phil jeffrey:: Texas, 2009-2010 trip report
Princeton gives me a few days off over Xmas and New Year so I decided to make the most of some of those and head to warmer climates for birding. A poor sparrow year in AZ and a Northern Jacana in TX tipped the balance to TX.
If you're reading this for trip planning, my TX web resources and site guide has details that might be some use to you - to avoid repetition I've spun it off into its own web page. The ability to use my iPhone to check sightings and act as a primitive GPS while on the road was very useful. Both features tend to be valuable but the email access didn't actually change trip plans much. I'd also started using the "voice notes" feature from the newer software as a way of keeping rapid notes in the field rather than writing anything down at the time.
Back in days of yore I used to fly into Houston and hit one or two birding sites on my way down to the McAllen-Brownsville area. That's a long drive, and of late I've found that flying into San Antonio can be cheaper. Not only can the actual flight be cheaper than Houston despite sharing the same initial leg into IAH but car rental in Houston appears to have become a lot more expensive. Flying directly to McAllen has always been far more expensive than it was actually worth.
On the road by 12:30pm, I headed straight to Choke Canyon State Park by way of I-35, US-281 and the town of Three Rivers. En route I saw what appeared to be a flock of Lark Buntings headed south, but they were in flight and I was at 70mph so it's rather non-definitive.
At the entrance booth to the Calliham unit of Choke Canyon SP the naturalist on duty told me where to find the Jacana. Took me about 15 mins to find it at the northwest corner of 75-acre Lake amid numerous ducks, and in the meanwhile birds like Vermilion Flycatcher (female), Eastern Phoebe, Harris's Hawk, Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers kept me busy. The Northern Jacana (Life bird # 617 on US list) was foraging at the tip of the earthen ramp but I could see it from the paved ramp and managed to get closer to get a few photos in non-idyllic light.
Northern Jacana at Choke Canyon
In retrospect what I should have done is stay at Choke Canyon SP until sunset, but what I actually did was head south to Laredo and then further south toward San Ygnacio with an idea of getting to the latter location just before sunset. This didn't work out, despite generally fast roads, because of traffic around Laredo. In the end I stopped at the rest area a few miles north of San Ygnacio (in Zapata Co) for sunset, saw basically nothing despite the elevated riverside location. En route I had seen numerous American Kestels, Northern Caracara, Loggerhead Shrike, Red-tailed Hawk and both Vultures. There really aren't any mapped birding locations between Choke Cyn and Laredo so I didn't skip anything intermediate but I could have birded the river at Laredo or stayed at Choke Canyon longer.
Overnight at a run-down and noisy Motel 6 in Laredo (motel #1107). Not a recommended location.
A few miles down the road, as the Camry starting to shed some of the wet caliche that covered it, I pulled onto the "park" next to the library at Zapata. I was looking for seedeater but had no success at first, with Yellow-rumped (incl. Audubon's) and Orange-crowned Warbler, Common Moorhen, Common Yellowthroat, Green and Great Blue Heron. Finally on my second pass I briefly saw a male White-collared Seedeater skulking in the grasses on the north side of the pond. Seen only once, it was enough to get the color and bill pattern from this bird.
Further down-river at Salineno the river itself was quiet (Caracara, Osprey, Gadwall, Am. Wigeon, Spotted Sandpiper, Am. White Pelican). At the feeders - which now have hosts again - there was rather more activity: White-winged Dove, Inca Dove, Common Ground Dove, White-tipped Dove, Altamira Oriole, Hooded Oriole, Audubon's Oriole, Bewick's Wren, Ladder-backed and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers. The Rio Grande floods in 2010 might have caused problems with the Salineno site.
I backtracked a little to Falcon State Park and toured the camping loops, especially the lower one: Greater Roadrunner, Pyrrhuloxia, Curve-billed Thrasher, American Pipit, Vermilion Flycatcher, American White Pelican. The lower camping loop wasn't flooded this year, so wasn't quite as productive as previously. I then drove toward the lower Rio Grande Valley, skipping an intermediate stop at Roma where the town square is worth a visit if you've not been there). En route I picked up Ringed Kingfisher on roadside wires outside La Hoya.
A quick visit to Bentsen State Park yielded Tropical Kingbird and Cooper's Hawk but no sign of the Bare-throated Tiger Heron so I moved on. This was however the first Tropical Kingbird I'd seen in several years. In Weslaco at Frontera Audubon I found the preserve quiet, with no hummingbirds and just common species like White-tipped Dove, Plain Chachalaca, and a gathering Turkey Vulture roost. I zipped to nearby Estero Llano Grande SP where things were more productive: Least Grebe, Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Long-billed Dowitcher, Least Sandpiper, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, Common Moorhen and Anhinga.
Least Grebe at Estero Llano Grande
I staked out the Green Parakeet roost at Violet/10th in McAllen and manged to get a few early birds coming into roost, leaving me just enough time for a sprint to Bentsen at sunset in search of the Tiger-Heron. It just vanished as I arrived and did not stick its head out again before sunset. I ended up staying there until after dusk, finally seeing this species flying out at 6:30pm (quite a distinctive flight style) southbound over the levee. This was USA life bird #618. A Pauraque flew by at dusk, as a bonus.I stayed overnight in a perfectly average Motel 6 in Harlingen.
A rather cold and windy convention center on SPI held: American White and Brown Pelicans, Little Blue and Tricolored Herons, Snowy and Great Egrets, Great Blue Heron. Redhead, Mottled Duck, Northern Pintail, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Loon, Dunlin, Sanderling, unidentified peeps, Willet, American Coot and Common Moorhen. Skulking passerines dodging the weather included: Catbird, Lincoln's Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Phoebe. Out on the bay mudflats I added Long-billed Dowitcher, Spotted Sandpiper, Killdeer, Semipalmated Plover, Northern Harrier and Bufflehead. I left South Padre after grabbing breakfast and headed for Laguna Atascosa NWR, seeing Long-billed Curlew and White-tailed Hawk en route. Stopping to check out the Curlews, a dark falcon screamed by me - an almost certain Aplomado but not seen well-enough to be sure, especially since my binoculars were not in my hands at the time.
At Laguna Atascosa itself the feeders were quiet apart from a Cooper's Hawk trying to kill a White-tipped Dove. But for a change the auto loop was fairly productive with many thousands of shorebirds on the bay flats. Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit and Dunlin were the most numerous, also Ruddy Turnstone and American Avocet. Forster's and Gull-billed Terns were around. Waterfowl were also numerous: Eared Grebe, Riddy Duck, Greater White-fronted Goose, Ross's Goose, Snow Goose, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Nothern Shoveler, Redhead. Raptors were White-tailed Hawk and Caracara - no more Aplomados.
Heading west toward Weslaco I picked up White-tailed Kite en route. I went back to Estero Llano SP and found largely the same species as the previous day: Pied-billed and Least Grebe, all the expected herons, Black-necked Stilt, Long-billed Dowitcher, Stilt Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Northern Shoveler, Cinnamon Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, Vermilion Flycatcher, Orange-crowned Warbler. A Green Kingfisher was perched feeding just off the observation deck - at one point this species was my #1 nemesis bird. I also watched a Least Grebe following in the wake of a Northern Shoveler. Frontera Audubon was closed for the day so I didn't go there.
Green Kingfisher at Estero Llano Grande
Toward the end of the day I ended up back at Bentsen SP the Bare-throated Tiger-Heron was rather more cooperative, giving good views. There were Green and Belted Kingfishers at Resaca along with Anhinga, Cormorant sp, Ring-necked Duck and American Coot. Elswhere in Bentsen I picked up: Green Jay, Great Kiskadee, Indigo Bunting, Altamira Oriole, White-tipped Dove, Plain Chachalaca, Merlin, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Neotropic Cormorant and White-tailed Kite were along canal, and a Pauraque was along Old Military Hwy at dusk
Stayed overnight in a Motel 6 in Mission (#4306)
Bare-throated Tiger-Heron (first USA record individual) at Bentsen State Park
Crested Caracara along "Sparrow Road" at La Hoya
Back (again !!) at the nearby Bentsen - I picked up Buff-bellied and Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Olive Sparrow, searched unsuccessfully for the Allen's Hummingbird, but found singing Altamira Oriole and Inca Dove. I just birded around the visitor center. Then onto Anzalduas CP where the most numerous thing was ravenous mosquitos. In addition: Green Jay, Great Kiskadee, Black Phoebe, Eastern Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Black-and-white Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, Pine Warbler, American Goldfinch, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-throated Green Warbler, Meadowlark sp, Black-crested Titmouse, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Ladder-backed and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers. Inca Dove and Blue-headed Vireo rounded out the list.
Heading to Santa Ana NWR I found Cattle Egret. At Santa Ana NWR itself it was relatively quiet. Around Willow Lake I had Long-billed Thrasher, Common Moorhen and American Coot, Least and Pied-billed Grebe, Gadwall, N. Shoveler and Blue-winged Teal. Near the old managers residence the passerines were Black-and-white Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Great Kiskadee, Eastern Phoebe. On Pintail Lakes: American White Pelican, Roseate Spoonbill, Tricolored Heron, Snowy and Great Egrets, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Mottled Duck, Belted Kingfisher, Neotropic Cormorant, Black-necked Stilt and some other distant shorebirds.
Heading west to Weslaco two Peregrines were hunting amongst the farm fields. At Estero Llano the species were the same as the previous day, including cooperative Green Kingfisher, White-tailed Kite, Buff-bellied and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. I looped back to Bentsen once more for Allen's Hummingbird which I finally found, along with Lesser Goldfinch, Sharp-tailed Hawk and yet another look at the Tiger-Heron. I exited the Rio Grande Valley via the large Green Parakeet roost at 10th and Violet in McAllen, with a big Great-tailed Grackle roost further north.
I drove 2:40 north and stayed overnight at the Corpus Christi Motel 6 (#231) that I've stayed at before, arriving relatively late in the day.
I drove from Corpus Christi to Port Aransas for dawn, hopping on the ferry but greeted with relatively dreary weather. Water levels were high at the water treatment plant ponds but it was moderately productive: Least Grebe, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Duck, Forster's Tern, Dowitcher sp., both Pelican species, Great Blue Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Northern Harrier, a heard Clapper Rail, and Eastern Phoebe. At nearby Paradise Pond behind the Shark Reef "Resort": White Ibis, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Orange-crowned Warbler, with very high water at the boardwalk level.I drove north from Port Aransas and Rockport to Aransas NWR where I found the usual pair of Whooping Cranes from the overlook - where they are building a new overlook ramp. Also: Great and Snowy Egret, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, and quite a few bay ducks too far out to ID given the ugly conditions. There were several American Robin flocks along the entrance road. I spent a little time scanning new sites in my meander north - the area south-east of Port Lavaca. At Magnolia and Indianola: Tricolored Heron, Forster's Tern, Greater White-fronted Goose, White-tailed Hawk, and a dead Barn Owl along the road. Out in the Gulf and the adjacent marshes: Snowy and Great Egret, White and White-faced Ibis, Hooded Merganser, Greater Scaup, Willet, Great Blue Heron, Double-creasted Cormorant, Loggerhead Shrike, Greater Yellowlegs, Savannah Sparrow. Along local roads like 2760 there were flocks of Greater White-fronted Geese and Sandhill Cranes, and a Long-billed Curlew was flying over 316.
As I cut north out of Port Lavaca along 172 toward Granado I came across the Formosa-Tejano Wetlands which had several impoundments that held American Coot, Lesser Scaup, Northern Shoveler, Snow Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Sandhill Crane, Blue-winged Teal, Gadwall, Northern Pintail. I wasn't aware of this site.
I made it to Attwater Prairie Chicker NWR late in the afternoon and found the tour route closed due to "wet roads" so I was limited to the entrance road in rather murky conditions. Vesper and Savannah Sparrows were numerous, as were Eastern Meadowlarks - these are species that you consistently find here in winter in good numbers. Northern Harrier and Red-tailed Hawks were around but it was the dark immature raptors that gave me the most problem and it took me a while to realize that they were White-tailed Hawks (first winter) rather than Swainson's Hawks as I had initially identified them.
Overnight Super8 Wharton
At Katy Prairie for scanned the Brookshire area at Morrison and Pattison Roads but sparrows were not playing ball - exception of a few Savannah Sparrows. A flock of Brewer's Blackbirds and lots of American Pipits were more cooperative. I found an accumulating waterfowl flock with thousands of Northern Pintails, Greater White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose and Canada-Cackling Geese but the white-cheeked geese were too distant to ID. The sun started to break through while I was in Katy Prairie so I returned to Attwater NWR and added nothing new. So I headed south toward the Rockport area once again. The only American Crows for the trip were found around Eagle Lake.
At the Formosa-Tejano wetlands auto tour route (west of 172): Northern Pintail, Blue-winged Teal Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, White-crowned Sparrow, Carolina Chickadee, Savannah Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Phoebe. This auto tour route is bumpy, grassy, with relatively few overlooks and somewhat of of a challenge for a passenger car. Waterfowl were skittish. At the impoundments visited the previous day there were two immature Bald Eagles scaring the living daylights out of Lesser Scaup, American Coot, Ruddy Duck, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal. Sandhill Cranes and Greater White-fronted Geese were nearby.
With a certain amount of inference I tracked down River Road on the Guadalupe River delta and found this a nice quite side road with roadside water - Yellow-rumped Warbler, Orange-crowned Warber, Eastern Phoebe, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2 Red-shouldered Hawks, Pied-billed Grebe, American Coot, Loggerhead Shrike, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. This is most certainly worth a return visit.
I returned to Port Aransas in rather better weather than the previous day and found a typical range of birds: Least Grebe, Cinnamon Teal, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Brown Pelican, Tricolored Heron, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Black-necked Stilt, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow-rumped Warbler.
I wound up at the Microtel hotel in Aransas Pass.
Returning to Port Aransas at 8:15 am it was a mere 40 degrees but at least it was sunny. As you'd anticipate I found pretty much the same birds. The surprise was a brief look at a Least Bittern in the reeds. Otherwise: Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, a Cinnamon Teal pair, and fly-by Northern Pintail, Snowy and Great Egrets, Tricolored Heron, Pied-billed Grebe, Black-necked Stilt, Greater Yellowlegs, American White Pelican. A large adult Cooper's Hawk kept terrorizing things, and passerines were limited to Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers. For the first time I checked the area at the pier and found only Willet. There seems to be no compelling reason to go there again.
Heading down Mustang Island toward Corpus Christi I found Redhead at Corpus Christi channel, and at Packery Channel Park a little scoping turned up Willet, Dunlin, Black-bellied Plover, Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, American Oystercatcher, Forster's and Royal Terns.
It was then time to head out via Corpus Christi and head north to Choke Canyon SP on my way toward San Antonio. Returning to the same lake I found the Northern Jacana again (for the year list this time) along with American Coot, Gadwall, the same Vermilion Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Lincoln's and Savannah Sparrows, Harris's Hawk and a particularly dark Red-tailed Hawk. Great Egret, Snowy Egret and Great Blue Heron clustered around me expectantly as I repacked the car near the fish cleaning station (clearly a learnt behavior) and I found a Green Jay at the camp loop - perhaps about as far north as I have seen them. An Armadillo was possibly the first ever for me. The last year bird for this early start to the list was a White-winged Dove near Jourdantown en route to the airport, where checking in at American Airlines was a breeze this time around.
|Common Loon||Gavia immer|
|Least Grebe||Tachybaptus dominicus|
|Pied-billed Grebe||Podilymbus podiceps|
|Eared Grebe||Podiceps nigricollis|
|American White Pelican||Pelicanus erythrorhynchos|
|Brown Pelican||Pelicanus occidentalis|
|Neotropic Cormorant||Phalacrocorax brasilianus|
|Double-crested Cormorant||Phalacrocorax auritus|
|Least Bittern||Ixobrychus exilis|
|Bare-throated Tiger-Heron||Tigrisoma mexicanum|
|Great Blue Heron||Ardea herodius|
|Great Egret||Ardea alba|
|Snowy Egret||Egretta thula|
|Little Blue Heron||Egretta caerulea|
|Tricolored Heron||Egretta tricolor|
|Cattle Egret||Bubulcus ibis|
|Green Heron||Butorides virescens|
|Black-crowned Night Heron||Nycticorax nycticorax|
|White Ibis||Eudocimus albus|
|White-faced Ibis||Plegadis chihi|
|Roseate Spoonbill||Platalea ajaja|
|Black Vulture||Coragyps atratus|
|Turkey Vulture||Cathartes aura|
|Black-bellied Whistling-Duck||Dendrocygna autumna|
|Greater White-fronted Goose||Anser albifrons|
|Snow Goose||Chen caerulescens|
|Ross's Goose||Chen rossii|
|Canada Goose||Branta canadensis|
|American Wigeon||Anas americana|
|Mottled Duck||Anas fulvigula|
|Blue-winged Teal||Anas discors|
|Cinnamon Teal||Anas cyanoptera|
|Northern Shoveler||Spatula clypeata|
|Northern Pintail||Anas acuta|
|Green-winged Teal||Anas crecca|
|Ring-necked Duck||Aythya collaris|
|Greater Scaup||Aythya marila|
|Lesser Scaup||Aythya affinis|
|Hooded Merganser||Lophodytes cucullatus|
|Red-breasted Merganser||Mergus serrator|
|Ruddy Duck||Oxyura jamaicensis|
|White-tailed Kite||Elanus leucurus|
|Bald Eagle||Haliaeetus leucocephalus|
|Northern Harrier||Circus cyaneus|
|Sharp-shinned Hawk||Accipter striatus|
|Cooper's Hawk||Accipter cooperii|
|Harris's Hawk||Parabuteo unicinctus|
|Red-shouldered Hawk||Buteo lineatus|
|White-tailed Hawk||Buteo albicaudatus|
|Red-tailed Hawk||Buteo jamaicensis|
|Crested Caracara||Caracara plancus|
|American Kestrel||Falco sparverius|
|Peregrine Falcon||Falco peregrinus|
|Plain Chachalaca||Ortalis vetula|
|Common Moorhen||Gallinula chloropus|
|American Coot||Fulica americana|
|Sandhill Crane||Antigone canadensis|
|Whooping Crane||Grus americana|
|Black-bellied Plover||Pluvialis squatarola|
|Semipalmated Plover||Charadrius semipalmatus|
|American Oystercatcher||Haematopus palliatus|
|Black-necked Stilt||Himantopus mexicanus|
|American Avocet||Recurvirostra americana||Laguna Atascosa NWR, Port Aransas|
|Northern Jacana||Jacana spinosa||Choke Canyon SP|
|Greater Yellowlegs||Tringa melanoleuca|
|Lesser Yellowlegs||Tringa flavipes|
|Spotted Sandpiper||Actitis macularia||Estero Llano Grande SP|
|Long-billed Curlew||Numenius americanus||Laguna Atascosa NWR, Corpus Christi, Katy, Attwater NWR|
|Marbled Godwit||Limosa fedoa||Laguna Atascosa NWR, Corpus Christi|
|Ruddy Turnstone||Arenaria interpres||Laguna Atascosa NWR, Corpus Christi|
|Sanderling||Calidris alba||Corpus Christi|
|Least Sandpiper||Calidris minutilla||Estero Llano Grande SP|
|Dunlin||Calidris alpina||South Padre Island, Corpus Christi|
|Stilt Sandpiper||Calidris himantopus||Estero Llano Grande SP|
|Long-billed Dowitcher||Limnodromus scolopaceus||Estero Llano Grande SP etc|
|Laughing Gull||Larus atricilla|
|Ring-billed Gull||Larus delawarensis|
|Herring Gull||Larus argentatus|
|Gull-billed Tern||Sterna nilotica||Laguna Atascosa NWR|
|Royal Tern||Sterna maxima|
|Forster's Tern||Sterna forsteri|
|Rock Dove (Rock Pigeon)||Columba livia|
|European Collared Dove||Steptopelia decaocto|
|White-winged Dove||Zenaida asiatica||Salineno etc|
|Mourning Dove||Zenaida macroura|
|Inca Dove||Columbina inca||Salineno, Estero Llano Grande SP|
|Common Ground Dove||Columbina passerina|
|White-tipped Dove||Leptotila verreauxi|
|Green Parakeet||Aratinga holochlora||McAllen|
|Greater Roadrunner||Geococcyx californianus||Falcon SP|
|Common Pauraque||Nyctidromus albicollis||Bentsen SP|
|Buff-bellied Hummingbird||Amazilia yucatanensis||Bentsen SP, Estero Llano Grande SP|
|Ruby-throated Hummingbird||Archilochus colubris||Estero Llano Grande SP|
|Black-chinned Hummingbird||Archilochus alexandri||Bentsen SP|
|Allen's Hummingbird||Selasphorus sasin||Bentsen SP|
|Ringed Kingfisher||Megaceryle torquata||Bentsen SP, US-83 at La Hoya|
|Belted Kingfisher||Megaceryle alcyon|
|Green Kingfisher||Chloroceryle americana||Estero Llano Grande SP, Bentsen SP|
|Golden-fronted Woodpecker||Melanerpes aurifrons|
|Yellow-bellied Sapsucker||Sphyrapicus varius||Bentsen SP, Guadalupe River Delta|
|Ladder-backed Woodpecker||Picoides scalaris|
|Tropical Kingbird||Tyrannus melancholicus||Bentsen SP|
|Loggerhead Shrike||Lanius ludovicianus|
|Blue-headed Vireo||Vireo solitarius||Anzalduas SP|
|Green Jay||Cyanocorax yncas|
|American Crow||Corvus brachyrhynchos||Upper TX coast|
|Cave Swallow||Petrochelidon fulva||Estero Llano Grande, Attwater PC NWR|
|Carolina Chickadee||Poecile carolinensis||Formosa-Tejano wetlands|
|Black-crested Titmouse||Baeolophus atricristatus|
|Verdin||Auriparus flaviceps||La Hoya|
|Bewick's Wren||Thryomanes bewickii||Salineno|
|House Wren||Troglodytes aedon|
|Ruby-crowned Kinglet||Regulus calendula|
|Blue-gray Gnatcatcher||Polioptila caerulea|
|American Robin||Turdus migratorius||Aransas NWR|
|Gray Catbird||Dumetella carolinensis||South Padre Island|
|Northern Mockingbird||Mimus polyglottus|
|Long-billed Thrasher||Toxostoma longirostre||Santa Ana NWR|
|Curve-billed Thrasher||Toxostoma curvirostre||Falcon SP|
|European Starling||Sternus vulgaris|
|American Pipit||Anthus rubescens||Choke Cyn SP, Katy Prairie|
|Sprague's Pipit||Anthus spragueii||Attwater PC NWR|
|Orange-crowned Warbler||Oreothlypis celata|
|Yellow-rumped Warbler||Dendroica coronata|
|Black-throated Green Warbler||Dendroica virens||Anzalduas SP|
|Yellow-throated Warbler||Dendroica dominica||Anzalduas SP|
|Black and White Warbler||Mniotilta varia||Anzalduas SP, Santa Ana NWR|
|Common Yellowthroat||Geothlypis trichas|
|Olive Sparrow||Arremonops rufivirgatus||Bentsen SP|
|White-collared Seedeater||Sporophila torqueola||Zapata|
|Vesper Sparrow||Pooecetes gramineus||La Hoya|
|Lark Sparrow||Chondestes grammacus||La Hoya|
|Savannah Sparrow||Passerculus sandwichensis|
|Lincoln's Sparrow||Melospiza lincolnii|
|White-crowned Sparrow||Zonotrichia leucophrys||La Hoya, Formosa-Tejano wetlands|
|Northern Cardinal||Cardinalis cardinalis|
|Pyrrhuloxia||Cardinalis sinuatus||La Hoya, Falcon SP|
|Indigo Bunting||Passerina cyanea||Bentsen SP|
|Red-winged Blackbird||Agelaius tricolor|
|Eastern Meadowlark||Sturnella magna||Attwater PC NWR|
|Western Meadowlark||Sturnella neglecta||La Hoya, Choke Canyon|
|Brewer's Blackbird||Euphagus cyanocephalus||Katy Prairie|
|Great-tailed Grackle||Quiscalus mexicanus|
|Brown-headed Cowbird||Molothrus ater||Aransas NWR|
|Hooded Oriole||Icterus cucullatus||San Ygnacio|
|Altamira Oriole||Icterus gularis||Salineno, Bentsen|
|Audubon's Oriole||Icterus graduacauda||Salineno|
|Lesser Goldfinch||Carduelis psaltria||Bentsen SP|
|American Goldfinch||Carduelis tristis||Anzalduas SP|
|House Sparrow||Passer domesticus||Cities, larger towns|
159 species, 2 probables, 2 life birds, many year birds. Possibles included Lark Bunting along I-37, Aplomado Falcon fly-by near Laguna Atascosa NWR. This turned out to be pretty much half my year list in 5 days.