert, Scott and Gail Cole); (2 adult males, 1 female) 21 June (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River at US290, Washington County. [common breeder].
Painted Bunting: (4, including hatch-year birds) 8 July (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [common].
Painted Bunting: (20+) 1 July; (70-80) 8 July (Peter Barnes), south unit, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [large count emphasizes how common this species really is].
Painted Bunting: (4 singing, plus 1 in route) 21 July (Darrell Vollert), Washington-on-the-Brazos SHP, Washington County.
Painted Bunting: (2 singing) 26 July (Darrell Vollert), along FR2621, Sandy Hill, Washington County.
Painted Bunting: (2 males) 2 June; (5 males singing, 1 immature male, 1 female, 5 juveniles) 2 July; (3 males singing, 1 female) 14 July; (2 adult males singing, female feeding a juvenile) 28 July (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County.
Painted Bunting: (4-5 adult males, 1 female, 1 family of 2 juveniles and another 2 juveniles begging a singing adult male to be fed) 11 July; (4 singing) 7 July; (3-4 males singing) 1 July; (4 adult males) 30 June; (10+ adult males) 23 June; (4 males singing) 14 July; (6 males singing, 2 females) 15 July; (16 males singing, 2 females, 2 juveniles) 17 July; (5 adult males singing) 19 July; (3 males singing) 26 July; (1 adult male; 1 male singing; 1 female with 1 juvenile) 29 July; (7 adult males singing, 12+ females and juveniles) 1 August (Darrell Vollert), singing along FM2447 and Brazos River Road, near Chappell Hill, Washington County [good count].
Painted Bunting: (1 adult singing) 25 June; (2 adults singing) 23 July (Darrell Vollert), Floi Ewing's residence; (2 pairs) all summer to at least 28 July (Fred and Mary Brandt), their residence; (1 singing) 30 July (Darrell Vollert), Floi Ewing's residence; (1 adult male singing, 1 female, 1 juvenile) 31 July (Darrell Vollert and Brandt's) Brandt's residence, Chappell Hill subdivision, Washington County.
Painted Bunting: (plentiful young) summer (Frank Bumgardner), China Spring, McLennan County.

As Tim Fennell states it, we've had a bumper crop of Dickcissels this season:
Dickcissel: (no.?) 1 and 9 June (Joe Yelderman), Waco Regional Sewage Treatment Ponds, McLennan County [abundant].
Dickcissel: (1-2 singing) 27 June (Darrell Vollert), singing in a brushy field across the road from a large hayfield along Indian Paintbrush Road between Brenham and Chappell Hill, Washington County [new location].
Dickcissel: (10) 4 July (Derek Muschalek), Lackey Ranch Road, DeWitt County [common].
Dickcissel: (difficult to estimate but numerous, especially near lakeshore, including several recent fledglings) 8 July (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [common, but numbers seem especially good this year].
Dickcissel: (31) 10 July (Chris Merkord), Granger area, Williamson County.
Dickcissel: (12+) 14 July (Kathy Godwin, D. D. Currie), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County.
camera.GIF (1399 bytes) Dickcissel: (20+) 10 June; (100+) 17 June; (75+, mostly small flocks of juveniles) 17 July; (30+) 22 July (Tim Fennell), Granger area of eastern Williamson County.
Dickcissel: (6) 3 June; (4) 9 June; (5 females or juveniles, 10+ males) 23 June; (20+ adult males, females and several juveniles) 30 June; (9) 7 July; (8-10 males, 1 female) 11 July; (12 males singing, 2 females) 14 July; (12 males, 1 female) 15 July; (20+ males singing, 1 female) 17 July; (15+ males singing, 2 juveniles) 19 July; (7-8 singing) 26 July; (1) 29 July; (3 males singing, 1 airborne) 1 August (Darrell Vollert), along FR2447 in the cornfields, Brazos River bottoms, near Chappell Hill, Washington County.

BLACKBIRDS

Red-winged Blackbirds had a good breeding season:
Red-winged Blackbird: (abundant, especially hatch-year birds) 8 July (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [common].
Red-winged Blackbird: (20-25, including many juveniles) all summer (Darrell Vollert), FR2447, Chappell Hill, Washington County.
Red-winged Blackbird: (1) 14 July (Kathy Godwin, D. D. Currie), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County.
Red-winged Blackbird: (20) 17 July (Tim Fennell), Granger area, Williamson County.
Red-winged Blackbird: (15) late July (Dennis Shepler), Milam County.

Common Grackle: (numerous, including many hatch-year birds) 8 July (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [uncommon].

Bronzed Cowbird: (2 banded) 23-23 June (Sumner Dana, Tracey Norris), ranch about 60 miles south of San Antonio, Karnes County.
Bronzed Cowbird: (1 male and up to 2 females) mid-May until mid July (Grant Critchfield), Temple Park on Belton Lake, Bell County [rare].

Grant Critchfield, "... During this same time period Bronzed Cowbirds have been constantly present at Temple Park on Belton Lake. There is always a male and a female and occasionally a second female appears and spends the day. I don't know much about the ecology of Bronzed Cowbirds but it has really surprised me that these individuals are so consistent. The male frequently fluffs out his neck "ruff" and until recently even did his hovering act once in a while. They are easy to locate and never more than 100 yards from a small clump (only four trees) of cottonwoods and willows in the middle of the park. Being "park residents" they are also very tame and completely ignore park visitors. It's easy to watch them from as little as 15 feet for as long as you want to sit there."

Bronzed Cowbird: (1 adult male) 22 June and 2 July (Frank Bumgardner), China Spring, McLennan County [listed as a vagrant in spring on the 1997 McLennan County checklist].

Frank Bumgardner, "the first that I have seen in the county or even know of being confirmed in the twenty-some years I have been here. They just don't seem to get this far east very often."

ORIOLES

Orchard Orioles had a prolific summer:
Orchard Oriole: (1 adult male) 9 June; (two adult males, one female) 23 June; (5+ including one first-summer male) 30 June; (1 singing) 1 July; (4 adult males, 5 females, 1 first summer) 11 July; (2 adult males, 1 female carrying a fecal sac) 14 July; (another pair nesting in a different location, with first-summer male and female carrying insects in their bills) 15 July; (30+ migrating, including two flocks of 12+) 15 July; (2 adult males singing, 2 females) 17 July; (20+ adult males, 1st summer males, females and juveniles) 19 July; (13+ females and first summer males) 26 July; (10+ adult males, females and first summer males) 29 July (Darrell Vollert); (4 adult males, 11+ females and juveniles) 1 August, FM2447 between Brazos River and Chappell Hill, Washington County [evidence of breeding].

Darrell Vollert, 14 July, "Yesterday morning (7/14) while birding along FR2447 in the Brazos River bottom I spent quite a bit of time watching the Orchard Orioles that I have seen all summer there. Found 2 adult males and one female yesterday. A pair of Orchard Orioles were found in a copse of enormous pecan trees in a plowed field between two corn fields. I heard the male singing from the road and decided to walk over to the pecan trees, which were about 70 yards off the road. I soon saw the female in a pecan tree as well. ... The adult male oriole sang boisterously for some time. I walked back to the road and soon found another adult male Orchard Oriole singing in the hackberry trees that line the east side of FR2447 near its dead-end. As I was facing west from the road and looking at the pecan trees I saw the female oriole fly out of one of the pecan trees. She was flying rather low over a cornfield and had a fecal sac in her beak. She dropped it in a cornfield and flew into one of the hackberry trees along FR2447. Finally we have evidence of breeding!"

Orchard Orioles: (10-15) all summer (Grant Critchfield), Lake Belton, Iron Bridge Park (Bell County) and Horseshoe Bend WMA (Coryell County).
Orchard Oriole: (1) 5 June; (1 adult male) 19 June; (1 singing) 3 July (Darrell Vollert), Stella Michalak's residence off US290, one mile west of Brazos River, Washington County.
Orchard Oriole: (1 calling) 7 July (Darrell Vollert), Brazos River at US290, Washington County.
Orchard Oriole: (1) 15 July; (5) 16 July; (flock of 5, including 1 female and 1 first-summer male) 2 August (Darrell Vollert), his backyard, Chappell Hill, Washington County.
Orchard Oriole: (1 male, 1 female) 21 July (Derek Hill leading Prairie & Timbers Audubon trip), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [migrant?].
Orchard Oriole: (3-5 males) 21-24 July (Dennis Shepler), Milam County.
Orchard Oriole: (3 adults males, 2 females) 21 July (Darrell Vollert), in the Live Oak trees along the nature trail behind the visitor's center at Washington-on-the-Brazos SHP, Washington County.
Orchard Oriole: (11) 21 July (Brush Freeman), private ranch near Utley, Bastrop County [migrants?]
Orchard Oriole: (3) 22 July (Derek Muschalek), his yard 11 miles northwest of Yorktown, DeWitt County [first migrant observation].
Orchard Oriole: (1 adult male, 1 female) 23 July (Darrell Vollert), Floi Ewing's residence, Chappell Hill subdivision, Washington County.
Orchard Oriole: (4) 31 July (Derek Muschalek), Huisache grove behind his mailbox, Karnes County.

Hooded Oriole: (2 adults) 4 June (Sally Ann Satagaj and Walter Reinhard), south of Lockhart, Caldwell County [rare].

FINCHES

House Finch continue to increase:
House Finch: (several pairs) 6 June (Mike Manson), College Hills subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [continuing to increase].

Mike Manson, "Several pairs of House Finches continue to visit our feeders. Clearly their beachhead in Brazos County is continually being more firmly established, as reports from Scott Brandes and others confirm. They are all over campus."

House Finch: June (Robert Reeves), Conroe, Montgomery County [expanding territory].

Robert Reeves, "They seem to be established in Conroe. I've seen and heard them at a couple of locations there on multiple occasions this year. We lived in Conroe 1986-92, and they weren't present then. This is the first year I've seen them there."

House Finch: (2 using hummingbird feeders) 26 June (Carolyn Haluska), Waco, McLennan County [behavior].

Carolyn Haluska, "A pair of House finches are also using some of the feeders. They started doing that around here a few years back, or that is when they found our feeders and we first noticed that behavior."

House Finch: (1 pair) 29 June (Darrell Vollert), Harrison Street, Brenham, Washington County.
House Finch: (3) end of July (Dennis Shepler), Milam County.

American Goldfinch: (2 adult females) 3 June; (1 adult male) 4 June; (2 females) a few times later but not recorded (Brian Chapman, fide Richard Payne), Elkins Lake, near Huntsville, Walker County [Almost no June records for Pineywoods, especially later in month].
American Goldfinch: (1 male) 9-11 July (Brenda Muncrief), her feeders, Huntsville, Walker County [only about 2 other summer records for East Texas Pineywoods].

Brenda Muncrief, "I got pictures yesterday and have posted one on my website. Go to http://home.earthlink.net/~butterflybren/ and scroll down the page until you get to "Featured Photo."

Contributors

Mark Adams, Rusty Alderson, Keith Arnold, Lynn Barber, Peter Barnes, Sue and Billie Bernard, Ray Berry, Nancy Bird, Hazel Bluhm, Fred and Mary Brandt, Hugh Brown, Frank Bumgardner, Carolyn and Ray Busse, Traci Jean Carson, Brian Chapman, Scott and Gail Cole, Fred Collins, Margaret Cook, Barbara Corbin, Grant Critchfield, Jane Crone, Claudia de la Cruz, D. D. Currie, Sumner Dana, Sue Davison, Louis Debetaz, Mike Dillon, Joan Dziezyc, Marcia Effinger, Mark Elwonger, Floi Ewing, Jesse Fagan, Tim Fennell, Debbie Finch, Bert Frenz, Brush Freeman, Gary Fritcher, Brian Gibbons, Kathy Godwin, Mary Ann Grahmann, Georgette Guernsey, Carol Gutberlet, Ron Gutberlet, Ron Haaseth, Pat Hall, Carolyn Haluska, Jeffrey Hanson, Ken Hartman, Derek Hill, Peggy Holt, Bill Hughes, Terry Junek, Tracy Keltonic, Richard Kostecke, James Loesch, Guy Luneau, Joan Luneau, Scott Luneau, John McClung, Mike Manson, Mike Masser, Chris Merkord, Charles Mills, Kent and Debbie Moore, Sue Morris, Brenda Muncrief, Jeff Mundy, Derek Muschalek, Brooke Nicotra, Tracey Norris, Richard Payne, David Phalen, Jason Pike, Randy Pinkston, Truman Powell, Ellen Ratoosh, Eddie Ray, Robert Reeves, Walter Reinhard, Bob Row, George Russell, Sally Ann Satagaj, Susan Schaezler, Marion Schott, Cliff Shackelford, Dennis Shepler, Jim Stevenson, Barbara Tilton, Darrell Vollert, Mort Voller, David Weaver, Stan Wellso, Matt White, E. G. White-Swift, John Whittle, Dan Wilkerson, Shirley Wilkerson, Mary Dabney Wilson, David Wolf, Joe Yelderman, Kinjo Yonemoto.


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

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Revised: April 20, 2004.