North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO2 2016

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.

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N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 262 Warblers on the e. side of their expected range included singles at Central Heights, Nacogdo - ches 8 Jan (MHW) and Friendswood, Harris 19 Feb (ph. AWe). Single Prairie Warblers popped up at Aransas N.W.R., Aransas 22 Dec (ph. BK), Cedar Point, Chambers 19 Jan (HG), and the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse, Hidalgo (m.ob.), where it was present the entire period. Black- throated Gray Warblers made an impressive showing away from known wintering areas, with one remaining at El Paso, El Paso through 12 Feb (ph. BZi), singles at High Island, Galves - ton 18 Dec (SGa, LG, RG), Fort Clark Springs, Kinney 20 Dec (BrC), Camp Wood Hills, Ed - wards 25 Dec (THi), Braunig Lake, Bexar 26 Jan (BSD), Crownridge Canyon Natural Area, Bex - ar 9 Feb (MCr), and Corpus Christi, Nueces 21 Feb (PC). Also of interest was one at San Mar - cos, Hays through the period that was joined by a second bird 20 Feb (ph. LT). This is the sixth consecutive winter this species has been found in winter at this location. Townsend's Warblers made a good showing in Big Bend, Brewster, with singles at Laguna Meadows 30 Dec (STo, DN), Boot Spring 26 Jan (JWe), and along the Lost Mine Trail 21 Feb (GW). In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, single Townsend's Warblers were noted at Sabal Palm Sanctuary, Cameron 11 Dec (DA), Harlingen, Cameron 3 Jan (RPe), and Weslaco, Hidalgo 8-16 Jan (ph. Karen O'Hearn). A Painted Redstart was an outstanding find in the Braniff Unit of San Bernard N.W.R., Brazoria 24-28 Feb (JWi, SHe, RWe), and for the second consecutive winter, one spent the season at the Falfurrias Rest Stop, Brooks (m.ob.). SPARROWS THROUGH FINCHES A Green-tailed Towhee wandered a bit east- ward to Tejas Camp, Williamson 18 Dec–7 Feb (JiH, BNo, m.ob.). Just w. of the normal range were 2 Eastern Towhees at Afton, Dickens 26 Dec (AH, PK), one near Kalgary, Crosby 4 Jan (AH), and another in a Lubbock yard, Lubbock 9 Feb (JCr). The range of American Tree Sparrow has re - treated to primarily the n. half of the Panhandle in recent decades, making the appearance of 2 on the coastal prairies astounding: one was near Galveston Island S.P., Galveston 5 Jan (ph. DSh, RWe), the other at Bay City, Matagorda 11 Jan (BoF). Another American Tree Spar - row of note was at Kilgore, Gregg 2 Jan (†PHa). Clay-colored Sparrows wintered in the e. half Jan–10 Feb (ph. ML, AWo et al.). Wandering Sage Thrashers included one at Colorado Bend S.P., San Saba 19 Jan (CRa) and an - other at Devine Lake, Wil- liamson 21-25 Jan (RD, ph., m.ob.). Cedar Waxwings were abundant in East Tex - as, as evidenced by an esti- mated 5200 at a single site at Lake Sam Rayburn, San Augustine 22 Feb (DW). A Lapland Longspur was a somewhat unexpected find at the Texas City Dike, Galveston 4 Dec (DK). More than 15,000 Lapland Longspurs were reported near Perryton, Ochiltree 9 Jan (GL, CS); this is the largest such report in Texas since the winter of 1983-1984. A McCown's Longspur was an excellent find on the Bolivar Flats, Galveston 10-11 Jan (ph. GP et al.). Lingering Louisiana Waterthrushes were at Utopia, Uvalde 6 Dec+ (ph. MHe), along the Medina River in San Antonio, Bexar 20-21 Dec (ph. CFe, BW), and at Stockdale, Wilson 4 Jan (DMu). A presumably wintering Northern Waterthrush was reported from Sabine Woods, Jefferson 28 Feb (MCo). A Tennessee Warbler lingered at Port Aransas, Nueces through at least 11 Jan (ph. MBe, WSe, RWe, MR). Nashville Warblers away from the coast included one at Sanders Creek Ranch, Lamar 20 Dec (EJ) and another at Del Rio, Val Verde 28 Dec (MR, SC). A Gray-crowned Yellowthroat at Estero Llano Grande S.P., Hidalgo 24 Jan+ (ph. HH) delighted scores of birders. A Hooded Warbler was at Riverside Park, Victoria, Victoria 2 Jan (DMu). A lingering Northern Parula was a nice find at Brazos Bend S.P., Fort Bend 20 Dec (MLa et al.). A second winter report of Northern Parula came from Sabine Woods, Jefferson 2-4 Jan (RaL et al.). Tropical Parulas on the edge of their range were noted at Knolle Ranch, Nueces 6 Dec (TFi, ph. RWe) and Laredo, Webb 6-9 Feb (HR). A Magnolia Warbler was reported from w. Galveston Island, Galveston 3 Jan (KC), and another was at Sabal Palm, Cameron 12 Dec+ (DA, MG). A Yellow Warbler was a rather surprising report from w. Houston, Harris 4 Jan (DeG). A Palm Warbler at Dell City, Hud - speth 17 Jan (BSt, m.ob.) was just the fourth for Hudspeth and the first in winter. Audubon's JiP). There appears to be considerable overlap in the vocalizations of this species and Winter Wren; the record will be reviewed by the state records committee. This season seemed to be a banner year for Winter Wren in the e. half of the Trans-Pecos, with numerous reports. This was highlighted by 3 present at one location in McKittrick Canyon, Culberson 5-9 Dec (ML, PSu, MG et al.). Farther s., one was at Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, Hidalgo 10 Dec+ (JGo). Be - wick's Wrens continue to decline in East Texas, making one found near Tyler, Smith 20 Dec (fide DBr) and 2 at Richland Creek W.M.A., one each in Freestone and Navarro, 28 Dec (fide DDC) noteworthy. Three Cactus Wrens were reported near Hereford, Deaf Smith 9 Feb (MDL), likely wanderers from e. New Mexico. Western Blue - birds did not move into the Panhandle and South Plains in numbers this season, but 5 were at near Canyon, Randall 4 Jan (EA, m.ob.), and 3 were noted at Lubbock, Lubbock 1 Feb (PB). Far more unusual were up to 11 West - ern Bluebirds at Possum Kingdom Lake, Palo Pinto 30 Jan–7 Feb (ph. PB, m.ob.). A Moun - tain Bluebird was a wonderful find near Nome, Jefferson 22 Nov–13 Feb (ph. JoH et al.); also of note was one at Lake Lavon, Collin 12-13 Dec (MCa, BNe). A Townsend's Solitaire was e. of the norm at Tucker Lake, Palo Pinto 6-7 Dec (ph. RWi et al.). A White-throated Thrush at Estero Llano Grande S.P., Hidalgo 6-20 Feb (ph. ToM, m.ob.) was one of the highlights of the season in South Texas. A male Varied Thrush delighted observers at El Paso, El Paso 2 Jan–7 Mar (ph. JiP, m.ob.). Gray Catbirds in the w. included singles at Palo Duro Canyon S.P., Ran - dall 3 Dec (DL), Guadalupe Mountains N.P., Culberson 6 Dec (EC, PHo), and the Christmas Mountains, Brewster 16 Dec+ (CO). Brown Thrasher appeared to be in above-average numbers in the Trans-Pecos with six sightings involving 7 individuals in Brewster, Culberson, and El Paso from 2 Dec+ (m.ob.). A Long-billed Thrasher was at Rio Grande Village, Brewster 25 T E X A S SA One of the more intriguing finds of recent years, a Striped Sparrow (Oriturus superciliosus) was discovered near Granger Lake, Williamson 11 Jan (ph., †RKo, m.ob.). This sedentary species of the mountains of w. Mexico is found no closer than w.-cen. Chihuahua, over 900 km from cen. Texas. There is no known pattern of vagrancy in this species, making the bird's prov - enance questionable. The bird remained loyal to that location for the remainder of the season. Long-billed Thrashers are often thought of as South Texas specialties, but they are found north along the Rio Grande into the eastern Trans-Pecos and are occasionally found as far west as Big Bend National Park. This one was in the park at Rio Grande Village, Brewster County 25 January (here) through 10 February 2015. Photograph by Mark Lockwood.

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