Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert

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

Friday, November 28, 2014

11/28 PM - Honeycreeper YES

Mark E photographed the Red-legged Honeycreeper at Estero Llano Grande State Park a few minutes ago (just before 2 PM).  Prior to this observation the bird had remained undetected all morning.  The Honeycreeper was in the butterfly garden next to the Sniders trailer at the entrance to the tropical zone.

The Red-legged Honeycreeper was seen again just before 4 PM.

11/28 Update

Marci F reports the Fork-tailed Flycatcher about 1/2 mile south of the visitor center entrance at Laguna Atascosa NWR.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Red-legged Honeycreeper photos

Here are a few more Red-legged Honeycreeper photos from today.

https://flic.kr/p/pWdFbv

https://flic.kr/p/pWdFp6

Red-legged Honeycreeper and Fork-tailed Flycatcher in the LRGV - THANKSGIVING edition!

Well, that will teach me to send the RBA out a day early!

This morning an odd-looking bird found by Ranger Ruben Rangel at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco turned out to be a female plumaged +RED-LEGGED HONEYCREEPER, a potential ABA first.  This species is known to be kept in aviaries so origin is already under discussion; they also occur about 300 miles south of the border west of Tampico in southern Tamaulipas.  The bird was checking out a bird bath near a staff trailer, and reappeared briefly about 4 times in an hour - and then was not located the rest of the day.  Please don't forget to check in at the park HQ!
Photos on FB here https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152883192910763&set=gm.794684933925485&type=1&theater

A +FORK-TAILED FLYCATCHER was photographed by Sharon P. today on the entrance road to Laguna Atascosa NWR about 1/4 mile before the turn-off to the visitor center.

Tiffany and Mary are very grateful for all the observers who reported birds to the RBA this year!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

RBA - Thanksgiving closures - November 26, 2014

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* November 27, 2014
.
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:
.
HOLIDAY CLOSURES!  HOLIDAY CLOSURES! HOLIDAY CLOSURES!
.
Anzalduas County Park – Closed Thanksgiving and Friday after
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park – Open Thanksgiving
Edinburg Scenic Wetlands – CLOSED Thanksgiving and Friday after Thanksgiving
Estero Llano Grande State Park – Open Thanksgiving
Frontera Audubon – HOLIDAY HOURS Thanksgiving open 8-12; closed 12-2; open 2-5.
Quinta Mazatlan – CLOSED Thanksgiving
Resaca de la Palma State Park – Open Thanksgiving
Sabal Palm Sanctuary  - Open Thanksgiving
Santa Ana NWR – Buildings Closed, trails open after 1:30 PM Wednesday and all day Thanksgiving
South Padre Island Bird and Nature Center – CLOSED Thanksgiving
.
Thanksgiving is not a regular open day for McAllen Nature Center. 
______________________________________________________________
.
NOTE: LRGV Christmas Bird Counts dates are online at http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com/p/lower-rio-grande-valley-christmas-bird.html.  Participate! 
.
NOTE: The Salineno feeding station is OPEN.  Donations of oranges, peanut butter, and seed is appreciated.   Be sure to thank Lois and Merle (and Jake) when you see them for their hard work in preparing the site and setting up! 
.
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 earthlink.net.
______________________________________________________________
Fall migration is concluding, winter birds are arriving with the cold front.   Black-throated Gray Warblers were found at Anzalduas and Estero recently.  Golden-crowned Kinglets were reported from South Padre and American Robins at Estero.  Groove-billed Anis were reported in small numbers at Estero, Santa Ana, Laguna Atascosa, and other sites this week.  
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Red-naped Sapsucker (no recent reports)
Tropical Parula
Sage Thrasher
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler  
Painted Redstart (Brooks County)
Black-headed Grosbeak
.                                         
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.   
.
A Purple Gallinule was at the SPI Convention Center boardwalk on 11/8 and was seen through 11/16.  No recent reports on the Groove-billed Ani or Winter Wren.  Northern Gannets have returned. 
.
A few late Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are near the coast, and a late Magnificent Frigatebird was reported on 11/22.
.
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 Sage Thrasher was found on Old Port Isabel Road on 11/26.  From 511 go east to the canal area.
.
A Cassin’s Finch was at Resaca de la Palma State Park on 11/16 and 17.  This female-plumaged bird was one of few LRGV documented reports.  Additional reports are desired!  The bird was at the feeders at the headquarters.
.
A Prairie Falcon was seen in San Benito 11/23.
.
A Tropical Parula was at Resaca de la Palma State Park on 11/19, and two different Townsend’s Warblers have been photographed in the last 10 days.  
.
A Black-headed Grosbeak and a lingering Hooded Oriole were in the Tropical Zone at Estero Llano Grande State Park on 11/20.  Groove-billed Ani and Virginia Rail continue this week, along with an adult male Black-chinned Hummingbird on 11/23. 
.
A Tropical Parula has been seen occasionally at Frontera; no recent reports.
.
A Tropical Parula continues at Quinta Mazatlan through 11/22.  A Northern Parula was photographed 11/25 along with two Baltimore Orioles.
.
At Anzalduas County Park, Black-throated Gray and Pine Warblers were reported 11/25 and two Broad-winged Hawks on 11/26.
.
Nearby at Bentsen, a Red-naped Sapsucker returned to Bentsen on 11/5 for the third year (no recent reports).  A Lazuli Bunting was reported on 11/16.
.
A Green-tailed Towhee was found at Yturria Brush tract on 11/26.
.
An immature dark morph Reddish Egret was photographed at Salineno on 11/22. 
.
A Canada Goose was a surprise at Falcon State  Park on  11/22.  This species is rarely found so far south at present.  Historically, both Canada and Cackling Goose were found in the LRGV, but that ended with the “short-stopping” of these white-cheeked geese. 
.
Several White-collared Seedeaters were at La Laja Ranch on 11/5 with counts in the double digits. See below for visitation information. 
.
EXTRALIMITAL REPORTS
.
The Painted Redstart returned to the Brooks County Rest Area on US 281 south of Falfurrias on Saturday 9/20 and continues to 11/24.  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.

UPDATE!
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.

UPDATE!
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 Tuesday and 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.

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 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Updates 11/22 - Saturday

A Canada Goose was photographed at Falcon State Park; this species is surprisingly rare in the LRGV and all individuals should be reported.

The Reddish Egret at Salineno was reported again  as well.

The Tropical Parulas at both Resaca de la Palma and Quinta Mazatlan were relocated; as was the Black-throated Gray at Resaca.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

RBA - November 20, 2014

.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* November 20, 2014
.
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: LRGV Christmas Bird Counts dates are online at http://rgvbirds.blogspot.com/p/lower-rio-grande-valley-christmas-bird.html.  Participate! 
.
NOTE: The Salineno feeding station is OPEN.  Donations of oranges, peanut butter, and seed is appreciated.   Be sure to thank Lois and Merle (and Jake) when you see them for their hard work in preparing the site and setting up! 
.
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 earthlink.net.
______________________________________________________________
Fall migration is concluding, winter birds are arriving with the cold front.   Black-throated Gray Warblers were found at Anzalduas and Estero recently.  Golden-crowned Kinglets were reported from South Padre and American Robins at Estero.  Groove-billed Anis were reported in small numbers at Estero, Santa Ana, Laguna Atascosa, and other sites this week.  Rufous/Allen's Hummingbirds are appearing  across the valley.  Black-throated Grays are at several sites including Estero, Anzalduas, Quinta Mazatlan,  and  others.   
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
+BROWN BOOBY (no reports)
Hook-billed Kite  (no reports)
Red-naped Sapsucker
Tropical Parula
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler  
Painted Redstart (Brooks County).
Black-headed Grosbeak
Cassin's Finch 
.                                         
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.   
.
A +BROWN BOOBY was found October 26 feeding near the Boca Chica jetty (the south side of the inlet) but not relocated on October 27.  It was relocated from Scarlet Colley’s boat and photographed 11/5-7 and videoed on 11/11.  No more recent reports.
.
A Purple Gallinule was at the SPI Convention Center boardwalk on 11/8 and was seen through 11/16.  Groove-billed Anis were in the gardens last week along with a late Swainson’s Thrush and an early Winter Wren through 11/18. A late Warbling Vireo was reported on 11/17.
.
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 Cassin’s Finch was at Resaca de la Palma State Park on  11/16 and 17.  This female-plumaged bird was one of few LRGV documented reports.  Additional reports are desired!  The bird was at the feeders at the headquarters.
.
A Tropical Parula was at Resaca de la Palma State Park on 11/19. 
.
A Black-headed Grosbeak and a lingering  Hooded Oriole were in the Tropical Zone at Estero Llano Grande State Park on 11/20.  
.
A Tropical Parula has been seen occasionally at Frontera; no reports this week.
.
A dark immature Reddish Egret was at Delta Lake on 11/11.  A Dunlin was an excellent find at Sal del Rey on 11/18.
.
A Tropical Parula continues at Quinta Mazatlan through 11/14.  No reports this week.  
.
A late Red-eyed Vireo was at the McAllen Nature  Center last weekend.  
.
At Anzalduas County Park, both Hook-billed Kite and Zone-tailed Hawk may continue to be in the area, no recent reports.  Gray Hawk is a regular species at this location.
.
Nearby at Bentsen, both Hook-billed Kite and Zone-tailed Hawk have also been reported earlier this fall.  A Red-naped Sapsucker returned to Bentsen on 11/5 for the third year, no reports this week.  A Lazuli Bunting was reported on 11/16.
.
A Reddish Egret was at the bluffs at Santa Margarita on 11/5.  This is a fee site and not to be confused with the access to the river that is no longer available.  See http://marybirds.blogspot.com/2013/11/santa-margarita-bluffs-november-3-2013.html for more information on visiting or email the RBA.   

Several White-collared Seedeaters were at La Laja Ranch on 11/5 with counts in the double digits. See below for visitation information. 
.
EXTRALIMITAL REPORTS
.
The Painted Redstart returned to the Brooks County Rest Area on US 281 south of Falfurrias on Saturday 9/20 and continues to 11/20.  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.

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.

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