Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert

Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert
Call 956-584-9156!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

RBA 1/29/2015 - Gray-crowned Yellowthroat continues

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* January 29, 2015
.
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT hotmail.com (preferred) or call (956)584-2731 option 3.
.
Updates can be seen on the web at http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com
.
Capitalized birds marked with a + are Review Species for Texas. Please send sightings/photographs to the Texas Bird Records Committee: ecarpeATgmail.com.
.
_____________________________________________________________
A hearty THANK YOU to FRED P., winner of this months inaugural BEST EBIRD DOCUMENTATION award!  This award recognizes those birders who take the time to provide details on their sightings for flagged species, in Fred’s case with good humor infused among the specific details of multiple flagged sightings. 
_____________________________________________________________
NOTE: All the sites with feeding stations appreciate donation of food or funds for the birds.  Fruit, sugar, peanut butter, seeds, and other items are needed and appreciated!  
.
NOTE: Laguna NWR Visitor center open daily January – March. 
______________________________________________________________
Winter Wrens are being widely reported, please be sure to provide details or documentation on these birds, as they are very rare in south Texas most winters.  Have you noticed how few White-winged Doves are around this winter?  They will be back in force in spring, but they are hit and miss now.    
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Glossy Ibis
Red-naped Sapsucker (no reports)
+(LAWRENCE’S) DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER
Brown Thrasher
Tropical Parula
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Painted Redstart (Brooks County)
+GRAY-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT
+BLUE BUNTING probable
.                                         
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.   
.
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.  
.
Groove-billed Anis were found in a couple locations at Laguna this week; warm calm sunny days are best. 
.
A possible +BLUE BUNTING was reported from the area of the visitor center at Laguna Atascosa.  An interesting Empid was also found in the same area.  Photos and documentation are requested for both birds. 
.
A DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER of the Lawrence’s subspecies was photographed on 12/31 at Sabal Palm and continued through this weekend (but not since).  This is a TBRC review taxon. A Tropical Parula continues in the area, not many reports of this individual. 
.
TWO Tropical Parula continue at Resaca de la Palma State Park this week.  The Black-headed Grosbeak was reported on 1/13. A “Western” Flycatcher was documented at Resaca on 1/27.  This is a very rare Empid for the LRGV.  Cordillerean is the expected species for Texas, but this bird was silent. 
.
At Estero Llano Grande, a +GRAY-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT was found on the bird walk by a long time park volunteer on 1/24 and seen through 1/26.  The bird was excruciatingly well photographed.  It was NOT 1/27-28.  Most successful reports were between 1030 AM and 545 PM near the gazebo on Ibis Pond.  It was found at 8 AM on 1/29.  The only call notes that have been reported in the area are similar to this recording http://www.xeno-canto.org/87401
.
Also at Estero, recent finds include a Rose-breasted Grosbeak and a Green-tailed Towhee.  Both one Orchard Oriole and two Hooded Orioles continue, making the park a great place to study orioles.  A Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet is occasionally to be seen in the Tropical Zone (and by the Yellowthroat!).  Hummingbirds are present including an adult male Black-chinned and multiple Ruby-throated.  The Black-chinned has been at the park hosts feeders and the orchid tree feeders in the Tropical Zone.  Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are in relatively high numbers this winter at several sites including Estero.   A Zone-tailed Hawk was photographed on 1/23. 
.
A Townsend’s Warbler was photographed at Frontera again on 1/15.  A relatively dark-cheeked Black-throated Green is also present, but lacks the yellow on the breast.  A Zone-tailed Hawk has been seen in the area early or late in the day. 
.
At Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, a Brown Thrasher was photographed 12/22 after being suspected for a few weeks by the park naturalist.  This species is reported far more often than it is well documented in the LRGV, and it is especially rare away from the coast.  A Winter Wren also continues near the small pond with the “Y” deck and often calls.  Both birds continue this week. 
.
A Long-tailed Duck was found at a small pond on 1015 north of 490 near Delta Lake on 1/24 and continued to 1/29.  It has at times returned to Delta Lake. 
.
A Reddish Egret and a Marbled Godwit were found near Hargill on 1/21 and the godwit continued to 1/27.  A second Reddish Egret was well described on 1/27.  A Golden-crowned Kinglet was seen on Brushline Road on 1/27.   A dark morph Reddish Egret was well described on 1/28. 
.
A Golden-crowned Kinglet was reported from Brushline Road on 1/28.  A Say’s Phoebe  was reported from La Sal del Rey on 1/23.
.
A Tropical Parula continues at Quinta Mazatlan with intermittent reports through 1/27.
.
Presumably the same Prairie Warbler was relocated at the Hidalgo Pumphouse on 1/20 and 1/26-29 after several weeks with no reports.  Many reports are from the north side of the Pumphouse where the metal picnic tables are present. 
.
At Anzalduas County Park, Black-throated Gray continues and a juvenile Brown Pelican is intermittently present.  A Glossy Ibis was a nice find on 1/20.  Pine Siskins were found at Anzalduas this week in the large House Finch flock. 
.
The Red-naped Sapsucker was resighted at Bentsen on 1/21 but not since.  Check the willows to the right of the boat ramp for this secretive bird.  This is the third winter for this bird at this site. A Winter Wren and a Black-headed Grosbeak are at Bentsen-RGV State Park.  A Hook-billed Kite was over the HQ area on 1/23 and two were seen on 1/26!  
.
Mountain Plover were found 2.8 miles west of McCook on 490 on 1/17 and continue to 1/25. A Prairie Falcon was also reported in this area, and three Ferruginous Hawks including a gorgeous adult and two immatures.  An immature Golden Eagle was photographed over the area (headed east) on 1/25.  
.
A Reddish Egret continues at Salineno last week. 
.
EXTRALIMITAL REPORTS
.
The Painted Redstart returned to the Brooks County Rest Area on US 281 south of Falfurrias on Saturday 9/20 and continues through 1/25.  A Painted Redstart wintered at this site last year.  
.
PARROT REPORT
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.
.
Green Parakeets can be seen staging in McAllen near 10th and Dove in the evening (at the Loew’s fountain on warm evenings), sometimes winging a few blocks over to Nolana x McColl. Watch for a couple of Mitred Parakeets that sometimes mingle with them.  There is another staging area in Mission on the north expressway. 
.
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 att.net. 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 visit@king-ranch.com 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.   
.
This spring and summer a pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl with chicks entertained birders at San Miguelito Ranch (fee site), contact Letty at 956-369-3118 or Buny55@aol.com.  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 http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com/p/ferruginous-pygmy-owl-sites.html 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, open daily, first tram at 8:30 AM.

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, open daily; building/store open daily. 

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 open 7 days through March. 

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

McAllen Nature Center – OPEN Saturdays from 8-12 noon (and Sunday?)  Call 956-681-3333 for information. UPDATE Beginning on Friday, January 2nd, open 8 am to noon, Wednesdays through Sundays.

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

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

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

Salineno –feeding station is OPEN until March.     

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles


Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Gray-crowned Yellowthroat YES Monday

The Gray-crowned Yellowthroat was refound at 10:30 this morning.
It was seen yesterday (Sunday) at 10:30, 2:00, and 5:40. The 2:00 and 5:40 sightings were reportedly extremely brief.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Gray-crowned Yellowthroat - YES +++ Sunday update

The Gray-crowned Yellowthroat finally reappeared at  Estero Llano Grande at 1030 AM although birders started looking at dawn.  Note that this is about the same time as it was originally discovered.  Check the visitor center for the latest location.

Rick N found and photographed a Golden Eagle near McCook on Sunday at 12:35ish.  The bird was 2.8 miles west of McCook and headed east.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Update - Saturday January 24, 2015

Huck H found and photographed a +GRAY-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT at Estero Llano Grande State Park today on the bird walk at about 1030 AM!  The bird was south and east of the pavilion at the south end of Ibis Pond.  Please stay on the trails.  The most common vocalization given by the bird was similar to this one: http://www.xeno-canto.org/87401.  It was relocated farther south of the pavilion and showed well in the afternoon.  Patience is important for this skulker!

A Long-tailed Duck was photographed on the 1015 pond near the east side of Delta Lake.  Take 1015 north of 491 cross an irrigation ditch and watch for a small pond on the left (west) side of the road.  The pond is loaded with ducks!

A +BLUE BUNTING was reported with brief but encouraging details at Laguna Atascosa near the visitor center.  Additional reports and documentation to the TBRC are needed!

Other continuing birds today include -

-+DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER, Sabal Palm (also Gray Hawk, Summer Tanager);
- Mountain Plover, Ferruginous Hawks (at least 3), etc. near McCook;
- Marbled Godwit, Hargill;

Thursday, January 22, 2015

RBA - January 22, 2015

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* January 22, 2015
.
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT hotmail.com (preferred) or call (956)584-2731 option 3.
.
Updates can be seen on the web at http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com
.
Capitalized birds marked with a + are Review Species for Texas. Please send sightings/photographs to the Texas Bird Records Committee: ecarpeATgmail.com.
.
_____________________________________________________________
NOTE: All the sites with feeding stations appreciate donation of food or funds for the birds.  Fruit, sugar, peanut butter, seeds, and other items are needed and appreciated!  
______________________________________________________________
Winter Wrens are being widely reported, please be sure to provide details or documentation on these birds, as they are very rare in south Texas most winters.  Chihuahuan Ravens are being reported from some sites between their known locations on the Starr/Zapata county line and the coastal prairie of Cameron County.  All such reports require documentation.  This species was severely impacted (apparently by West Nile Virus) and has not yet recovered in the LRGV. 
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Glossy Ibis
Red-naped Sapsucker
+(LAWRENCE’S) DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER
Brown Thrasher
Tropical Parula
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
Palm Warbler
Prairie Warbler 
Painted Redstart (Brooks County)
Rusty Blackbird (Kenedy County)
.                                         
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.   
.
An immature Purple Gallinule continues at the SPI Convention Center boardwalk through 1/7 and may still continue. 
.
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 Long-tailed Duck graced a small pond near Laguna Vista on 1/17.
.
Two Palm Warblers were found on a Laguna Atascosa NWR tour to the restricted access Bahia Grande area. Groove-billed Anis were found in a couple locations at Laguna this week; warm calm sunny days are best. 
.
A DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER of the Lawrence’s subspecies was photographed on 12/31 at Sabal Palm and continued to 1/20.  This is a TBRC review taxon. A Tropical Parula continues in the area.
.
TWO Tropical Parula continue at Resaca de la Palma State Park this week.  The Black-headed Grosbeak was reported on 1/13.
.
Groove-billed Ani continue at Estero Llano Grande State Park on the levee and in the Alligator Lake vicinity through 12/30, check with park staff for the latest location.  Both Orchard Oriole and two Hooded Orioles continue, making the park a great place to study orioles.  A Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet is occasionally to be seen in the Tropical Zone.  Hummingbirds are present including an adult male Black-chinned and multiple Ruby-throated.  The Black-chinned has been at the park hosts feeders and the orchid tree feeders in the Tropical Zone.  Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are in relatively high numbers this winter at several sites including Estero.   A Zone-tailed Hawk was photographed on 1/23. 
.
A Townsend’s Warbler was photographed at Frontera again on 1/15.  A relatively dark-cheeked Black-throated Green is also present, but lacks the yellow on the breast. 
.
At Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, a Brown Thrasher was photographed 12/22 after being suspected for a few weeks by the park naturalist.  This species is reported far more often than it is well documented in the LRGV, and it is especially rare away from the coast.  A Winter Wren also continues near the small pond with the “Y” deck and often calls.  Both birds continue this week. 
.
A Lazuli Bunting was found on private property near Edinburg on 1/16.
.
A Reddish Egret and a Marbled Godwit were photographed near Hargill on 1/21.
.
A Tropical Parula continues at Quinta Mazatlan with intermittent reports through 1/16.
.
Presumably the same Prairie Warbler was relocated at the Hidalgo Pumphouse on 1/20 after several weeks with no reports.   
.
At Anzalduas County Park, Black-throated Gray continues and a juvenile Brown Pelican is intermittently present (most recently 1/16).  A Glossy Ibis was a nice find on 1/20.  Pine Siskins were found at Anzalduas this week in the large House Finch flock. 
.
The Red-naped Sapsucker was resighted at Bentsen on 1/11 but not since.  This bird seems to not be found on rainy cold days.  Check the willows to the right of the boat ramp for this secretive bird.  This is the third winter for this bird at this site. A Winter Wren and a Black-headed Grosbeak are at Bentsen-RGV State Park.  A Hook-billed Kite was over the HQ area on 1/23. 
.
Mountain Plover were found 2.8 miles west of McCook on 490 on 1/17 and 1/18. A Prairie Falcon and an immature Ferruginous Hawk were also reported in this area. 
.
A Reddish Egret continues at Salineno this week. 
.
EXTRALIMITAL REPORTS
.
The Painted Redstart returned to the Brooks County Rest Area on US 281 south of Falfurrias on Saturday 9/20 and continues through 1/20.  A Painted Redstart wintered at this site last year.  
.
A Rusty Blackbird was reported from the Sarita Rest Area on 1/12 (late breaking news).  Photos are highly desired!
.
PARROT REPORT
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.
.
Green Parakeets can be seen staging in McAllen near 10th and Dove in the evening (at the Loew’s fountain on warm evenings), sometimes winging a few blocks over to Nolana x McColl. Watch for a couple of Mitred Parakeets that sometimes mingle with them.  There is another staging area in Mission on the north expressway. 
.
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 att.net. 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 visit@king-ranch.com 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.   
.
This spring and summer a pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl with chicks entertained birders at San Miguelito Ranch (fee site), contact Letty at 956-369-3118 or Buny55@aol.com.  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 http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com/p/ferruginous-pygmy-owl-sites.html 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, open daily, first tram at 8:30 AM.

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, open daily; building/store open daily. 

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.  Office closed Wednesday, grounds open. 

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

McAllen Nature Center – OPEN Saturdays from 8-12 noon (and Sunday?)  Call 956-681-3333 for information. UPDATE Beginning on Friday, January 2nd, open 8 am to noon, Wednesdays through Sundays.

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

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

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

Salineno –feeding station is OPEN until March.     

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles


Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

RBA - January 15, 2015

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* January 15, 2015
.
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT hotmail.com (preferred) or call (956)584-2731 option 3.
.
Updates can be seen on the web at http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com
.
Capitalized birds marked with a + are Review Species for Texas. Please send sightings/photographs to the Texas Bird Records Committee: ecarpeATgmail.com.
.
_____________________________________________________________
NOTE: All the sites with feeding stations appreciate donation of food or funds for the birds.  Fruit, sugar, peanut butter, seeds, and other items are needed and appreciated!  
.
NOTE: A local researcher is looking for territorial Harris’s Hawks.  If you see groups of Harris’s Hawks on territory or you locate a nest, please contact Bill Clark at raptours AT earthlink.net.
______________________________________________________________
Winter Wrens are being widely reported, please be sure to provide details or documentation on these birds, as they are very rare in south Texas most winters.  A few Broad-winged Hawks are present this winter; these should be carefully documented to separate the very similar immature Gray Hawk (note the difference in tail patterns.  Chihuahuan Ravens are being reported from some sites between their known locations on the Starr/Zapata county line and the coastal prairie of Cameron County.  All such reports require documentation.  This species was severely impacted (apparently by West Nile Virus) and has not yet recovered in the LRGV. 
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Red-naped Sapsucker
+(LAWRENCE’S) DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER
Brown Thrasher
Tropical Parula
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
Tropical Parula
Painted Redstart (Brooks County)
Dickcissel  
.                                         
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.   
.
An immature Purple Gallinule continues at the SPI Convention Center boardwalk through 1/7.
.
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 Western Tanager and a Tropical Parula are both reported intermittently at the Laguna Atascosa NWR Headquarters and Kiskadee Trail area.  Both need documentation, please! 
.
A DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER of the Lawrence’s subspecies was photographed on 12/31 at Sabal Palm.  This is a TBRC review taxon.  Magnolia Warbler was a great find at Sabal Palm on 12/12 and relocated most recently 12/29.  A Tropical Parula continues in the area.
.
TWO Tropical Parula were photographed at Resaca de la Palma State Park this week.  The Black-headed Grosbeak was reported on 1/13.
.
Groove-billed Ani continue at Estero Llano Grande State Park on the levee and in the Alligator Lake vicinity through 12/30, check with park staff for the latest location.  Both Orchard Oriole and two Hooded Orioles continue, making the park a great place to study orioles.  A Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet is occasionally to be seen in the Tropical Zone.  Hummingbirds including an adult male Black-chinned and multiple Ruby-throated and a Rufous/Allen’s female.  The Black-chinned has been at the park hosts feeders and the orchid tree feeders in the Tropical Zone.  Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are in relatively high numbers this winter at several sites including Estero.   
.
A Townsend’s Warbler was photographed at Frontera again on 1/15.  A relatively dark-cheeked Black-throated Green is also present, but lacks the yellow on the back. 
.
At Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, a Brown Thrasher was photographed 12/22 after being suspected for a few weeks by the park naturalist.  This species is reported far more often than it is well documented in the LRGV, and it is especially rare away from the coast.  A Winter Wren also continues near the small pond with the “Y” deck and often calls.  Both birds continue this week. 
.
A Tropical Parula continues at Quinta Mazatlan with intermittent reports through 12/29 (NO RECENT REPORTS).
.
At Anzalduas County Park, Black-throated Gray continues and a juvenile Brown Pelican is sometimes present.  No recent reports of Zone-tailed Hawk or Hook-billed Kite. 
.
A Semipalmated Sandpiper was photographed at La Sal del Rey on 1/3 for only the second confirmed winter record of this species.
.
The Red-naped Sapsucker was resighted at Bentsen on 1/11.  This bird seems to not be found on rainy cold days.  Check the willows to the right of the boat ramp for this secretive bird.  This is the third winter for this bird at this site. A Winter Wren and a Black-headed Grosbeak are at Bentsen-RGV State Park. 
.
A Dickcissel has been present at the feeding station at Salineno.    
.
EXTRALIMITAL REPORTS
.
The Painted Redstart returned to the Brooks County Rest Area on US 281 south of Falfurrias on Saturday 9/20 and continues through 1/6.  A Painted Redstart wintered at this site last year.  
.
PARROT REPORT
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.
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Green Parakeets can be seen staging in McAllen near 10th and Dove in the evening (at the Loew’s fountain on warm evenings), sometimes winging a few blocks over to Nolana x McColl. Watch for a couple of Mitred Parakeets that sometimes mingle with them.  There is another staging area in Mission on the north expressway. 
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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. 
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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 att.net. This is a fee site.  White-collared Seedeaters are singing in mid-April to May, which makes them muck easier to locate! 
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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 visit@king-ranch.com 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.   
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This spring and summer a pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl with chicks entertained birders at San Miguelito Ranch (fee site), contact Letty at 956-369-3118 or Buny55@aol.com.  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.
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See http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com/p/ferruginous-pygmy-owl-sites.html for more information.
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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.
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Site Closures:

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

Bentsen-RGV State Park, open daily, first tram at 8:30 AM.

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, open daily; building/store open daily. 

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.  Office closed Wednesday, grounds open. 

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

McAllen Nature Center – OPEN Saturdays from 8-12 noon (and Sunday?)  Call 956-681-3333 for information. UPDATE Beginning on Friday, January 2nd, open 8 am to noon, Wednesdays through Sundays.

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

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

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

Salineno –feeding station is OPEN until March.     

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles


Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Townsend's Warbler - Frontera - 1/8/2015

A lovely Townsend's Warbler was photographed at Frontera in Weslaco on 1/8, see https://www.flickr.com/photos/who-flies-where/16237627645 for the image.  Another was reported as well described to the Harlingen CBC.