Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bar-tailed Godwit 8-27 YES

Seen yesterday, 8-27 at 4:30 pm from the University side, near the end of the causeway. Missed later in the evening.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bar-tailed Godwit YES

Seen at 9:20 this morning from the left side of the Hans Suter boardwalk.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bar-tailed Godwit YES

The bar-tailed godwit was seen at 9:30 this morning from the University side.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bar-tailed Godwit - YES - 8/22/2014

The Bar-tailed Godwit was photographed today from Ocean Drive east of TAMU-CC from 10:30-11 AM.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

RBA - August 21, 2014

* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* August 21, 2014
To report rare birds, e-mail rgvbirds AT (preferred) or call (956)584-2731 option 3.
Updates 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: Summer Hours have been announced at Frontera Audubon Center.  In addition to regular hours, the trails are now open Tuesdays at 6:30 AM and they close on Thursdays at 7 PM.
NOTE: State Park offices and shops closed early in the week, though the parks are OPEN – please use the ‘iron ranger’ to self register each day (even if you have a state park pass).   See specific listings below under Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley, Estero Llano Grande, and Resaca de la Palma.
NOTE: The last SPI Pelagic is scheduled to go out of SPI on September 20th.  This trip is FULL with a short waiting list. Contact Gary Hodne at for more information.
Fall migration continues; Black Tern, shorebirds, Painted Bunting, Yellow Warbler, Dickcissel, Orchard Oriole and other early migrants are already headed south. A Kentucky Warbler was a nice find on August  18 at the SPI Convention Center. A Yellow-throated Warbler was at Anzalduas on August 18.  Edinburg was the place to be on August 13 with Canada and Black-throated Green Warbler and a Yellow-green Vireo (no additional reports). 
A Jabiru was a one-day wonder seen by one person on private property with NO PUBLIC ACCESS north of our region.  We are reporting this occurrence to encourage people to be alert.  The location is now revealed as Victoria County.  Note: This is the second one-day wonder appearance of Jabiru in the central Texas coast area this summer. 
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
Masked Booby
Reddish Egret
+BAR-TAILED GODWIT (extralimital)
+COLLARED PLOVER (likely gone)
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 second SPI pelagic of the summer was baffling with a complete absence of tubenoses.  The trip highlights  included a Swallow-tailed Kite 50 miles out, two cooperative Masked Boobies, and a +BROWN BOOBY.   The next trip is September 20.  Contact Gary Hodne for more information (see above).  
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 was found on August 1, 2014 at a playa near Hargill, Texas.  This is the second ABA record of this diminutive plover.  The bird has been well documented and was reported through Sunday August 17.  This bird has been looked for and NOT SEEN August 18-20 and is presumed gone.   A Reddish Egret was also present, and is always rare in Hidalgo County. 
A +BAR-TAILED GODWIT was found in Corpus Christi at the “Cayo del Oso” on Saturday 8/9 and continues to at least Wednesday 8/20.  This individual shows characteristics of the race lapponica from Europe.  This is a first Texas record.  The bird is now also spending time at the Ocean Drive causeway bridge area east of the TAMU-CC campus.  Look for it roosting with Marbled Godwits near the bridge. 
Directions: this is the "Blind Oso", which lies between Ennis Joslin Drive/Hans Suter Park on the west, and the TAMUCC campus on the east. Directions.. take SPID to Ennis Joslin, go north and park in the Hans Suter Parking lot. If the lot is full, there is another parking lot for the park a short distance south. You will then need to walk NORTH along the Ennis Joslin sidewalk on the east side of Ennis Joslin.  Proceed about 200-250 yards, until you cross the inflow canal, and the pipe rail ends on the right. Here is a path that leads into the Oso flats. You will then walk directly east to the waters edge.  A scope is really needed. 
Note: light conditions are excellent late in the day from this vantage point, but you will be facing the sun early in the day. As an option, you can enter TAMUCC, and walk into the flats from the east. Check with the gate attendant regarding parking requirements at the University.
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 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 most years.  Contact 361-592-8055 or for more information.  Tours end in early June until 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  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 Wildscape, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

**UPDATED** Bentsen-RGV State Park, open daily; building/store open Thursday – Sunday; store and offices closed Monday-Wednesday (use self pay station).  First tram at 7:30 AM. This is the summer schedule.

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

**UPDATED** Estero Llano Grande State Park, open daily; building/store open Wednesday - Sunday; store and offices closed Monday and Tuesday (use self pay station).  This is the summer schedule.

Frontera Audubon Thicket, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and all day Mondays except by appointment; open Tues-Sat.  Summer Hours - the trails are now open Tuesdays at 6:30 AM and they close on Thursdays at 7 PM.

Laguna Atascosa NWR – Bayside Drive closed to private vehicles to protect ocelots.

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

McAllen Botanical Garden – OPEN Saturdays from 8-12 noon.

Methodist 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. 

**UPDATED** Resaca de la Palma State Park, open daily; building/store closed/no trams Monday-Wednesday, grounds open (self-pay station).  This is the summer schedule.

Salineno –feeding station is CLOSED until November.   

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles

Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Collared Plover - NO 8/20 AM

The Collared Plover was missed again this morning.  Please continue to report efforts to look for this bird, but it now looks like it's gone.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Collared Plover - NO positive reports; Bar-tailed Godwit Yes 3:45 PM

We have not received any positive reports on the Collared Plover today.  It was not seen yesterday afternoon.

The Bar-tailed Godwit was at the west end of the bridge on Ocean Drive this afternoon with multiple reports.  

Please continue to report efforts to search for both birds.