Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert

Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Collared Plover - Yes - July 28, 2015

The Collared Plover continues on the Hargill Playa today.  Thanks to Rex S. for the report!

See for logistics.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Collared Plover - Yes - July 27, 2015

Dan J. reports the continuing Wilson's Plover this morning at about 8:40 AM at the Hargill Playa.  See for logistics.  Two Wilson's Plover have returned after the summer high water, and a white morph Reddish Egret continues.  Record numbers of Gull-billed Terns are being reported!  Two Black Skimmers were present, look for them early and late in the day.  This site is also good for the locally distributed Snowy Plover.

Purple Gallinules continue in flooded areas on Brushline Road - take 490 east to Brushline at a sharp bend in the road, go north on Brushline to the large pond (not a tree-filled flooded area) before 186.   Three Glossy Ibis were found in the same location.  More Purple Gallinules have been north on Brushline following the road through a right and then left 90 degree turn before ending just north of another large pond.  The road is narrow here,  please don't block the road.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Collared Plover - Yes - July 26, 2015

The Collared Plover has been present since at least 11 AM today.

See for logistics.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Collared Plover - Yes - July 25 2015

Sue G. reports the Collared Plover continues this morning at the same location, see for information.

The Collared Plover continued with reports to at least 330 PM.

A white morph Reddish Egret is also present at the playa.

A Glossy Ibis was with White-faced Ibis on Brushline Rd. south of 186.

RBA - July 24, 2005 - Collared Plover

* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* July 24, 2015
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT 
Updates to this Rare Bird Alert can be seen on the web at
Capitalized birds marked with a + are Review Species for Texas. Please send sightings/photographs to the Texas Bird Records Committee:
NOTE:  Pelagic trips are scheduled to depart South Padre Island this summer and fall; some trips are nearly full already!  Dates are August 8 (space available!), August 29, September 19, and October 10.  Another trip is offered through the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival on November 2.  See for registration information, hours, and cost information. 
NOTE: A local researcher is looking for territorial Harris’s Hawks.  If you regularly see Harris’s Hawks on territory or you locate a nest, please contact Bill Clark at raptours AT
Lingering waterfowl continue, south bound migrants include shorebirds and early passerines including Black-and-white Warbler.  Dickcissels are widespread across the LRGV.  Yellow-breasted Chats are present in the western portion of the RBA in low numbers. 
No recent reports of Yellow-green Vireo.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
This is a general reminder that playing recordings is not allowed in Texas State Parks, federal properties, nor in many LRGV birding sites. All State Park and National Wildlife Refuge visitors must stay on trails. Thank you for not disturbing the wildlife or damaging the vegetation.
The Valley from east to west.   
The first 16 hour pelagic from South Padre was a success!  There were no mega-rarities seen unfortunately, but the conditions allowed for a trip to the Camel’s Head, a subterranean water feature that spans the US/Mexico boundary in deep water.  Species included Masked Booby, Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, Audubon’s Shearwater, a single Cory’s Shearwater, Sooty Terns, and a very few Bridled Terns.  A LEACH’S STORM-PETREL would have been the highlight if it had been more cooperative, and there may have been two.  Space is available on the 12-hour August 8 trip. 
Mangrove Warbler, a well-marked subspecies of Yellow Warbler that may be distinct enough to warrant full species status, can be seen by contacting the Sealife Center at (956) 299-1957.  
A COLLARED PLOVER returned to the Hargill Playa where it was present August 2-17 last  year for the second Texas record.  See for information and directions.  Please DO NOT BLOCK THE ROAD!   Also present are Snowy Plover, very local in the county. 
The local population of Blue Jays in the Edinburg area have young out of the nest; these birds can be very difficult to find unless you live in the area.
Birds at La Sal del Rey include the expected nesting Snowy Plover.  Some other suitable ponds have too much water for the plovers.   
Red-crowned Parrots are sometimes seen in the areas of Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen, Valley Nature Center in Weslaco in the evening, Calvary Baptist Church in Harlingen (1815 N 7th Street). Brownsville’s Oliveira Park (Los Ebanos Road/El Paso Road across from Pace High School) has Red-crowned Parrots as well, mingling at dusk with escaped Yellow-headed, White-fronted, Lilac-crowned and Red-lored Parrots. Red-crowned Parrots and Green Parakeets are seen in urban areas irregularly all over the Valley.
In Hidalgo, at 5th and Gardenia near the Hidalgo Pumphouse World Birding Center, a few Monk Parakeets have taken up residence building nests on telephone poles, keeping company with an escaped Rose-ringed Parakeet. These birds have been present since winter 2010. 
WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER INFORMATION - Most sites for White-collared Seedeaters are in Zapata and Webb counties. Information is provided as a service to visiting birders. Sites to check include the San Ygnacio County Park/Seedeater Sanctuary at the foot of Washington Street in San Ygnacio, the Raptor Trail at the west end of San Ygnacio, the library pond in Zapata, and Laredo's Las Palmas Trail, North Central and Father McNaboe Park.  Access to La Laja Ranch, also a Seedeater site, is by advance reservations only. E-mail the owner at Edward.herbst AT This is a fee site.  White-collared Seedeaters are singing in mid-April to May, which makes them muck easier to locate! 
Updated FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL INFORMATION - Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls are present on the King Ranch, along with reliable Tropical Parulas (Norias Division only).  This is the only breeding site for Tropical Parula in the LRGV most years.  Contact 361-592-8055 or for more information.  Tours are over (with the exception of the RGVBF) until spring 2015.  The only tours that have a chance to find the owl are birding tours to the Norias Division.  Historic tours and birding tours to Santa Gertrudis Division will not be able to find the owl as it does not occur near Kingsville.   
El Canelo Ranch, located north of Raymondville, offers opportunities for "day birders" as well as for birders staying at their lovely B&B.  A pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls currently reside in the backyard of the Inn.  All visits by reservation only.  For more information, see or email Monica at
Other private ranches are no longer open to birders or do not have accessible pygmy-owls.  This owl is very difficult to find at any other location at present and has not been seen or heard at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park since the summer of 2010, when the park was inundated by the Rio Grande.
See for more information.
Directions are provided only for sites not included in the ABA Birders' Guide to the Rio Grande Valley or the Birders' Guide to the Texas Coast. These guides are indispensable for visiting birders.
Site Closures:

Allen Williams residence, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

Bentsen-RGV State Park, office and store closed, no trams – park open daily, please use the self-pay station if the store is closed.

Brownsville Landfill closed on Sundays.

Camp Thicket (formerly Methodist Camp Thicket), Weslaco, group reservations (fee) only. Contact Estero Llano Grande State Park.

Edinburg Scenic Wetlands World Birding Center, building and grounds closed on Sundays.

Estero Llano Grande State Park, office and store closed Monday and Tuesday; park open daily – please use the self-pay station if the store is closed.  

Frontera Audubon Thicket, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and all day Mondays except by appointment; open Tues-Sat.  

Laguna Atascosa NWR – Bayside Drive closed to private vehicles to protect ocelots.  Visitor Center closed Tuesday – Wednesday, refuge open 7 days including many walking trails in addition to the driving route to Osprey Overlook.  

Los Ebanos Preserve, San Benito, Appointment ONLY; 956-241-2494.

McAllen Nature Center – CLOSED weekday afternoons.  

Quinta Mazatlan, McAllen, closed Sundays and Mondays.  Open on Thursdays to dark. 

Resaca de la Palma State Park, park open daily; building and store closed/no trams Monday-Tuesday, grounds open (please use self-pay station if office closed).  

Salineno –feeding station is CLOSED until November.     

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles

Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Collared Plover - YES - 7/24/2015

Huck H. reported the Collared Plover at 9:45 AM.  See for directions  and information.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Collared Plover - Yes - 7/23/2015

Dan J. reports the Collared Plover continuing at the Hargill Playa from 8-10 AM today, mostly in the northwest corner.

Directions, links, other information is posted here