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.


Winter Season: December 1, 2001 - February 28, 2002


LeSp12101Friendship.jpg (8769 bytes)Le Conte's Sparrow.  Photo by Tim Fennell. 21 January 2002, Friendship Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County.

 

 

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 1300 reports of 230 species from 1 December 2001 to 28 February 2002..

Weather reports:

Peter Barnes, December, Northeast Texas area, "December was relatively warm and devoid of major cold fronts to push down visitors from the north. … The warm weather probably contributed to the lack of reports of winter finches and longspurs."

Tim Fennell, December, Williamson County, "November ended with rainfall up by almost 8 inches above the average for the month. December rainfall was up almost 2 inches above average levels. As a result Granger Lake and stock ponds in the area were overfull and standing water in agricultural fields, pastures and ditches was a common sight throughout the area all season, perhaps making it harder than normal to see concentrations of waterfowl. "

Peter Barnes, 6 January, Freestone County, "The north unit of Richland Creek WMA is no longer under water, although it is still fairly muddy. ... There were approximately 1,200 ducks there of 8 expected species and 243 flyover Snow Geese."

Randy Pinkston, December-January, Bell County, "Continuing a trend from last fall, the first half of December was warm and wet. As noted in my fall report, I believe all this water has a neutral effect at best on local birding. In some ways it seems detrimental. Woodlots have had their rich understories gutted by longstanding flood water since the fall season. As a result, wrens, towhees, Zonotrichia sparrows, and others of the 'thicket and bramble ilk' have been locally scarce this winter.

"CBC weather in the second half of December was generally fair and cooler but without any strong cold fronts. While these bluebird days provided great potential for CBC birding and participation, I'll bet lackluster numbers were tallied for winter residents such as Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Cedar Waxwing, and even American Goldfinch. I'm not sure if this was due to the lack of fronts or the aforementioned lack of understory, or both, but the result has been relatively dull woodland birding this winter.

"January began with a rare snowfall that resulted in a beautiful, albeit thin and short-lived, touch to the local landscape. This was followed by an arctic blast that dropped temperatures into the low-20s on the 3rd. The rest of the month was characterized by several mild cold fronts alternating with moist warming trends. South winds prevailed for several days at month's end and we reached an unseasonable 80 degrees on the afternoon of the 29th. Waxwings and American Goldfinches finally began to show up in January. I heard no local reports of irruptive species such as Pine Siskin or Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Brown Creeper and Golden-crowned Kinglet remained scarce."

Ellen Ratoosh, 4 January, Brazos County, "The cold weather this week finally brought me a few Chipping and Field Sparrows, but in general this winter sparrows are pretty scarce in my yard. "

Keith Arnold, early January, Brazos County, "Weather 1 January and 8 January = 'COLD' in one word."

Ellen Ratoosh, 26 January, Brazos County, "Darrell and I led the RBAS sparrow trip today at the Rangeland Ecology site behind Easterwood Airport. About 14 people came, although it was quite chilly in the morning, about 30 degrees. Skies started out clear, then became mostly cloudy by 12:30 when the trip ended. The day warmed to about 60 without much wind."

Ellen Ratoosh, 24 February, Brazos County, "A Barn Swallow was over my house today 2/24, my first of season. Another warm day with south winds."

Randy Pinkston, February, Bell County, "February was a cool month temperature-wise. Toward month's end, in fact, on the 27th, we had the coldest morning of the entire season. It was also a relatively dry month in my estimation."

David Wolf, late winter report, Pineywoods Scissortails, "This year some of our coldest winter nights came later in February and early March than expected."

Brush Freeman, Winter report, "Despite a lot of weather it was a dry winter on the central coast with only small, light rain events during the period. There was a distinct shortage of sparrows this period in both central Texas and on the central coast. Also in very short supply this winter were Brown Thrashers, and to some extent Hermit thrushes. Species that appeared to be more numerous than usual included E. Towhees which could be found easily in the Bastrop area (atypical) and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers along the coast."

Jesse Fagan, Winter report, East Texas, " The start of the winter birding season began as the fall ended with mild and unseasonably warm temperatures. This lackluster start was compounded by the absence of any strong frontal movements from the north until late December and early January. At this time, the East Texas region experienced several days of cold weather with lows hovering around 20 F. In general, the colder weather didn't arrive until late February and early March. The last cold front, a true "blue-norther", passed through our area in mid-March. The typical weather during any given day this winter was cool in the morning (lows around 30 F), but warming considerably by mid-afternoon (highs around 60 F)."

Bird Sightings

LOONS THROUGH ANHINGAS

Pacific Loon: (1) 3 February (Terry Maxwell), O. H. Ivie Reservoir, Coleman County [casual].

Pied-billed Grebe: (80+) 18 December (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird, Georgette Guernsey), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [high count].

Horned Grebes made a fairly good showing this winter in Central and Eastern Texas.
Horned Grebe: (1) 3 December (Brush Freeman), large stock tank, western Milam County [rare].
Horned Grebe: (2) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County [rare].
Horned Grebe: (3) 18 December (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird, Georgette Guernsey); (1) 26 December (Nancy Bird), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [uncommon].
Horned Grebe: (2) 27 December (Jesse Fagan, David Wolf), off Rayburn Park on lower Sam Rayburn Reservoir, San Augustine County [uncommon].
Horned Grebe: (up to 6) 16 December to 26 January; (1) 19 February (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area on Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [occasional; late departure?].
Horned Grebe: (1) 19 February (Laura Bottone) Lindale Club Lake, Smith County [uncommon].
Horned Grebe: (no.?) 20 February (Jay & Laura Packer), Lake Coleman, Coleman County [rare or occasional?; little known about this area].

Eared Grebe: (1) 15 December (David Phalen), Finfeather Lake, Bryan, Brazos County [occasional].
Eared Grebe: (1) 8 January 2002 (Keith Arnold), Country Club Lake, Bryan, Brazos County [occasional].
Eared Grebe: (1) 26 January (Tim Fennell, TOS Field Trip), Granger Lake, Williamson County [occasional].
Eared Grebe: (no.?) 20 February (Jay & Laura Packer), Lake Coleman, Coleman County [uncommon?; little known about this area].

Aechmorphorus grebe (probably Western): (2) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County [casual].

Western Grebe: (1) 25 December (Andy Donnelly), near the dam, Alcoa Lake, Milam County [casual].

American White Pelican: (1520) 31 December (Truman Powell), Trinidad CBC, Henderson County [unusually large number].

Brown Pelican: (1) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County [rare inland; first county record].

Double-crested Cormorant: (52,337) 31 December (Truman Powell), Trinidad CBC, Henderson County [unusually large number].

Anhinga: (1) 10 December (Eddie Ray), Texas Eastman at Longview, Harrison County [occasional].
Anhinga: (2) 20-22 December (David Wolf, Mimi Hoppe Wolf, Robert Truss), swamp on the Dorr Creek (St's Rest) Road, south Nacogdoches County [occasional].
Anhinga: (1) 22 December to 26 January (Louis Debetaz, et al.), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [occasional; one has wintered here the past several years].
Anhinga: (1) 11 January (Tyson Hart, Kim Crumpler), Flag Pond, Lake Somerville, Lee County [occasional].
Anhinga: (1) 19 February (Brush Freeman), Shipp Lake just east of Smithville, Bastrop County [early arrival].

EGRETS THROUGH STORKS

Many egrets, herons, night-herons, ibises and spoonbills tarried late into winter, perhaps owing to the mild weather at least at the start.

Great Egret: (~25) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County [good count].

Tricolored Heron: (1) 3 December (Brush Freeman), between Beyersville and Noack, south of Granger Lake, Williamson County [very rare in winter].

Cattle Egret: (1 in flight southwest) 20 January (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [rare in January; out of season].
Cattle Egret: (5) 26 January (Darrell Vollert), along Bob Moore Road, Moore Farms, south Brazos County [rare in January; out of season].
Cattle Egret: (1) 11 February (Guy Luneau), Gregg County [rare in February in Pineywoods].
Cattle Egret: (1) 15 February (Darrell Vollert), FM1155 just west of Washington-on-the-Brazos SHP, Washington County [early arrival or rare wintering individual].
Cattle Egret: (90) 18 February (Brush Freeman), Shipp Lake, Bastrop County [early arrival].

Green Heron: (1) 2 December (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert and TOS field trip), Moore Farms, south Brazos County [late departure].
Green Heron: (1) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County [rare in winter].

Black-crowned Night-Heron: (1) 2 December (Darrell Vollert and TOS field trip), Moore Farms, south Brazos County [rare].
Black-crowned Night-Heron: (1) 15 December (Larry & Tonna Harris-Haller), Forest Lake, Brazos County [rare].
Black-crowned Night-Heron: (1) 4 and 16 December (Nancy Bird), Lufkin County Club Lake, Angelina County [occasional; same location where species has been reported in prior years].
Black-crowned Night-Heron: (2) 13 January (Ron Baltzeger), Wright Patman Lake, Cass County [rare].

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron: (2) 28 February (Eddie Ray), Texas Eastman in Longview, Harrison County [early arrival; no February records shown on Pineywoods checklist].

White Ibis: (1 immature) 31 December (Guy Luneau, Joan Luneau, Scott Luneau), Lake Murvaul, Panola County [rare in winter; first record for Tenaha CBC].

Roseate Spoonbill: (6) 14 December (Jim Connally); (2) 25 December (fide Alan Byboth), Camp Tyler, Smith County [very rare in winter; perhaps only two other winter records for all of northeast Texas].

Wood Stork: (30) 11 January (Tyson Hart, Kim Crumpler), Flag Pond, Lake Somerville, Lee County [very unusual; first Central Oaks and Prairies area record for January; only other winter record is 25 February 1995 in Limestone County].

WATERFOWL

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck: (80) 18 February (Brush Freeman); (107) 22 February (Brush Freeman, Jeffrey Hanson), Crystal Lake, ~5 miles west of Bastrop, Bastrop County [unusually large number].

Fulvous Whistling-Duck: (32) 11 January (Tyson Hart, Kim Crumpler), Flag Pond, Lake Somerville, Lee County [rare; less than a dozen Central Oaks & Prairies records and very few in winter].

Ross's Geese were much more common in the Oaks and Prairies and East Texas regions of Texas this winter. Until recently quite rare, now they can be seen mixed in many if not most flocks of Snow Geese.
Ross's Goose: (1 in flock of small flock of Snow Geese) 1 December (Darrell Vollert, TOS field trip), Gibbons Creek Reservoir, Grimes County.
Ross's Goose: (13 mixed with 1050 Snow Geese) 1 December (Dorothy Metzler), Caddo Lake count, Harrison/Marion counties.

Peter Barnes, on CBC's, "Geese were well represented, with unusually high counts of 1,050 Snow Geese (m.ob.) and 13 Ross' Geese (Dorothy Metzler, MD) on the Caddo Lake count, 35 Canada Geese on the Lake O' the Pines CBC (GL, ER), a very rare blue morph of Ross' Goose at Lake Tawakoni on Dec 2 (MW), 3 Ross' Geese on the Trinidad CBC (TP) and the continuing resident Ross' Goose at the Lake Tyler concession area on the Tyler CBC (PB)."

Ross's Goose: (2 in flock of 70 Snow Geese) 2 December (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert and TOS field trip), Moore Farms, south Brazos County.
Ross's Goose: (~10 among ~90-100 Snow Geese) 3 December (Brush Freeman), winter wheat field on CR 438, between Beyersville and Noack, Williamson County.
Ross's Goose: (1 in flock of 175 Snow Geese) 7 December (Jesse Fagan), Nacogdoches ponds, Nacogdoches County.
Ross's Goose: (total of 5 in flocks of 173 white form Snow Geese and 27 blue phase Snow Geese) 15 December (Darrell Vollert, Sue Ruotsala, Billie Bernard), Lick Creek Park and Rock Prairie Road, College Station, Brazos County.
Ross's Goose: (1 in 2 flocks of 64 Snow Geese) 16 December (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County.
Ross's Goose: (2) 22 December; (5) 27 January (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County.
Ross's Goose: (3) 31 December (Truman Powell), Trinidad CBC, Henderson County.
Ross's Goose: (1) continuing through December (Peter Barnes), Lake Tyler concession area, Smith County [continuing resident].
Ross's Goose: (32 in flock of 3000 Snow Geese) 25 January (Fred Collins), Hebert Road, southeastern Waller County.

Fred Collins, "I saw these Ross Geese at the edge of the flock of 3000 Snow Geese. Didn't work at it or even work most of the flock. While 32 seems high, I would not have been surprised at 5-10% which would have been as many as 300 if I had worked at it."

Ross's Goose: (3 in flock of 250 Snow Geese) 26 January (Ellen Ratoosh, RBAS field trip), Rangeland Ecology site behind Easterwood Airport, College Station, Brazos County.
Ross's Goose: (35+ in flocks of 2000+ Snow Geese) 13 February (Darrell Vollert, Ellen Ratoosh), Moore Farms, south Brazos County.
Ross's Goose: (1) 15 February (Darrell Vollert, et al.), Washington-on-the-Brazos SHP, Washington County [new species for park checklist].
Ross's Goose: (1 in flock of Snow Geese) 23 February (Ellen Ratoosh), Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [increasingly common].
Ross's Goose: (4 with 200 Snow Geese) 24 February (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County.

Tundra Swan: (2 possible) 9 February to end of period (P. D. Hulce, et al.), Katy Prairie, Waller County [rare].

Gadwall: (850) 17 February (Brush Freeman), observed from Hwy 71 on Shipp Lake just east of Smithville, Bastrop County [unusually large number].

Eurasian Wigeon: (1 male) 17 February (Brush Freeman), observed from Hwy 71 on Shipp Lake just east of Smithville, Bastrop County [TBRC Review species; first area record].

Brush Freeman, "Around 11:50 this morning I found what I believe is a drake Eurasian Wigeon at Shipp Lake. near Smithville in Bastrop Co. The bird was with a group of ~120 Am. Wigeons. Shipp Lake is just east of Smithville and is bisected by Hwy 71. The bird was seen toward the south end of the lake portion of that is south of 71. The conditions were not perfect at this time of day and the bird was somewhat backlit and some distance out but the rich rufous colored head with a creamy colored crown and gray flanks could be seen, though I could not really see much other detail.

American Wigeon: (1600) 17 February (Brush Freeman), observed from Hwy 71 on Shipp Lake just east of Smithville, Bastrop County [unusually large number].

Mottled Duck: (1 female) 26 January (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy, Andrew Harrod), pond on Alligator Road, Bell County [occasional].

Blue-winged Teal: (4) 26 January (Ellen Ratoosh, Darrell Vollert, RBAS field trip), Rangeland Ecology site behind Easterwood Airport, College Station, Brazos County [occasional in January].
Blue-winged Teal: (1) 3 February (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [early arrival].

Cinnamon Teal: (no.?) 16 February (Randy Pinkston), Bell County [occasional].
Cinnamon Teal: (1 male) 25 February (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare].
Cinnamon Teal: (1 drake) 24 February (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare].

Greater Scaup: (1) 16 December (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area on Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [rare].

Randy Pinkston, "This afternoon I had a couple of hours to work the Union Grove Wildlife Area on Stillhouse Hollow Lake in Bell County. … Anyway, I set my scope up and began to study the line of coots in more detail. One of the first ducks I spotted was a male scaup. It wasn't in full adult male winter plumage, just kind of a dingy-sided, dull and unremarkable male scaup. The kind of scaup I learned, perhaps unwisely, not to get excited about a long time ago. I looked at Canvasbacks and coots for a bit and then returned to my scaup. He was the only scaup around. He spent most of his time just sitting and preening. That was a long time because I ended up watching this single duck from 12:15 until 1:15 p.m. I only saw him dive one time. The rest of the time he was resting on the waves in a very relaxed mode.

"I'm not sure what it was exactly that got me started with studying this solitary scaup so closely. Maybe it was good fortune that coots and Canvasbacks were the only other birds on the water. Actually, two Horned Grebes also swam by during the time I was there. Anyway, over the course of the next hour this dingy male scaup became a convincing Greater Scaup on every diagnostic feature I could muster in the field- head shape was perfect, no matter the bird's orientation, as were bill shape and size, nail size, low profile on the water, and so forth. I'm not sure of the age/plumage. It was either a 'near-adult' immature male, or an adult male with retained features of eclipse plumage. I was amazed. It was my first Greater Scaup in eight fall/winter seasons in Bell County."

Long-tailed Duck: (1 female) 14 and 17 December (Brush Freeman), near Delhi on SH 304, Caldwell County [casual, probable first county record].
Long-tailed Duck: (1 female) 4 January (Jesse Fagan, David Wolf), Nacogdoches ponds, Nacogdoches County [rare].

Jesse Fagan, " A female Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) was found at the Nacogdoches Sewage Ponds on 1/4/02 (Nacogdoches, JF) preceding a nasty weather system that brought 2 inches of rain to the Nacogdoches area. The bird was photographed, but was only seen by one other person (DW) before it disappeared. She apparently stayed for only one evening."

Common Goldeneye: (1 drake) 8 December (Tim Fennell), Meadow Lark, Round Rock, Williamson County [occasional].
Common Goldeneye: (1) 15 December (David Phalen), Finfeather Lake, Bryan, Brazos County [rare].
Common Goldeneye: (1 male) 12-16 December (Oscar Carmona), Huntsville State Park, Walker County [first time at state park, but uncommon in Pineywoods region].

Common Merganser: (2 females) 20 February (Jay & Laura Packer), Lake Coleman, Coleman County [casual].

Red-breasted Merganser: (1) 25 November (Jesse Fagan, David Wolf); (4) 9 December (Jesse Fagan); (1 female) 29 December (Nancy Bird), TX 147 bridge, San Augustine County [occasional].
Red-breasted Merganser: (1 female with Hooded Mergansers) 3 December (Brush Freeman), between Beyersville and Noack, Williamson County [occasional].
Red-breasted Merganser: (2) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County [occasional].
Red-breasted Merganser: (1 female) 20 December (Keith Arnold, John Jackman), small pond of FM 244 about 3 miles south of CR 180, Grimes County [occasional].

KITES, HAWKS AND EAGLES

Osprey: ("at least 8") 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County [good count].
Osprey: (1) 20 February (Jay & Laura Packer), Lake Coleman, Coleman County [probably uncommon; little known about this area].

Swallow-tailed Kite: (1) 9-10 January (David Lucas), 1431 1 mile west of I35, Williamson County [rare].

White-tailed Kite: (1) 30 January (Brush Freeman), Hill's Prairie, Bastrop County [occasional].

Good numbers of Bald Eagles were again reported this winter.
Bald Eagle: (2 adults) 1 December (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert, TOS field trip), Gibbons Creek Reservoir, Grimes County.
Bald Eagle: (1 immature) 3 December (Brush Freeman), big lake near CR 438, between Beyersville and Noack, Williamson County.
Bald Eagle: (1 adult, 1 subadult) mid-December (Oscar Carmona), Lake Raven, Huntsville State Park, Walker County.
Bald Eagle: (1 adult) 20 December (Gibbons Creek CBC) Gibbons Creek Reservoir, Grimes County.
Bald Eagle: (2 adults, 2 immatures) 22 December (Pineywoods CBC including Nancy Bird, et al.), Angelina County.
Bald Eagle: (2 adults) 13 January (Georgette Guernsey), Ryan Lake irrigation field area, Angelina County.
Bald Eagle: (2 adults, 1 immature) 18 December (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird, Georgette Guernsey); (1 immature) 12 January (Louis Debetaz); (2 adults, 1 immature) 15 January (Georgette Guernsey), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [gathering nesting material].
Bald Eagle: (2 adults) ~10 February (Karl Kosciuch, Meg Byerly), along a creek about 1 mile north of the Turf Farms, Brazos bottoms, Burleson County.
Bald Eagle: (1 sub-adult) 13 February (Darrell Vollert, Ellen Ratoosh), Moore Farms, Brazos County.
Bald Eagle: (1) 17 February (Shirley Wilkerson, Dan Wilkerson, Arch Dillard), CR 190, Grimes County.
Bald Eagle: (1) 20 February (Jay & Laura Packer), Lake Coleman, Coleman County.
Bald Eagle: (1 pair) 16 January to 22 February (Guy Luneau), his property, Rusk County.

Northern Goshawk: (1) 14 December (Alan Byboth), Hill Creek near Lake Tyler, Smith County [no accepted or confirmed reports for East Texas Pineywoods although several reports; only 14 documented and accepted sightings for State of Texas; apparently details for this sighting have not been reported to the TBRC].

Alan Byboth on 26 December, "I saw the Goshawk on the 14th just north of Hill Creek on Bascom Rd. I got an excellent look as it perched in the top of a mid sized Sweet Gum about 100ft away with the sun on it at 9:00 am. It was a juvenile, very brown and streaked with a very prominent white supercilium and a white butt."

White-tailed Hawk: (1) 5 December (Brush Freeman), La Grange area, Fayette County [rare].

Brush Freeman, "Just southwest of La Grange near the intersection of and Bridge Valley Road I saw a HY White-tailed Hawk. This is at least 25 miles from the nearest location I know them to be regular."

White-tailed Hawk: (1-2) 4 January (Fred Collins), Porter Road between Franz and Morton Ranch, Waller County [occasional].
White-tailed Hawk: (1) 25 January (Fred Collins), Pattison Road, southeastern Waller County [occasional].

Zone-tailed Hawks were reported an amazing number of times and in a very wide range, including far east in the Pineywoods of Walker County.
Zone-tailed Hawk: (1) 2 December (David Pupke), Honey Creek area, New Braunfels, Comal County [very rare].
Zone-tailed Hawk: (1) 14 December (Graham Gips), Hwy 71, 5 miles east of Bergstrom, far eastern Travis County [very rare].
Zone-tailed Hawk: (1) 19 December (CBC, P. D. Hulce compiler), Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR, Colorado County [rare].
Zone-tailed Hawk: (1) 7 January (Stephen Sigman, fide Austin RBA), 5 miles south of Blanco, Blanco County [not listed for January on new Edward's Plateau checklist; uncommon late March to early September].
Zone-tailed Hawk: (1) 12 January (Helen Rajzek, fide Austin RBA), Palmetto State Park, Gonzales County [rare].
Zone-tailed Hawk: (1 adult) 16 February (Oscar Carmona), Huntsville State Park, Walker County [first record for Pineywoods; far east and north of normal territory].

Oscar Carmona, "The bird was observed by myself and 6 other birders from the Houston Outdoor Group. Apparently, none of the group had any experience with this species. We observed the bird for approximately 5 minutes as it flew towards us and banked around several times, gained altitude, and eventually soared off high to the west.

"The bird was large. Much larger than the American Crows and Red-shouldered Hawk that were flying in the general vicinity. The dark two tone underwing pattern, longish yellow legs and beak, and white bands on the tail were very visible. The bird also briefly did its Turkey Vulture mimicry while it flew and banked around. The only other species which may be confused with our bird include:
1) Broad-winged Hawk-dark phase-much smaller bird, shorter legs, flesh-colored legs, lighter underwing pattern.
2) Turkey Vulture- unfeathered head, no white -tail bands, non yellow legs and bill.

"I have seen approximately 50-60 ZTH's in Texas, Arizona, and Mexico. I am positive of my sighting. This sighting apparently represents the first record for the East Texas Pineywoods."

Harlan's Hawks and other atypical forms of Red-tailed Hawks were reported in higher numbers than usual this winter.
Harlan's (Red-tailed) Hawk: (1) 3 December (Brush Freeman), between Beyersville and Noack, Williamson County [occasional].
Red-tailed Hawk: (1 dark morph, "An almost jet black bird with a bright red tail") 3 December (Brush Freeman), between Beyersville and Noack, Williamson County [rare form].
Harlan's (Red-tailed) Hawk: (1 returning for 3rd straight winter) 9 December (Randy Pinkston), along Gooseneck road between Salado and Schwertner, Bell County [occasional form].
Harlan's (Red-tailed) Hawk: (1) 26 December (Brush Freeman), near the railroad tracks between Coupland and Elgin on SH 95, Bastrop/Williamson counties [occasional form].
Harlan's (Red-tailed) Hawk: (1) 26 January (Tim Fennell, TOS Field Trip, and independently Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy, Andrew Harrod), CR 353, Granger area, Williamson County [uncommon form].
Fuerte's (Red-tailed) Hawk: (1) 10 February (Fred Collins), Baethe Road, Waller County [uncommon form]
Harlan's (Red-tailed) Hawk: (1) ~10 February (Karl Kosciuch and Meg Byerly), FM 50 about 0.25 miles north of the Turf Farms, Brazos bottoms, Burleson County [rare form].
Krider's (Red-tailed) Hawk: (1) 15 February (Shirley Wilkerson, Dan Wilkerson), Cambridge Drive, Brazos County [uncommon form].

Ferruginous Hawk: (1 light phase adult) 29 October; 27-28 December; 4 and 15 February (Fred Collins), Baethe/Cochran/Brown/Betka roads area, Waller County [rare].
Ferruginous Hawk: (1) 4 January (Fred Collins), Porter Road between Franz and Morton Ranch, Waller County [rare].
Ferruginous Hawk: (1 light-morph immature) 12, 15 and 19 January; 25 February (Guy Luneau, Eddie Ray, Hazel Bluhm), Sabine Mining Company, Henderson County [very rare].

Jesse Fagan, " This is a very rare bird for our region and represents only the third Pineywoods record. Just outside the Pineywoods, another Ferruginous Hawk, this time an immature, was reported near Trinidad on 2/23/02 (Henderson, T.A.S.)."

Rough-legged Hawk: (1) 1 December (Eric Carpenter), northeast of dam, O.H. Ivie Reservoir, Coleman County [rare].

Eric Carpenter, "This morning I ran across an adult dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk near O.H. Ivie Reservoir in Coleman County. At one point, the bird was perched with its back to me and I notice that, while perched, the birds wing-tips clearly exceeded/went-past the end of the tail. I can't say I've ever made a note of that before. The rest of the day, I made a point of looking at this feature on other buteos. I only saw Red-tails the rest of the day and none of them had wing-tips that exceeded the tail end - most were about even.

"Reading Wheeler/Clark's Photographic Guide to NA Raptors, it mentions what I saw - that wing-tips exceed the tail on Rough-legged, and that they fall just short or are even on Red-tailed (and usually fall short on Ferruginous). I don't know if this is true 100% of the time but it sounds like it is at least a helpful clue. Recalling past discussions on Texbirds over the last couple years, there have been debates on early or southerly Rough-leggeds (though juveniles wings probably won't exceed tail) as well as ID problems on dark-morph (Harlan's vs. dark-phase RL) buteos. Just something else to look at/for should you run across a problematic bird."

Rough-legged Hawk: (2) 30 December (Truman Powell, et al.), Trinidad CBC, Henderson/Navarro Counties [rare].
Rough-legged Hawk: (1 light-morph) 5 January (Jeffrey Hanson, Rob Fergus), FM 1100 about 3 miles north of Hwy 290, far eastern Travis County [rare].

Jeffrey Hanson, "Rob Fergus and I had a (light-morph) Rough-legged Hawk, in eastern Travis Co. this afternoon. After looking at all the books I have, my take is that it's a juvenile bird that has begun molting into adult plumage (the outer retrices appeared adult-like to me). This bird was found, and seen with a scope, near the bridge crossing FM 1100, about 3 miles north of Hwy 290, after the first large right-hand turn (if you're coming from Hwy 290). In the area there's quite a bit of trees and bushes along the small creek the bridge crosses. The bird was seen in the tops of the trees, and perched on a nearby fence post, and was quite skittish."

Crested Caracaras are making a concerted movement northward in Texas, with many sightings in areas were they have been scarce or non-existent in the past and increased numbers where they have been uncommon previously.
Crested Caracara: (3) 1 December (Brush Freeman), Colorado River near Utley, Bastrop County [uncommon].
Crested Caracara: (11) 5 December (Brush Freeman), La Grange area, Fayette County [good count].
Crested Caracara: (1) 8 December (Jeffrey Hanson); (3) 9 December (Tim Fennell, Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood); (1) 13 December (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake area, Williamson County [uncommon].
Crested Caracara: (1) 15 December (Toni-Ann Mistretta, Dita Geary), Range Area next to Easterwood Airport, College Station, Brazos County [occasional; rare on CBC].
Crested Caracara: (1) 15 December (Larry & Tonna Harris-Haller), Clay Pit Road, south of Wellborn, Brazos County [occasional; rare on CBC].
Crested Caracara: (2) 27 December (Matt White), Rains County [rare].

Matt White, "On Thursday December 27 I guided a couple of birders from Florida to Lake Tawakoni. While we were driving slowly along Rains CR 1475 we found a flock of cowbirds and blackbirds that was rather large so we stopped to scan for a Yellow-headed Blackbird. After watching them work closer and closer to the road I spotted the white head of a Crested Caracara as it rested on the ground perhaps 150 yards distant in the cattle pasture. After a few moments the caracara flew a short distance and landed in the very top of a tree along the fence row. Then a second bird flew over us carrying a stick or a long blade of grass. This bird then landed in the top of a nearby cedar tree on the opposite side of the road from the other bird but less than 50 yards from us--it was as if this bird was unaware of our presence. I approached and took several pictures of this bird and as I was leaving he then flew straight for the female perched in the tree across the road and proceeded to copulate awkwardly with a great deal of wing flapping and balancing just to stay in place. This lasted about 20 seconds during which we heard them making a high-pitched series of "keks." Crested Caracara range northward in Texas through Hopkins and Delta Counties on the eastern edge of their range, but breeding evidence such as this at the northern fringes of this range is really scarce."

Jim Sealy, "The Crested Caracara is obviously moving rapidly Northward, for unknown reasons. In keeping with Matt's sighting near Lake Tawakoni and the one that was being seen near Lake Benbrook (Tarrant County), on Friday, 21 December, Phoebe saw one approximately 8 miles South of Decatur (Wise County), on Highway 287. Brush is excited, since one has not been recorded in Oklahoma and Wise County is getting pretty close to his home land."

Crested Caracara: (7) 30 December (Truman Powell, et al.), Trinidad CBC, Navarro/Henderson counties [Truman commented, "more Caracaras in one day than ever before this far north." Prior CBC's: 1 in 2000, 2 in 1999, 5 in 1998].

Peter Barnes, December NETFO report, "The Trinidad CBC also tallied ... a high count of 7 Crested Caracara, and 2 Merlins (all TP). 2 copulating Crested Caracaras were seen on Dec 27 (MW) in Rains Co., which is probably the northern limit of their breeding range in Texas."

Crested Caracara: (5) 30 December (Area 5, Waco CBC), east Waco, McLennan County [uncommon].

Karen Arquette, "I just got the results of our #5 area of the Waco count .. as far as the Caracaras .. they were in the area of the nests we saw .. no mating but .. what I would call bonding .. hanging out and displaying."

Crested Caracara: (3) 30 December (Heather Mathewson), Hwy 21, Bastrop County [uncommon].
Crested Caracara: (3) 25 January (Fred Collins), Hebert-Morrison Road area, southeastern Waller County [fairly common].
Crested Caracara: (1) 26 January (Tim Fennell, TOS Field Trip), Round Hall Rd., Bell County. [uncommon].
Crested Caracara: (1) 16 January (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy, Andrew Harrod), Milam County [uncommon].
Crested Caracara: (1) 9 February (Paul La Mont), Bosque County [status?].

Paul La Mont, "Today I saw a caracara in Bosque county. I have never seen one before and was quite excited. To the best of my knowledge (which is certainly limited) this bird does not often come this far north, and one reference I have says that the only caracaras ever seen here in Bosque county were two birds reported in the sixties. Is this true?"

Bert Frenz, "Crested Caracara is listed as uncommon on the McLennan County checklist and is listed as rare in the Northeast portion of Edwards Plateau checklist".

Crested Caracara: (1) 10 February (Fred Collins), Baethe Road, Waller County [fairly common].
Crested Caracara: (1) 13 February (Darrell Vollert, Ellen Ratoosh), Moore Farms, Brazos County [uncommon].
Crested Caracara: (1) 21 February (Shirley Wilkerson), Steep Hollow Road, Brazos County [uncommon].
Crested Caracara: (pair) 13 December to end of period (Randy Pinkston), Temple, Bell County [breeding pair].

Randy Pinkston, 29 Dec 2001, "Last spring a pair of caracaras nested along Shallow Ford road on the south side of Temple in Bell County. I first noticed the pair in the area in February. About ten days ago I was birding along the same road on my drive home from the hospital when I spotted a caracara, presumably one member of the same pair. I stopped to watch and soon a second bird appeared. Amazingly, one of the two caracaras briefly mounted the other's back side atop a fencepost while I watched. It wasn't long enough to count for anything, I don't think, but there was no doubt about what was going on. I think mock copulations can be part of pair bond formation, or maybe it was brought on by the recent fair weather and generally warm winter thus far. I'd bet they'll nest again this spring but it seems awfully early yet."

Merlins were observed more often than usual this winter.
Merlin: (1) 2 December (Sam Fruehling, Fred Dalbey), Alligator Rd and CR 352, Granger area, Williamson County [occasional].
Merlin: (1) 3 December (Brush Freeman), western Milam County [occasional].
Merlin: (1) 9 December (Randy Pinkston), Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [occasional].
Merlin: (1) 10 December (Eddie Ray); (1) 19 January (NETFO Field Trip), Sabine Mining Company land, Harrison County [rare].
Merlin: (2) 15 December (Karen Arquette, et al.), one at Bible Hill and Compton and another close to where 317 and the Little Bosque meet, Crawford CBC, west Waco, McLennan County [occasional].
Merlin: (1) 20 December (Chuck Hamilton), Hwy 30 and 90, Roans Prairie, Grimes County [very rare in winter; first time on this CBC].
Merlin: (2) 30 December (Truman Powell, et al.), Trinidad CBC, Navarro/Henderson counties [rare].
Merlin: (1) 4 January (Ellen Ratoosh), floodplain of Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [rare in winter].
Merlin: (1 male) 10 January (Randy Pinkston), Temple, Bell County [occasional].

Prairie Falcons were reported in several locations this winter, a species that sometimes goes unreported throughout the season.
Prairie Falcon: (1) 9 December (Willie Sekula, John & Barbara Ribble), 2 mi. sw. of Karnes City, Karnes County [rare].
Prairie Falcon: (1) 30 December (Truman Powell, et al.), Trinidad CBC, Navarro County [rare; first time on CBC].

Truman Powell, "We had one new species, Prairie Falcon, viewed on kill at 75 yards, flying off to 300 yards in clear weather -- what a hoot!! ... Trinidad is nearly on the Trinity River, which is the dividing line of Henderson and Navarro Counties. The Prairie Falcon was in Navarro County, Southeast quarter.

Peter Barnes, December NETFO report, "The most remarkable sighting this month was of a Prairie Falcon seen on kill on the Trinidad CBC (TP). This is an extremely rare fall migrant in north-east Texas, with 6 records ranging from mid-September through December."

Prairie Falcon: (1) 1 January (Cypress Creek CBC), north of Sharp Road/ Hebert, west of the Nelson Farms area, Waller/Harris counties [rare].

PHEASANTS THROUGH CRANES

Ring-necked Pheasant: (1 male) 18 January (Jim Hinson, Ken Hartman), west of the Nelson Farms Observation Platform, Waller County [rare; ~2 miles east of a July observation by Fred Collins].

Wild Turkey: (2) 1 December (Ron Baltzeger, John Sheffield), Caddo Lake count, Harrison/Marion counties [new for count].
Wild Turkey: (3) 13 December (Graham Gips), private ranch, Fayette County.
Wild Turkey: (1) 24 February (Mimi Wolf, Jesse Fagan et al., TOS field trip), Boykins Spring in the Angelina National Forest, Angelina County [occasional].

Virginia Rail: (1) 23-24 February (Tim Fennell), marsh on east side of Granger Lake dam, Williamson County [rare].

Sora: (1 heard) 1 December (Jerry Brite), Gibbons Creek Reservoir, Grimes County [occasional].
Sora: (1) 23 December (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [occasional].

Wintering Sandhill Cranes were more conspicuous and in larger numbers this season than previously in the Central Oaks and Prairies region.
Sandhill Crane: (~45) 3 December (Brush Freeman), between Beyersville and Noack, Williamson County [uncommon].
Sandhill Crane: (350-400) 8 December (Jeffrey Hanson), Williamson County.

Jeffrey Hanson, birded Granger Lake & many points southeast through Thrall to Thorndale and south to Beaukiss. "350-400 - Sandhill Crane (a conservative extrapolated estimate based on 150-200 counted in fields, and at least as many seen, early, in several distant flocks)."

Sandhill Crane: (200+) 9 December (Tim Fennell, Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), flying east of CR 438; (70+) 13 December (Tim Fennell), CR 434, Granger area, Williamson County.
Sandhill Crane: (67) 9 December; (50) 20 January; (12) 2 February (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County.
Sandhill Crane: (2) 15 December (Cathy Liles, Elaine Owens), Turf Farms; (~1000) 5 January (Cathy Liles), Buffalo Ranch, Brazos bottoms, Burleson County.
Sandhill Crane: (50+) 26 January (Darrell Vollert), flying north along SH105 near FM159 in southern Brazos County.
Sandhill Crane: (300+) 4 February (Fred Collins), Brown Road between Baethe and Betka, Waller County.
Sandhill Crane: (100) 10 February (Fred Collins), Cochran Road, Waller County [fairly common].
Sandhill Crane: (5) 13 February (Darrell Vollert, Ellen Ratoosh), Moore Farms, southern Brazos County.
Sandhill Crane: (8) 15-16 February (Bill Elsik), CR 246 near FM 2039, Burleson County.
Sandhill Crane: (57) 17 February (Brush Freeman), over Utley, Bastrop County [uncommon].

PLOVERS THROUGH SANDPIPERS

Mountain Plover: throughout period, with high of (114) 18 December and 3 February (Tim Fennell, et al.), Granger Lake area, Williamson County [rare, but regular at this location].

Tim Fennell, Winter season, "November ended with rainfall up by almost 8 inches above the average for the month. December rainfall was up almost 2 inches above average levels. As a result Granger Lake and stock ponds in the area were overfull and standing water in agricultural fields, pastures and ditches was a common sight throughout the area all season, perhaps making it harder than normal to see concentrations of waterfowl. Mountain Plovers were as consistent as I ever remember as they frequented the same fields from October 20th to the end of the season. So much for my theory from last winter season, which also had abundant rain, that Mountain Plovers roam more widely and are harder to find during wet periods!"

American Avocet: (2) 3 December (Brush Freeman), near Taylor, Williamson County [late departure].

Greater Yellowlegs: (55+) 16 December (David Wolf), Patroon Creek on Toledo Bend, Sabine County [high count].
Greater Yellowlegs: (65) 24 February (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [high count].

Solitary Sandpiper: (1) 1 December (Karen Arquette and CTA field trip), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [late departure].
Solitary Sandpiper: (1) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County [occasional].
Solitary Sandpiper: (2) 15 December (Cathy Liles, Elaine Owens), Brazos River, Burleson County [rare].
Solitary Sandpiper: (1) 15 February (Darrell Vollert, et al.), at beaver pond, Washington-on-the-Brazos SHP, Washington County [rare in February].

Pectoral Sandpiper: (1) 1 December (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert, TOS field trip), Gibbons Creek Reservoir, Grimes County [very rare in winter; no other Central Brazos Valley winter records].

Dunlin: (17) 3 December (Brush Freeman), between Beyersville and Noack, Williamson County [occasional].

Dowitcher species: (~10) 14 December (Brush Freeman), flooded field east of the McCoy's in Bastrop, Bastrop County [occasional].

American Woodcock: (3 heard in aerial display at 6:45 am, before sunrise) 15 December (Bert Frenz), 2 on Jones Rd, 1 on Hwy 47, all near Villa Maria, Bryan, Brazos County [early for displaying].

David Wolf, "Good numbers of American Woodcocks were displaying at Alazan Bayou WMA on December 28 (Nancy Bird) and in south Nacogdoches County on December 29 (Bob Judy), as well as at several sites on the Nacogdoches CBC on December 22."

GULLS AND TERNS

Laughing Gull: (2) 16 December (Georgette Guernsey, Nancy Bird), Ellen Trout Lake, Angelina County [occasional].

David Wolf, "Most surprising were two Laughing Gulls at Ellen Trout Lake on December 16, first found by Georgette Guernsey and confirmed later in the day by Nancy Bird; they were gone the next morning. Remarkably, this was the same date as the two found on the Nacogdoches CBC in 2000 under similar weather conditions (strong and moist southwest airflow ahead of a cold front approaching the region). Where are these birds coming from and going to?"

Franklin's Gull: (1) 1 December (Tim Fennell); (1) 3 December (Brush Freeman); (1) 8 December (Jeffrey Hanson), Granger Lake area, Williamson County [late migrant].
Franklin's Gull: (1) 23 December (Peter Barnes), in flooded fields off Hwy 287 just northwest of junction with FM 488, Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare in winter].
Franklin's Gull (probable): (20+) 13 January (Laura Bottone), Lindale Club Lake, Smith County [fide Peter Barnes, "20+ probable Franklin's Gulls were observed over the Lindale Club Lake in Smith Co. on Jan 13 (LB). There are no previous NETFO reports for this species in January but they have been seen in late December and in February."].

Bonaparte's Gull: (100+) 26 January (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [unusually high number].
Bonaparte's Gull: (1) 20 February (Jay & Laura Packer), Lake Coleman, Coleman County [uncommon (?) in this county].

Herring Gull: (1 adult, 1 first-winter) 9 December (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [occasional].
Herring Gull: (1) 23 December (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [rare].

Thayer's Gull: (1 second-winter) 29 December (Bob Metzler, David Weaver, Harvey Truskett); 31 December (Eddie Ray), Lake O' the Pines viewed from Lakeside Park along the dam on FM726, Marion County [very rare; apparently only one other Pineywoods record].

Peter Barnes, December NETFO report, "A second-winter Thayer's Gull was a great find in Marion Co. on the Lake O' the Pines CBC (BM, DW, HT), and it was still there on Dec 31 (Eddie Ray)."

Bob Metzler's submitted report:
1. Common and Scientific name: Thayer's Gull (Larus thayeri)
2. Number of individuals, sexes, ages, general plumage: one (1) second-winter gull
3. Location: Sandy beach swimming area, Lakeside Park, Lake of the Pines, Marion County, Texas
4. Date and Time when observed: Saturday Dec 29 at ~1:30 pm
5. Reporting observer and address: Bob Metzler, 607 Regency, Longview, TX 75604
6. Other observers: David Weaver and Harve Truskett
7. Light conditions: good light, sunny day
8. Optical Equipment: Bausch & Lomb 10x42 Elite binoculars and Leica APO Televid 77 Scope
9. Distance to bird: 75-100 yds
10. Duration of Observation: 15 minutes
11. Habitat: The bird was perched with other gulls on floats and buoys surrounding swimming area. We had a clear unobstructed view of the bird from land.
12. Description: Lake of the Pines CBC day. We saw the gull with approximately 100 Ring-billed and two nearby Herring gulls perched on the swimming area buoys ~75 yards from land. Had good head-on and side views of the bird. We noted the size in comparison to the Herring and Ring-billed gulls. It was larger than the Ring-billed gulls but smaller than the Herring gulls. Bill was pink with black tip. Gray mantle, brownish tail band, dark eye, light pink feet and legs.
13. How were similar species eliminated: Herring and Ring-billed gulls were present for comparison. Other gulls were eliminated because of location, size and coloring.
14. Was it photographed? By whom: No, went back to site on Jan 1, 2002 with camera but could not locate bird
15. Previous experience with species: I've seen this species many times during trips to Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Also saw this species at the same location on Nov 26, 1996.
16. List any books or references used in identification:
a) at time of observation National Geographic Birds of North America
b) after observation National Geographic Birds of North America. I used this reference to confirm my aging of the bird.
17. This description written from: notes made after observation andmemory.
18. Are you positive of your observation? Yes
19. Signature of reporter along with date and time of writing this account: Robert Metzler 01/16/02

Black-legged Kittiwake: (1) 12 January (Hazel Bluhm), spillway below Lake O' the Pines, Marion County [casual; no details].

Caspian Tern: (1) 5 January (Jesse Fagan), Nacogdoches ponds, Nacogdoches County [occasional].

Forster's Tern: (830+) 27 December (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan), upper Lake Sam Rayburn, San Augustine County [unusually large number].

DOVES THROUGH OWLS

Eurasian Collared-Dove: (2) 2 December (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert and TOS field trip); (3) 13 February (Darrell Vollert, Ellen Ratoosh), Moore Farms, south Brazos County [still rare in area, but common at this farm].
Eurasian Collared-Dove: (2) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Rutersville, Fayette County [recent invader].
Eurasian Collared-Dove: (1) 26 December (Brush Freeman), Taylor, Williamson County [Brush stated, "A single ECDO in Taylor was a bit surprising as I have only seen them there once before."].

Brush Freeman, 27 December, "The Eurasian Collared-Doves in Bastrop are not to be found. I have not seen them since the first cold snaps of the fall. Could this species be adopting a somewhat migratory aspect. White-winged Doves are in Bastrop during the summer months but depart by late October and you are darn lucky to find one in town after that."

Randy Pinkston, 29 Dec 2001, "Several years ago it seemed to me that White-winged Doves were primarily summer residents in urban parts of Bell County. Not so more recently. They are super abundant and widespread within the Temple-Belton areas throughout the year. Warm or cold weather, white-wings are definitely strict urban dwellers. Regarding ECDOs, they too seem to be permanent residents here. They have become quite numerous in Temple, Belton, and Salado, since my first local sightings in January 1998, and I haven't noticed any seasonal changes in their abundance."

Eurasian Collared-Dove: (2) 21-26 January (Tim Fennell, et al.), Granger cemetery, Williamson County [occasional].
Eurasian Collared-Dove: (1) 23 February (Mimi Wolf, Jesse Fagan et al., TOS field trip), Nacogdoches and Angelina counties [uncommon].

Common Ground-Dove: (2) 3 December (Brush Freeman), western Milam County [rare].
Common Ground-Dove: (1) 20 February (Jay & Laura Packer), Lake Coleman, Coleman County [probably rare; little known about this area].

Greater Roadrunner: (1) 18 December (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird, Georgette Guernsey), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [occasional].
Greater Roadrunner: (1) 20 December (Keith Arnold, John Jackman), southeast of Carlos, Grimes County [occasional in area, but uncommon on Gibbons Creek CBC].
Greater Roadrunner: (1) 26 December (Karen Russell, Jeffrey Musser), Leonard Road, Bryan, Brazos County [occasional].
Greater Roadrunner: (1) 24 February (Mimi Wolf, Jesse Fagan et al., TOS field trip), Boykins Spring in the Angelina National Forest, Angelina County [occasional].

Barn Owl: (1) 15 December (Larry & Tonna Harris-Haller), shed near Forest Lake, Brazos County [rare].
Barn Owl: (8) 28 January; (5) 9 February (Fred Collins), FM 2855 via Morrison Road to Pattison Road to Cypress Creek Fork (4 miles), southeastern Waller County [rarely reported; high count].

Fred Collins, regarding 9 February sighting, "Actually about a week before I had 8 Barn Owls in the same area within 4 miles along Pattison and Morrison Road. But there was a congregation of apparent adult owls at one spot on Pattison for about a month. Perhaps a communal roost in a barn or a family group that had not yet dispersed. They are gone now."

BUOW11201withString.jpg (14614 bytes)Burrowing Owl: (1) 1 December (Karen Arquette and CTA field trip), Steiner Road, Waco, McLennan County [rare].

Burrowing Owl: (1) 2 December (Sam Fruehling, Fred Dalbey); (1) 9 December to 12 January (Tim Fennell), CR 378, Granger Lake area, Williamson County [rare; photographed].

Tim Fennell, "Probably died as it was last seen with a piece of cotton twine wrapped around its leg that connected it to a stick. It could still fly on 12 January. Looked for on 13 January and subsequent dates but not found."

Short-eared Owl: (1) 21 January (Tim Fennell), CR110 in east Round Rock, Williamson County [occasional].
Short-eared Owl: (1) throughout December and January until 7 February (Randy Pinkston), Union Grove Wildlife Area, Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Bell County [occasional].
Short-eared Owl: (6) 19 December (Guy Luneau, Joan Luneau, Scott Luneau); (4-6) 7-19 January (m. ob.); (4) 3-26 February (Eddie Ray), Sabine Mining Company land, Harrison County [rare in East Texas].

Jesse Fagan, "This bird is very rare in the Pineywoods, but this has become the spot for Short-eared Owls in our region."

HUMMINGBIRDS THROUGH WOODPECKERS

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: (1 female) 16 November to at least 19 December; (2) 21 December (Darrell Vollert, Fred & Mary Brandt), Chappell Hill subdivision, Washington County [very late departure; 1-2 have been present since fall].
Ruby-throated Hummingbird: (1 female, 1 male) to at least 29 December (Susan Bame), Zionville community west of Brenham, Washington County [very late departure].

Broad-tailed Hummingbird: (1 adult male) 4 January (John Kelly, et al.), Bastrop-Beuscher CBC, Bastrop County [very rare].

Rufous Hummingbird: (1) 21 December (Arch & Ruth Dillard), backyard, College Station, Brazos County [occasional; one day only].
Selasphorus hummingbird: (1) 24 November to at least 30 December (David Cimprich), near Kempner, Lampasas County [rare].
Rufous Hummingbird: (1 immature male) through 10 January; 17 January; (1 immature male, 1 female) 27-28 February (Fred & Mary Brandt, Darrell Vollert), Brandt's residence, Chappell Hill subdivision, Washington County [rare].

Red-headed Woodpecker: (1 adult) 1 December (Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert, TOS field trip), woods at picnic area, Gibbons Creek Reservoir, Grimes County [uncommon].
Red-headed Woodpecker: (52) 1 December (m.ob.), Caddo Lake count, Harrison/Marion counties [unusually high number].
Red-headed Woodpecker: (1) 1 December (Brush Freeman), Colorado River near Utley, Bastrop County [occasional].
Red-headed Woodpecker: (4) 3 December (Brush Freeman), two different pecan bottoms, northwestern Lee County [occasional].
Red-headed Woodpecker: (1 immature) 9 December (Tim Fennell, Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), CR 306, western Lee County [occasional].
Red-headed Woodpecker: (1) 9 December (Tim Fennell), CR 306, Lee County [occasional].

Tim Fennell, "Conspicuous in their absence this season again in Williamson."

Red-headed Woodpecker: (1) 13 December (Heather Mathewson, et al.), picnic area at boat ramp, Gibbons Creek Reservoir [locally common].
Red-headed Woodpecker: (12) 19-22 December (Mimi Hoppe Wolf, et al.), swamp on the Door Creek Road, Nacogdoches County.

David Wolf, "Red-headed Woodpeckers were scarce this winter except for a concentration of up to 12 birds at the swamp on the Dorr Creek road … another one wintered in Kay Burnell's yard near Garrison."

Red-headed Woodpecker: (9) 20 December (David Phalen, Susan Phalen), Gibbons Creek Reservoir, Grimes County [good count; occasional to rare in much of Oaks & Praries region, but always good numbers along edge of Gibbons Creek Reservoir].
Red-headed Woodpecker: (8) 28 January (Brooke Nicotra), Old Sabine Bottom WMA, Smith County [uncommon].

Pileated Woodpecker: (1 heard) 9 December (Tim Fennell, Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), CR 314, western Lee County [occasional].

FLYCATCHERS

Least Flycatcher: (1 feather-worn adult) 1 December (Jim and Phoebe Lou Sealy), woods near Carlos Lake, Gibbons Creek Reservoir, Grimes County [very late; only other late empid records are 23 Oct 2000, 7 Nov 1964, 21 Dec 1996 and a wintering Least in Waller Co. in 1987].

Jim Sealy, "Both of us proceeded with caution in our discussions of the ID, having just recently been through John Arvin's TOS class on empids. The first thing that surprised us was the bird was calling, which sounded like a "chew bek". Second was the bird was dull in color and appeared to be worn, which fits Leasts not molting until after migration. Third, head shape. Fourth was the color (we were using the NGS 3rd Edition) and I frequently look at the guide while Phoebe describes the bird (plus she has a much better eye for color and detail - being an artist). I made a point of asking about the birds throat and belly and back colors. The wing bars (2) were not bright white and more buffy, but I attributed that to the worn condition and not the age of the bird. Eye ring was very noticeable. Fifth was the shape and color of the bill. Sixth was the primary projection. All fit what we expected of a Least Flycatcher. It worked in and about some live oaks (could have been Post Oaks) for a good 15 minutes, frequently sitting for several minutes. All told, we observed it for about 15 minutes, from all angles. It was not the least bit nervous about us approaching to within 15-20 feet. I forgot to mention that we also looked Yellow-bellied and Acadian but discounted both of those quickly because of the primary projection and shape of the tail."

John Arvin, "It sounds good to me. This is just a week or so later than a couple of migrants we had last fall on 16 November, so it isn't that amazingly late for a migrant (and there are several bona fide wintering records)."

Say's Phoebe: (1) 3 December (Brush Freeman), Noack, Williamson County [occasional].
Say's Phoebe: (1) 6 December; (1) 21 December; (2) 11 January (Derek Muschalek), Old Davy area, DeWitt County [rare].
Say's Phoebe: (1) 26 December (Derek Muschalek), yard, 11 miles northwest of Yorktown, DeWitt County [rare].
Say's Phoebe: (1) 10 and 27 January; 11 February (Randy Pinkston), Temple, Bell County [occasional].
Say's Phoebe: (1) 19 January (NETFO field trip); (1) 3-26 February (Eddie Ray), Sabine Mining Company land, Harrison County [rare].
Say's Phoebe: (1) throughout winter season (Tim Fennell, et al.), below Granger Lake Dam; (1) 9 December to 28 February (Tim Fennell), CR 438, Williamson County [occasional].

Vermilion Flycatchers turned up in areas where they are not often seen.
Vermilion Flycatcher: (1 male)) 3 December (Brush Freeman), northwestern Lee County [rare].
Vermilion Flycatcher: (1 immature) 3 December (Brush Freeman), south of Beyersville, Williamson County [occasional].
Vermilion Flycatcher: (1) 14 December (Brush Freeman), Cuero City Park, DeWitt County [occasional].
Vermilion Flycatcher: (1) 14 December (Brush Freeman), little lake in the Cuero city park, DeWitt County [occasional].
Vermilion Flycatcher: (1 adult male) 29 January and 10 February (Fred Collins), Brown Road, Waller County [rare].

Fred Collins, 29 January, "The Vermilion Flycatcher is the first I have seen in Waller County since I moved there almost three years ago. Maybe my first ever in Waller County. I have passed this spot about 250 times a year on my way to work expecting to see one. Classic stock pond near a barn and farm house."

Vermilion Flycatcher: (1) 17 February (Brush Freeman), Sayersville Road, Bastrop County [occasional].

Ash-throated Flycatcher: (1) 9 December (Tim Fennell), CR 438, Williamson County [rare].
Ash-throated Flycatcher: (1) 14 and 21 December; 11 January (Derek Muschalek), near Old Davy Community, DeWitt County [status?].

Couch's Kingbird: (2) 14 December (Derek Muschalek), Yorktown City Park, DeWitt County [late departure; occasional in winter].
Couch's Kingbird: (2) 27 December (Fred Collins); 29 December (Jim Hinson, Howard Smith), 1 January (Cypress Creek CBC); 7 January (Ron Haaseth); 16 January (Fred Collins); 18 January (Jim Hinson, Ken Hartman); 22 January (Fred Collins), Betka road about a mile west of FM 362; (1) 18 January (Jim Hinson, Ken Hartman), Cochran and Bonner Roads, Waller County [very rare this far north and inland].
Couch's/Tropical Kingbird: (2) 6 January (Ted Eubanks), 1.5 miles west of FM 362 on Cochran Road, Waller County [rare in winter].

Ted Eubanks, "After hearing of Fred Collins' kingbirds on Betka, I checked a spot on Cochran Road where I have found winter Couch's before. This afternoon there were two silent Couch's/Tropical kingbirds present at this location, feeding out over the ponds. These ponds are located approximately 1.5 miles west of FM 362 on Cochran Road."

Noticeably tardy in their departure were Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, perhaps a result of a mild December.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: (2) 2 December (Betty Vermeire), Southwest Parkway, just east of Texas Av, College Station, Brazos County.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: ("couple dozen") 2 December (Rusty Alderson), I-35 bypass through Round Rock, Williamson County.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: (3) 3 December (Brush Freeman), western Milam County.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: (1) 5 December (Tim Fennell), FM 3406, west of I-35, Williamson County.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: (1) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Rutersville, Fayette County.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: (2) 6 December (Betty Vermeire), Wal-Mart parking lot on Texas Av, College Station, Brazos County.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: (2) 9 December (Willie Sekula, John & Barbara Ribble), 7 mi. w. of Kenedy, Karnes County.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: (1) 9 December (Derek Muschalek), near Old Davy Community, DeWitt County.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: (1) 14 December (Brush Freeman), Near Concrete, DeWitt County.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: (1) 14 December (Brush Freeman), between Cuero and Gonzales near Concrete on Hwy 183, DeWitt County.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: (1) 16 December (Brush Freeman), FM 3406, west of I-35, Round Rock, Williamson County.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: (1) 5 December on FM 3406, west of I-35, Round Rock; (4) 6 December on FM 3406, west of I-35, Round Rock; (2) 7 December on Old Settler's Blvd, east of I-35, Round Rock; (1) 12 December at BFI Landfill, Austin, Travis County; (1) 16 December on FM 3406, west of I-35, Round Rock; (1) 19 December on west side of I-35, about 1 mile north of FM 3406, Round Rock (Tim Fennell), Williamson County.
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher: (1) 28 December (David Brotherton), Gregg County [very late departure].

VIREOS THROUGH LARKS

Lingering White-eyed Vireos were more frequent than usual.
White-eyed Vireo: (1) 9 December (Tim Fennell, Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), western Lee County [occasional].
White-eyed Vireo: (1) 7 and 9 and 12 December (Darrell Vollert), his yard on FR1155, Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional].
White-eyed Vireo: (1) 3 November to at least 18 December (Jesse Fagan, Robert Truss, David Wolf), Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest, Nacogdoches County.
White-eyed Vireo: (1) 20 December (Mimi Hoppe Wolf, Robert Truss, David Wolf), Dorr Creek, south Nacogdoches County.
White-eyed Vireo: (1) 20 December (Bert Frenz, Jim Anding, Heather Mathewson), Carlos Lake; (1) 20 December (David Phalen; Susan Phalen), shore of Gibbons Creek Reservoir, Grimes County [rare in winter; first time on Gibbons Creek CBC; both in bright plumage].
White-eyed Vireo: (5) 22 December (4 parties on Nacogdoches CBC), Nacogdoches County.
White-eyed Vireo: (1) 31 December (David Wolf), north Nacogdoches County.
White-eyed Vireo: (1 heard) 26 January (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy, Andrew Harrod), Taylor Park, Granger Lake, Williamson County [occasional].
White-eyed Vireo: (1) 28 January (Brooke Nicotra), Old Sabine Bottom WMA, Smith County [occasional].

Peter Barnes, "The mild winter may have resulted in more wintering White-eyed Vireos than usual as 4 birds were also reported in December."].

White-eyed Vireo: (2) 30 January (David Wolf, Jesse Fagan), base of TX 147 bridge, Lake Sam Rayburn, Angelina County.
White-eyed Vireo: (1 calling) 12 February; (1 singing) 19 February (Darrell Vollert), his residence off FM1155, Chappell Hill, Washington County [early arrival; occasional in February].
White-eyed Vireo: (1) 15 February (Darrell Vollert, et al.), singing along the Brazos River, Washington-on-the-Brazos SHP, Washington County [early arrival].
White-eyed Vireo: (1 singing) 18-19 February (Darrell Vollert), Chappell Hills subdivision, Washington County [occasional in February].
White-eyed Vireo: (1 singing) 24 February (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [occasional in February].

Plumbeous Vireo (probable): (1) 6 December (Bill Hand, fide David Wolf), Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [only second local report ever].

Horned Lark: (2) 15 December (Cathy Liles, Elaine Owens); 22 December (Ellen Ratoosh, Darrell Vollert); ("some") ~10 February (Karl Kosciuch and Meg Byerly), Turf Farm on CR 443 off of Hwy 50, Burleson County [occasional, although recently found at this site a number of times].
Horned Lark: (3) 26 January (Darrell Vollert); (6+) 13 February (Darrell Vollert, Ellen Ratoosh), Moore Farms, Brazos County [occasional].

SWALLOWS

Purple Martin: (1) 27 January (Derek Muschalek), his yard, DeWitt County [early arrival].
Purple Martin: (2 adult males) 30 January (Ellen Ratoosh), her yard, Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [early arrival].

Northern Rough-winged Swallow: (no.?) 26 February (Randy Pinkston), Bell County [FOS].

Randy Pinkston, "Northern Rough-winged Swallows appeared on Feb 26. These birds were making frantic and desperate sallies over a pond that I feared was devoid of insect prey in the 41 degree weather."

Cave Swallows left less than one month between latest departure (3 December) and earliest arrival (1 January) in the Central Oaks and Prairies region.
Cave Swallow: (~20) 3 December (Brush Freeman), between Beyersville and Noack, Williamson County [late departure].
Cave Swallow: (30-50 swarming drainage culverts and occupying old nests) 1 January (Randy Pinkston), FM 3406 near I-35, Round Rock [FOS].

Randy Pinkston, "I enjoyed Byron's recent post about a Cave Swallow roost south of San Antonio. I had a similar experience along I-35 in Round Rock on New Year's Day. I entered I-35 in Round Rock immediately south of the 'Old Town Square' building on the southbound side. I'm not sure of the exit number. As I drove north between there and the FM 3406 crossing I was amazed to see a swarm of swallows over the northbound frontage road. There were at least 30-50 birds and probably more than that. I took the FM 3406 exit, crossed to the southbound frontage, and returned to the 4-5 large drainage culverts under the interstate where the birds had been. As Byron noted as well, by the time I arrived there was no sign of a swallow anywhere. I parked along the frontage and explored the inside of the culverts. I discovered numerous Cave Swallow nests from previous nesting seasons, virtually every one of them containing at least one or two Cave Swallows. My explorations got the birds stirred up and swarming again. They were all Cave Swallows as far as I could tell.

"I am well aware of the range expansion into central Texas made by Cave Swallows in recent years, as well as their delayed autumn exodus to relatively northern latitudes in winter, but this spring-like swarm of them at a previous nesting site in January was unprecedented in my experience."

Byron Stone's prior message, "Last Friday evening, December 28, 2001, I was en route from Austin to south Texas and pulled off Interstate 37 at Loop 1604 south of San Antonio. This is just a few miles south of Braunig Lake. I noticed a flock of about 200 swallows flying in a tight flock under the overpass, and as I drove slowly under the overpass I was able to confirm that they were Cave Swallows. This was about 5:30 p.m. By the time I turned around and drove back under the overpass (only about 2 minutes because the Bill Miller's BBQ promised by a prominent sign before the exit does not exist!) to resume my southward trek, the birds had all settled into roost sites in the concrete structure. If I had initially exited at that time, I don't think I would have noticed the birds at all. This was before the severe cold front which pushed through south Texas yesterday, so I don't know if the birds will still be around. If they are still present, I suspect they are foraging over Braunig or other nearby bodies of warm water. If others find these birds again, I'd be interested to know."

Tom Langschied, 2 Jan 2002, "Yesterday, while birding for about 6.5 hours on King Ranch in western Kleberg County (west of Kingsville), I saw 77 bird species. ... Highlights incuded one Ash-throated Flycatcher, four Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, and about 25 Cave Swallows."

Cave Swallow: (small flock) 4 January (John Kelly, et al.), at/under Alum Creek bridge, between the two parks, Bastrop-Beuscher CBC, Bastrop County [early arrival].
Cave Swallow: (50+) 6 January (Ted Eubanks, Seth Davidson), Stockdick School Road near the Harris/Waller County line [rare in winter].

Ted Eubanks, "Seth Davidson and I spent several hours birding the Katy Prairie. Of interest were: Over 50 Cave Swallows were seen feeding over a flooded rice field along Stockdick School Road near the Harris/Waller County line. Cave Swallow remains unusual on the Katy Prairie, and I know of no winter records for the species there. In fact, I am curious about winter Cave Swallow records from the Upper Texas Coast."

Barn Swallow: (1) 1 December (Karen Arquette and CTA field trip); (1) 18 December (Karen Arquette), WMARSS, Waco, McLennan County [late departure].
Barn Swallow: (1) 24 February (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [FOS].
Barn Swallow: (1) 24 February (Ellen Ratoosh), Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [FOS].

NUTHATCHES THROUGH CATBIRD

White-breasted Nuthatch: (2) 3 December (Brush Freeman), pecan bottom, northwestern Lee County [occasional].
White-breasted Nuthatch: (2) 9 December to 12 January (Tim Fennell), CR 337 Pecan Bottom, Williamson County [occasional].

Brown Creeper: (8) 30 December (Truman Powell, et al.), Trinidad CBC, Navarro/Henderson counties [high count for CBC].

Bewick's Wren (2 western form, 1 eastern form): (1) 9 December (Tim Fennell, Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood); (1 western, 1 eastern in same small tree) 13 December (Tim Fennell), CR 438, Williamson County [occasional eastern form this far west].
Bewick's Wren: (1) 22 December (Pineywoods CBC including Nancy Bird, et al.), Angelina County [occasional].
Bewick's Wren: (1) 28 January (Brooke Nicotra), Old Sabine Bottom WMA, Smith County [occasional].

Sedge Wren: (10-12) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County [occasional; good count].

Golden-crowned Kinglet: (~25) 3 December (Brush Freeman), between Beyersville and Noack, Williamson County [good count].

Gray Catbird: (1) 18 December (Louis Debetaz, Nancy Bird, Georgette Guernsey), Kurth Lake, Angelina County [late departure; occasional in winter].

Gray Catbird: (1) 22 December (David Wolf), Alazan Bayou WMA, Nacogdoches County [late departure].

WARBLERS

Northern Parula: (1 heard) 22 January (Georgette Guernsey), Crown Colony, Lufkin, Angelina County [unexpected; no January records on Pineywoods checklist].

Pine Warbler: (88 singing males) 17 February (Brush Freeman), Bastrop County [good count].

Palm Warbler: (1) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County [rare].

Black-and-white Warbler: (1) 2 December (TOS field trip), Moore Farms, south Brazos County [occasional].
Black-and-white Warbler: (1) 3 December (Brush Freeman), southwestern Lee County [occasional].
Black-and-white Warbler: (1 male singing) 17 February (Brush Freeman), Park Rd. 1C, Bastrop County [singing on territory?; early?].

Ovenbird: (1) 26 December to 17 February (Brush Freeman), Utley, Bastrop County [out of season lingerer; Brush, "probably the same lingering bird as during the 2000/2001 season"].

Louisiana Waterthrush: (1) 27 January (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [very early arrival of rare migrant; typical early arrival is not until the second week of March; this is the first local record for winter period, although there is a CBC record for McLennan County].

Darrell Vollert, "During a survey at the Clarann Estate, which is just north of Chappell Hill in eastern Washington County, this morning (1/27) I flushed a waterthrush as I was approaching Little Cedar Creek. Little Cedar Creek is the northern boundary of the estate. I heard the waterthrush calling in flight as it flew down the creek. The time was 10:30AM. I did not have time to chase the warbler in the morning so I returned to the estate in the afternoon to look for the warbler.

"I entered Little Cedar Creek on the northwest side of the estate and walked east down the creek. The property on the north side of the creek is heavily wooded. The south side of the creek is fairly wooded. Within ten minutes of entering the creek I flushed a calling waterthrush up onto a fallen tree over the creek. The time was around 3:10PM. The waterthrush was found in the same along the creek as where I heard it calling this morning. I observed the waterthrush at a distance of about 25 feet. I noted a very white supercilium, which broadened behind the eye; a white throat, brown streaking on a white breast, and streaking on the sides. The waterthrush bobbed its tail in a semicircular motion. Total observation time was 5 minutes. Several areas along the creek have flowing water. I found the Louisiana Waterthush near flowing water.

Jim Stevenson, "I am not so sure this is a wintering bird. They can be extremely early spring migrants, and I hear there were martins already, a week or ten days ago."

Bert Frenz, "This is the first winter period record for the immediate area. However, two LOWA were reported on the Crawford CBC (West Waco, McLennan Co.), around 1994 or 1995. Peak spring migration through our area starts around the third week of March. The earliest records in my database are 11 Mar 99 in Nacogdoches Co., 12 Mar 66 in Brazos Co., and 13 Mar 99 in Bastrop Co."

Wilson's Warbler: (1) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County [late migrant].

TANAGERS THROUGH SPARROWS

Summer Tanager: (1) 4 January (Charles Dean Fisher), Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [very rare in winter, but not unprecedented].

Olive Sparrow: (2) 5 December (Derek Muschalek), 8 miles south of Yorktown, DeWitt County [rare].

Green-tailed Towhee: (1) 3 December (Brush Freeman), CR 438, Williamson County [very rare].

Brush Freeman, Winter report, "Despite a lot of weather it was a dry winter on the central coast with only small, light rain events during the period. There was a distinct shortage of sparrows this period in both central Texas and on the central coast. Species that appeared to be more numerous than usual included Eastern Towhees which could be found easily in the Bastrop area (atypical) and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers along the coast."

Eastern Towhee: (2) 1 December (Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), McKinney Roughs, Bastrop County.
Eastern Towhee: (2) 3 December (Brush Freeman), northwestern Lee County.
Eastern Towhee: (1) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County.
Eastern Towhee: (1) 16 December (Brush Freeman), Utley, Bastrop County.
Eastern Towhee: (1) 22 December (Darrell Vollert), Clarann Estate, Chappell Hill, Washington County [new species for estate list].
Eastern Towhee: (2) 6 January (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [uncommon in region, but rarely seen at this location].
Eastern Towhee: (1 male, 1 female) 26 January (Darrell Vollert), Washington-on-the-Brazos SHP, Washington County [uncommon; Darrell Vollert, " This is a new species for the park checklist."].
Eastern Towhee: (2) 31 January (Brush Freeman), Utley, Bastrop County.
Eastern Towhee: (3 singing males) 17 February (Brush Freeman), Bastrop County.

Bachman's Sparrow: (3) 24 February (Mimi Wolf, Jesse Fagan et al., TOS field trip), Boykins Spring in the Angelina National Forest, Angelina County [rare, but locally uncommon in February].

Jesse Fagan, "On Sunday, the group drove to Boykins Spring in the Angelina National Forest to search for Bachman's Sparrow. I must admit that I was not overly concerned about finding Bachman's Sparrow. Though it is still early to find them singing, on previous occasions Mimi and I have been able to locate one in a short amount of time. Maybe it was the cool morning, but it took a few hours before we saw two birds flush and heard a third bird singing in a small evergreen. As we searched frantically for the singing bird, Mimi says, "Oh, I see it. It's right there!" The bird was only 6 meters in front of us on an exposed limb. The sparrow was studied through several scopes for a few minutes before it dropped out of sight. Mission accomplished: all four East Texas specialties seen in just two days and EIGHT species of woodpeckers."

Clay-colored Sparrow: (11) 9 December (Derek Muschalek, Willie Sekula), west of Hwy 123, Karnes County [Derek, "unusually large number"].
Clay-colored Sparrow: (1) 27 January (Derek Muschalek), 9 miles southeast of Gillett, Karnes County [occasional].

Lark Sparrow: (16) 20 December (Karen Russell, Joan Dziezyc), east of Anderson, Grimes County [uncommon, but higher count than typical].

Lark Bunting: (1) 5 December (Derek Muschalek), 8 miles south of Yorktown, DeWitt County [FOS].
Lark Bunting: (456) 9 December (Derek Muschalek, Willie Sekula), southwest of Karnes City, Karnes County [unusually large number].
Lark Bunting: (80-90 in 2 flocks) 14 December (Brush Freeman), between Gonzales and I-10 on SH 304, northern Gonzales County [rare].
camera.GIF (1399 bytes) camera.GIF (1399 bytes) Lark Bunting: (flock) 21 January (Shirley & Dan Wilkerson), their farm, Comanche County [common; photographed].

Grasshopper Sparrow: (2) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Fayette Lake, Fayette County [occasional].
Grasshopper Sparrow: (2) 9 December (Tim Fennell, Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), CR 438, Granger area, Williamson County [occasional].
Grasshopper Sparrow: (1) 20 December (Gibbons Creek CBC), Grimes County [occasional].
Grasshopper Sparrow: (2) 12 January (Guy Luneau, Eddie Ray), Sabine Mining Company land, Harrison County [occasional].
Grasshopper Sparrow: (1) 26 January (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy, Andrew Harrod), CR 353, Granger area, Williamson County [occasional].

Henslow's Sparrow: (1-2) 15 December (Darrell Vollert, Sue Ruotsala, Billie Bernard), Lick Creek Park, College Station, Brazos County [rare].
Henslow's Sparrow: (4-6) 19-22 December (Mimi Hoppe Wolf, et al.), FM 1275, Nacogdoches County [rare, but regular at this site].
Henslow's Sparrow: (2) 22 December (2 different parties on Pineywoods CBC), Angelina County [occasional].
Henslow's Sparrow: (1) 9 February (Chris Merkord, Jennifer Reidy), mowed field below Granger Lake dam, Williamson County [rare, especially in this area].
Henslow's Sparrow: (3) 23 February (Mimi Hoppe Wolf, Jesse Fagan et al., TOS field trip), farm near Nacogdoches [rare, but regular at this location].

Le Conte's Sparrow: ("quite a few") 17 December (Chris Harrison); (60) 20 December (David Phalen; Susan Phalen), wet field near boat ramp at Gibbons Creek Reservoir; (2) 20 December (Bert Frenz, Heather Mathewson), field near reservoir, Grimes County [unusually large number; David estimates that the field he canvassed probably contained three times as many Le Conte's Sparrows as he observed, an amazing concentration].

Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow: (1) 12-16 December (Frank Bumgardner, John Muldrow), sewage treatment ponds, Waco, McLennan County [very rare inland; first county record].

Fox Sparrow: (20, many singing) 13 February (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [unusually high count].

Harris's Sparrow: (50+) 9 December (Tim Fennell, Brush Freeman, Mark Lockwood), Granger area, Williamson County [high count].

Pink-sided (Dark-eyed) Junco: (1) 22 December (Pineywoods CBC including Nancy Bird, et al.), Angelina County [rare form].
Pink-sided (Dark-eyed) Junco: (1) 18 January (Georgette Guernsey), her feeders, Crown Colony, Lufkin, Angelina County [central Rockies subspecies is very rare in East Texas].
Pink-sided (Dark-eyed) Junco: (1) 21 January (Mimi Hoppe Wolf); (1) 17 March (David Wolf, Mimi Hoppe Wolf), Central Heights, Nacogdoches County [rare form].

While longspurs occurred in lower than normal numbers for the Granger area of Williamson County, atypically they were reported in more widespread areas, including Brazos, Burleson and Waller counties.
McCowns12502CR360.jpg (7760 bytes)McCown's Longspur: (~40) 3 December (Brush Freeman), between Beyersville and Noack, Williamson County [occasional].
McCown's Longspur: Present from 13 December to at least 28 February; (high count of 60) 25 January (Tim Fennell), Granger Lake area, Williamson County [Tim, "Bad year for longspurs. Some flocks of 200+ birds seen, probably all McCown's."].

McCown's Longspur photo by Tim Fennell, 5 December, on CR 360, Williamson County.

Longspur species: (30-50 longspurs, one probably Lapland or maybe McCown's) 2 December (Jim Sealy, Les Faigley, Janet Thompson, Bert Frenz, Darrell Vollert and TOS field trip); (no.?, probably Lapland) 13 February (Darrell Vollert, Ellen Ratoosh), Moore Farms, south Brazos County [rare].
Possible longspur species: (flock) 15 December (Cathy Liles, Elaine Owens), Turf Farms, Brazos bottoms, Burleson County.
Lapland Longspur: (6+) 22 December (Ellen Ratoosh, Darrell Vollert), Turf Farm on CR 443 off of Hwy 50, Burleson County [rare].
Longspurs (probably all Lapland): (700) 25 January (Fred Collins), Hebert Road and FM 362, southeastern Waller County [rare].
Lapland Longspur (probable): (60-70 in flight) 26 January (Darrell Vollert), Moore Farms, south Brazos County [rare, but may be regular at this site].

Smith's Longspur: (3) 30 December (Truman Powell), Trinidad CBC, Henderson/Navarro counties [rare].

Longspur species, probable Chestnut-collared Longspur: (30+) 1 December (Tim Fennell), CR 353, Granger area, Williamson County [locally common].
Chestnut-collared Longspur: ("a few scattered flocks, but not a lot") 3 December (Brush Freeman), between Beyersville and Noack, Williamson County [occasional].
Longspur species, probably Chestnut-collared Longspur: (25+) 13 December (Tim Fennell) pasture on south side of CR 353, Granger area, Williamson County [locally common].

GROSBEAKS THROUGH MEADOWLARKS

Pyrrhuloxia: (1) 1 December (Susan Schaezler), her property, Old Wiederstein, Guadalupe County [her first record for the property].
Pyrrhuloxia: (1) 3 December (Brush Freeman), western Milam County [rare].
Pyrrhuloxia: (2) 3 December (Brush Freeman), Noack, Williamson County [occasional].

Black-headed Grosbeak: (1 adult male) mid-December until at least 10 March (Molly Smith); 6 March (Jesse Fagan), Nacogdoches County [very rare].

David Wolf, "An adult male Black-headed Grosbeak wintered at the home of Molly Smith in Nacogdoches from mid-December until at least March 10; Jesse Fagan saw it on March 6. This was by far the rarest bird in this report, but not unprecedented."

Indigo Bunting: (1) 15 December (Cathy Liles, Elaine Owens), CR 440 just before the low water crossing, Brazos bottoms, Burleson County [no prior winter records; December records of Indigo Bunting are shown on the Pineywoods checklist, the UTC checklist, the Central Texas Coast checklist, and of course on the LRGV checklist, but none of the others that I checked.].

Cathy Liles, "It was seen about 1:00 on CR 440 just before the low river crossing. ... It was seen in an overgrown field with tall grassy stalks. It flew up with a group of sparrows and perched on a stalk. We were about 15 feet away and observed it for about 2 minutes. It was during a lull in the rain and there was a lot of bird activity. There were bluebirds, feeding off the wires overhead and lots of sparrows in the field. There were also some chipping sparrows feeding from a tree, up and down into the grass on the other side of the road. The cardinals were having a convention- at least a dozen flying back and forth. We were driving and planned to park by the bridge and walk the short distance back. As we drove by, a lot of sparrows flushed and moved forward. When I fist saw the bunting, it looked green. We stopped and focused on him and it was clear that he was blue. He was lighter on his back almost the color of a mountain bluebird, but he had a thick finch-like bill. He was a darker blue underneath and had some patches of brown. There were no obvious bars on the wings. He flew back into the grass. We parked and the rain started back up- the birds went totally quiet and we were unable to relocate him."

Western Meadowlark: (1) 7 January (Guy Luneau), Sabine Mining Company land, Harrison County [occasional; east of normal range].
Western Meadowlark: (1) 13 February (Peter Barnes), Richland Creek WMA, Freestone County [occasional; east of normal range].

BLACKBIRDS THROUGH FINCHES

Rusty Blackbird: (1100) 26 January; (100) 2 February; (175) 22 February; (50) 24 February (Guy Luneau), Rusk County [unusually good numbers].

Peter Barnes, "Guy Luneau cornered the Rusty Blackbird market in Rusk Co., as he reported 100 birds on Feb 2 (GL, JP, DR), 50 on Feb 24, and 175 on Feb 22. The January report inadvertently omitted Guy's report of 1,100 Rusty Blackbirds in Rusk Co. on Jan 26, flying over in flocks of 20-100 birds. This represents the largest single-day total reported for this species in recent years in north-east Texas. However, according to data on Christmas Bird Counts in the 1960s, similar numbers of this species were commonly encountered."

Baltimore Oriole: (1 immature male) 5 December (Brush Freeman), Buescher State Park, Bastrop County [very late departure].

There were few reports of Purple Finches this season.
Purple Finch: (1) 12 December (Roger & Shirley Hughes), their feeders, Nacogdoches County [FOS, but it did not stay around].
Purple Finch: (2) 15 December (Tonna Harris-Haller), shed near Forest Lake, Brazos County [rare in recent years].
Purple Finch: (1) 3 January (Georgette Guernsey); (1) 5 January (Gladys Guthrie), at feeders, Crown Colony, Lufkin, Angelina County [uncommon, but irruptive].
Purple Finch: (1) 15 February (Bill Fontenot of Lafayette, LA), Washington-on-the-Brazos SHP, Washington County [rare].
Purple Finch: (1 female) 9 February to 3 March (Ellen Ratoosh), Emerald Forest subdivision, College Station, Brazos County [rare].

Pine Siskins were seen in small numbers in East Texas, the exception being:
Pine Siskin: (50) throughout January (Laura Bottone), her feeders, Smith County [good number].
Evening Grosbeak: (1) one day in late January (Charlotte Montgomery), feeders in Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County [rare].

Contributors

Rusty Alderson, Jim Anding, Keith Arnold, Karen Arquette, Ron Baltzeger, Peter Barnes, Billie Bernard, Nancy Bird, Hazel Bluhm, Laura Bottone, Fred & Mary Brandt, Jerry Brite, David Brotherton, Frank Bumgardner, Alan Byboth, Meg Byerly, Oscar Carmona, Eric Carpenter, David Cimprich, Fred Collins, Jim Connally, Kim Crumpler, Fred Dalbey, Seth Davidson, Louis Debetaz, Arch Dillard, Ruth Dillard, Andy Donnelly, Joan Dziezyc, Bill Elsik, Ted Eubanks, Jesse Fagan, Les Faigley, Tim Fennell, Rob Fergus, Bill Fontenot, Brush Freeman, Bert Frenz, Sam Fruehling, Dita Geary, Graham Gips, Georgette Guernsey, Ron Haaseth, Chuck Hamilton, Jeffrey Hanson, Chris Harrison, Larry & Tonna Harris-Haller, Andrew Harrod, Tyson Hart, Ken Hartman, Jim Hinson, P. D. Hulce, John Jackman, John Kelly, Karl Kosciuch, Paul La Mont, Cathy Liles, Mark Lockwood, David Lucas, Guy Luneau, Joan Luneau, Scott Luneau, Heather Mathewson, Chris Merkord, Bob Metzler, Dorothy Metzler, Toni-Ann Mistretta, John Muldrow, Derek Muschalek, Jeffrey Musser, Brooke Nicotra, Elaine Owens, Jay & Laura Packer, David Phalen, Susan Phalen, Randy Pinkston, Truman Powell, David Pupke, Helen Rajzek, Ellen Ratoosh, Eddie Ray, Jennifer Reidy, John & Barbara Ribble, Sue Ruotsala, Karen Russel, Susan Schaezler, Jim Sealy, Phoebe Lou Sealy, Willie Sekula, John Sheffield, Stephen Sigman, Janet Thompson, Harvey Truskett, Robert Truss, Betty Vermeire, Darrell Vollert, David Weaver, Matt White, Dan Wilkerson, Shirley Wilkerson, Jack Windsor, David Wolf, Mimi Hoppe Wolf.


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

to Home Page


This web site is designed by Bert Frenz. For comments, E-mail to bert@bafrenz.com.
Copyright 2002 Bert Frenz. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 20, 2004.