North American Birds

VOLUME 70 NO2 2018

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

Issue link: http://nab.aba.org/i/1028840

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V O L U M E 7 0 ( 2 0 1 8 ) • N U M B E R 2 209 T E X A S expected. Two Golden-fronted Woodpeckers wandered north of the species' expected range to Pinto Canyon, Presidio 17-24 Jan (DoB, ABi, ML). Red-bellied Woodpeckers on the South Plains included 2 at Ransom Lake, Lubbock 19 Dec–1 Jan (DBa, JBo et al.) and one at White River Lake, Crosby 2 Jan (PKe, RKo). Very surprising was a Downy Woodpecker at Del Rio, Val Verde 9 Jan (ph. KGl). A Hairy Woodpecker wandered to Plainview, Hale 1 Jan (NP). A Crested Caracara near McNary Res., Hud - speth 19 Dec (ph. BZ) provided the fourth county record. Single Merlins were reported at Alazan Bayou W.M.A., Nacogdoches 20 Dec (DW) and Sabinetown, Sabine 28 Dec (DBe) providing rare winter records for the Piney - woods. An Aplomado Falcon wandered east of where they are being introduced to Brazoria N.W.R., Brazoria 1-3 Dec (MaL, MM). FLYCATCHERS THROUGH SWALLOWS Greater Pewees made news in the eastern half of TX, with singles at Anzalduas C.P., Hidalgo through 10 Feb (m.ob.); Bear Creek Park, Harris all period (m.ob.); Refugio, Refugio 27 Nov+ (m.ob.). Hammond's Flycatchers made an unexpectedly strong showing with singles at Del Rio, Val Verde 30 Dec–17 Jan (ST, JM, KGl et al.); San Angelo S.P., Tom Green 17 Jan–13 Mar (ph. WCa); Granger Lake, Williamson 5 Feb+ (CRo, ph., m.ob.). A Dusky Flycatcher lingered at El Paso, El Paso 2 Dec–1 Jan (ph. BZ). The presumed Pacific-slope Flycatcher from fall at Sabal Palm, Cameron remained through the winter (m.ob.). A Western Fly - catcher found along the Medina R. near Mac- dona, Bexar was present through at least 30 Jan (ph. WSe, MR, SCo). The Black Phoebe found at Mustang I., Nueces in Nov was pres - ent again 27 Feb (AO); also of note was one at Lubbock, Lubbock 6 Dec (PKe). A Say's Phoebe wandered east to the Richland Creek W.M.A., Navarro 31 Dec–4 Jan (DG, DDC, DLi, LBe). A Vermilion Flycatcher near the Big Thicket National Preserve, Gregg 19 Dec (RLe) may of Cove, Chambers 20 Dec (DHa). A very compelling study of a White-throated Swift at Portland, San Patricio 9 Feb (SCa) pro - vided the first modern day record of the species in the Coastal Bend. The Blue- throated Hummingbird from fall at El Paso, El Paso remained through the period (ph. JoB, m.ob.). A Lucifer Hummingbird lin - gered in the Christmas Mountains, Brews- ter until 14 Dec (KB) providing a second winter record for TX and the U.S. A Ruby- throated Hummingbird made an unusual winter appearance near Wellborn, Brazos 4-5 Dec (JHa). There was an unexpected plethora of hummingbirds at Rose Hill Acres, Hardin that included a lingering Ruby-throated through the season, a Black- chinned present until 13 Feb, most notably an Anna's 4 Dec–16 Feb, and a Broad-tailed 12-14 Feb (ph. JMa et al.). Other winter season hum - mingbirds of note included a Black-chinned Hummingbird at McKinney, Collin all period (StB) and an Anna's at Nederland, Jefferson 13-15 Jan (JoW, JaW et al.). Wintering Broad- tailed Hummingbirds were at Kleb Woods, Harris 5-16 Dec (FC, et al.), Friendswood, Galveston 24 Jan–24 Feb (JHe), and Nederland, Jefferson 19-29 Feb (JaW, JoW). An Allen's Hummingbird returned to Austin, Travis for a second consecutive winter and was last seen 8 Feb (AF, EF). The Broad-billed Hummingbird from fall near Fort Davis, Jeff Davis lingered un - til 12 Jan (MLi). A Ringed Kingfisher found at Bastrop Bayou, Brazoria 28 Feb (CJ, MJ) pro - vided the sixth record for the U.T.C. A pair of Green Kingfishers made a brief appearance at Lone Star College, Montgomery 1-3 Jan (JJa, ph. GB, NB, MCo). Wandering, single Red-headed Woodpeckers were noted at Menard, Menard 12 Dec (MR, SCo) and at Lubbock, Lubbock 30 Jan–20 Feb (PKe, LM). Perhaps part of a low- density population in the area, an Acorn Wood - pecker was a nice find west of Junction, Kimble 6 Feb (SW). Acorn Woodpecker now breeds in w. El Paso, El Paso, but one on the east slope of the Franklin Mountains 2 Dec (ph. BZ) was un - JHa). Late Franklin's Gulls were noted at Rich- land Creek W.M.A., Freestone 25 Dec–4 Feb (BFa, TWS); Granger Lake, Williamson through 30 Dec (TF); near Hornsby Bend, Travis 1 Jan (EC, MaC); Smither's Lake, Fort Bend 15 Jan (MSc); and at Lake Casa Blanca, Webb 6 Feb (ph. MGu). A California Gull was at the Hwy. 48 boat ramp in Hidalgo 27 Feb (ph. MBS). An adult Vega Herring Gull was present again at the Brownsville Landfill, Cameron 18 Jan–6 Feb (ph. MR, WSe). Thayer's Gulls were re - ported at Lake Jackson, Brazoria 20 Dec (ph. TLe, SuH); from Ash Lake, Harris 28 Dec (NR); at Packery Channel, Nueces 29 Jan (ph. CaF, ChF); and at the Brownsville Landfill, Cam - eron 6 Feb (ph. MR, WSe). A first-cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull at Temple, Bell 7 Feb (ph. RPi) furnished a first county record. Lesser Black-backed Gulls were also observed at Fort Hancock Res., Hudspeth 19 Dec (JiP); Keystone Heritage Park, El Paso 1 Jan (ph. JiP); Jonathan Rogers W.T.P., El Paso 8 & 12 Feb (ph. CJG, ph. MP); and at Falcon S.P., Starr 27 Feb (ph. JSc). A first-cycle Great Black-backed Gull was at the Quintana Jetty, Brazoria 20 Dec (ph. JRa, DS). An imm. Sooty Tern observed at Port Aransas, Nueces 26 Dec (ph. AO) provided a very rare winter record. Two Black Terns at Port Aran - sas, Nueces 27 Dec (ph. CW, WSe, JeB) fol- lowed by what were probably the same birds at Mustang Island S.P. 15 Jan (ph. ABa) were rare for winter. Two Common Ground-Doves were at Grape Creek, Tom Green 10 Dec (ph. ML) while 9 were at the Fort Worth Nature Pre - serve, Tarrant 5 Jan (MSa). A Groove-billed Ani was a very rare find at Aledo, Tarrant 24-26 Dec (MiL, GC, ph., m.ob.). A Burrowing Owl was enjoyed by many at Anahuac N.W.R., Cham - bers 29 Jan+ (JoW, SM, m.ob.) Unusual was a Common Nighthawk northwest of Wheeler Springs, Houston 6 Jan (†BR). A bit north was a vocalizing Common Pauraque southwest of Kirtley, Fayette 19 Feb (JeP). Of great interest was a Chaetura swift south Solitary Sandpipers are not expected during winter in the northern half of Texas. This season one was at Lubbock, Lubbock 17-24 (here 24) December and provided the fourth record for the South Plains. Photo by © Mark W. Lockwood. SA Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers were present in surprisingly high numbers in the western third of Texas through the late fall and into the winter. This was particularly evident on the South Plains westward through the eastern half of the Trans-Pecos. New high counts were established on the Lubbock (Lubbock) and White River Lake (Crosby) Christmas Bird Counts with more than 10 recorded on each. Astoundingly, at least 37 different individuals were tallied in Brewster, Jeff Davis, Presidio, and Reeves (m.ob.) during the period. During most winters the number of birds found throughout this region would be in the single digits. In contrast, there was only a single report from El Paso where a juvenile was present 21 Feb (JiP). Interestingly, Red-naped Sapsuckers were found at a number of locations east of that species' normal wintering range, including singles at Lubbock, Lubbock 5 Dec (AH); Bear Creek Park, Harris 12 Dec (DD); Ransom Lake, Lubbock 26 Dec (AH, PKi); Lake Austin, Travis 10 Jan (MBe); Levelland, Hockley 21-29 Feb (AH et al.); and McKinney Falls S.P., Travis 28 Feb+ (ph. AM).

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