Rio Grande Valley Rare Bird Alert

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

Thursday, April 17, 2014

RBA - April 17, 2014



.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* April 17, 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: McAllen Botanical Gardens – open Saturday mornings ONLY from 8-12.  This site had been closed to the public for some time, let’s go birding!  Find it on the south side of Business 83 between Ware and Bentsen Rds. 
.
NOTE: The Bayside Drive at Laguna Atascosa is closed to private vehicles to protect ocelots.  This area is covered by refuge tours.  All other portions of Laguna are OPEN as normal!  Private vehicles can drive to Osprey Overlook, and there are 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. 
______________________________________________________________
.
Franklin’s Gulls are moving north along the Laguna Madre, and raptors are streaming by across the valley.  A nice variety of land birds and grasspipers are still migrating as well. The first Cerulean Warbler arrived on SPI, along with the first Canada. 
.
Olive Sparrows and Northern Cardinals have fledged young; Elf Owls and Great Kiskadees are incubating, and Altamira Orioles are nest building. 
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Common Black-Hawk
Red-headed Woodpecker
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
Townsend’s Warbler
Lark Bunting
.
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.   
.
Warbler migration continues with small fall outs of migrants moving north into severe weather and grounding out on the coast.  Migrants arrive exhausted (if they arrive at all) and require water and rest to recover.  If they have been burning fat reserves to reach shore on a north wind, fresh water can be more critical to their survival than food. 
.
At South Padre Island, a Red-headed Woodpecker was a great find on Sheepshead on 4/15.  It has been traveling around the island, arriving at the Convention Center today (4/17).   A Townsend’s Warbler has been present at the Convention Center since 4/11. 
.
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.  
.
Black Phoebes are at the UTB campus and Hugh Ramsey Nature Park. They are restricted in range in Cameron County.  
.
A Common Black-Hawk was well photographed at the Santa Ana NWR Hawk Watch on 4/3.  No additional reports.
.
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 (Norias Division only).  Recent reports include a pair from 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 Wildscape, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

Bentsen-RGV State Park, open 7 days until June; first tram at 8:30 AM.

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

Estero Llano Grande State Park, building/store open 7 days. 

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 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.

Resaca de la Palma State Park, building/store closed/no trams Monday-Wednesday starting June 1, grounds open (self-pay station).  

Salineno –feeding station is open, porta-potty in place!  CLOSING MARCH 23. 

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles

Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Red-headed Woodpecker, South Padre Island

A locally very rare Red-headed Woodpecker was found yesterday on South Padre Island at the Sheepshead lots.  I was asked to please remind birders to bird from public areas and not to enter vacant lots or yards.  Law enforcement has also reminded birders at Sheepshead to park entirely off the road in past years. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday Update - Townsend's Warbler and Varied Bunting

A Townsend's Warbler has been at the SPI Convention Center since 4/11.

A Varied Bunting was singing at the Starr County Park near Falcon State Park on 4/9.  This beautiful bird is a low-density summer nesting species. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

RBA - April 10, 2014



.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* April 10, 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: McAllen Botanical Gardens – open Saturday mornings ONLY from 8-12.  This site had been closed to the public for some time, let’s go birding!  Find it on the south side of Business 83 between Ware and Bentsen Rds. 
.
NOTE: The Bayside Drive at Laguna Atascosa is closed to private vehicles to protect ocelots.  This area is covered by refuge tours.  All other portions of Laguna are OPEN as normal!  Private vehicles can drive to Osprey Overlook, and there are 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. 
______________________________________________________________
.
Franklin’s Gulls are moving north along the Laguna Madre, and raptors are streaming by across the valley.  A nice variety of land birds and grasspipers are still migrating as well. Early Eastern Wood-Pewees include a nicely photographed bird at SPI. 
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Common Black-Hawk
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
Lark Bunting
.
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.   
.
Warbler migration continues, thrushes and Myiarchus flycatchers are appearing.
.
At South Padre Island, nice finds this week include an accomodating Western Palm Warbler and a Lark Bunting, a rare bird in Cameron County.
.
A Glaucous Gull and a Thayer’s Gull were documented from the Brownsville Dump last week.  Please carefully document any additional reports of these noteworthy birds.
.
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.  
.
Black Phoebe are at the UTB campus and Hugh Ramsey Nature Park. They are restricted in range in Cameron County.  
.
A Common Black-Hawk was well photographed at the Santa Ana NWR Hawk Watch on 4/3.  This immature bird was a great surprise!  Common Black-Hawk is reported more often than it is documented, so the excellent documentation accompanying this report was most welcomed!  The cryptic immatures are rarely reported but could conceivably be confused with a Red-tailed Hawk.  The more striking adults can be confused with Harris’s Hawk or other dark raptors.
.
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.
.
Updated FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL INFORMATION - Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls are present on the King Ranch (Norias Division only).  Recent reports include a pair from 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 Wildscape, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

Bentsen-RGV State Park, open 7 days until spring; first tram at 8:30 AM.

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

Estero Llano Grande State Park, building/store open 7 days.

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 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.

Resaca de la Palma State Park, building/store closed/no trams Monday-Wednesday starting June 1, grounds open (self-pay station).  

Salineno –feeding station is open, porta-potty in place!  CLOSING MARCH 23. 

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles

Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays

Thursday, April 3, 2014

RBA - April 3, 2014



Sorry for the technical difficulty - the RBA is back on track! 
.
NEWSBREAK: San Miguelito Ranch reopens to birders!  This ranch is located on US 77 north of Raymondville.  Pre-reservation is REQUIRED and there is an access fee.  There is a pair of Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls at the ranch headquarters again.  Contact info is at the end of the RBA.  Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls are also found on the King Ranch – Norias Division along with Tropical Parula . 
.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* April 3, 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 Review Committee: ecarpeATgmail.com.  
_____________________________________________________________
NOTE: McAllen Botanical Gardens – open Saturday mornings ONLY from 8-12.  This site had been closed to the public for some time, let’s go birding!  Find it on the south side of Business 83 between Ware and Bentsen Rds. 
.
NOTE: The Bayside Drive at Laguna Atascosa is closed to private vehicles to protect ocelots.  This area is covered by refuge tours.  All other portions of Laguna are OPEN as normal!  Private vehicles can drive to Osprey Overlook, and there are 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. 
______________________________________________________________
.
Vultures and early Buteos continue at hawk watches along with a few graceful Swallow-tailed Kites.  The last of the Eastern Phoebes are leaving. 
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
Reddish Egret
Glaucous Gull
Thayer’s Gull
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
Tropical Parula
.
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.   
.
***Spring Break is in full force on South Padre Island, expect traffic to be heavy***
Early warblers including Kentucky, Worm-eating, Blue-winged, Golden-winged were found at SPI during the week. 
.
A Glaucous Gull and a Thayer’s Gull were documented from the Brownsville Dump.  Please careful document any additional reports of these noteworthy birds.
.
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.  
.
Black Phoebe are at the UTB campus and Hugh Ramsey Nature Park. They are restricted in range in Cameron County.
.
Migrant Tropical Parulas have been documented from the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse and Frontera Audubon in Weslaco.
.
A white morph Reddish Egret was found on the Rio Grande near Salineno on the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in November and continues on the river near Salineno through 3/27.  Reports of a dark adult require documentation. 
.
Out of our area to the north, a Painted Redstart was found at the Falfurrias Rest Area on US 281 on 10/19 and continues to at least 3/18 but not since.  This site is in Brooks County.  A recent report of a Hutton’s Vireo is under review. 
.
Out of our area to the west, a +SLATY-BACKED GULL adult was found at Lake Casa Blanca State Park near Laredo and continued through 3/13 but no more recent reports.  The gull leaves the lake early in the morning and returns in the afternoon.  This site is in Webb County.  The Brown Pelican continued through at least 3/26.     
.
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.
.
Updated FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL INFORMATION - Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls are present on the King Ranch (Norias Division only).  Recent reports include a pair from San Miguelito Ranch (fee site), contact Letty at 956-369-3118 or Buny55@aol.com. Other private ranches are no longer available 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 Wildscape, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

Bentsen-RGV State Park, open 7 days until spring; first tram at 8:30 AM.

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

Estero Llano Grande State Park, building/store open 7 days.

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 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.

Resaca de la Palma State Park, building/store closed/no trams Monday-Wednesday starting June 1, grounds open (self-pay station).  

Salineno –feeding station is open, porta-potty in place!  CLOSING MARCH 23. 

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles

Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays

Friday, March 14, 2014

RBA - March 13, 2014



.
* Texas
* Lower Rio Grande Valley
* March 13, 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 Review Committee: ecarpeATgmail.com.  
_____________________________________________________________
NOTE: McAllen Botanical Gardens – open Saturday mornings ONLY from 8-12.  This site had been closed to the public for some time, let’s go birding!  Find it on the south side of Business 83 between Ware and Bentsen Rds. 
.
NOTE: The Bayside Drive at Laguna Atascosa is closed to private vehicles to protect ocelots.  This area is covered by refuge tours.  All other portions of Laguna are OPEN as normal!  Private vehicles can drive to Osprey Overlook, and there are 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. 
______________________________________________________________
.
Returning migrants include an Elf Owl in Cameron Co., Louisiana Waterthrush at several sites, American Golden-Plover, and Upland Sandpipers, as well as the first Orchard Oriole.  Large movements of Turkey Vulture and the first Anhinga have graced local hawkwatches this week.
.
Our rare bird alert this week includes:
.
+SLATY-BACKED GULL (Webb Co.)
Thayer’s Gull (no reports)
Mangrove [Yellow] Warbler
Painted Redstart  (Brooks Co.)
.
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 first winter Thayer’s Gull was photographed near Pier 19 on South Padre Island.  From the Rte 100 bridge onto SPI go south to the first paved access road towards the bay.  This bird was relocated at the same site on 3/1.   ***Spring Break is in full force on South Padre Island, expect traffic to be heavy***
.
A Glaucous Gull has been on the beach at Isla Blanca State Park and vicinity through 3/8. 
.
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.  
.
Black Phoebe are at the UTB campus and Hugh Ramsey Nature Park. They are restricted in range in Cameron County.
.
The Black-headed Grosbeak continues at Resaca de la Palma State Park. 
.
A Tropical Parula is at the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands through 2/27. 
.
A Brown Pelican continues at Anzalduas County Park and the adjacent Rio Grande in Hidalgo County through 3/8, the species is exceptional in Hidalgo Co. 
.
Reports have been few and far between of the Hook-billed Kites at the Mission Hike and Bike trail accessed from the Mission Nature Park on Conway.  Reports with plumage notes and photos are highly desirable.  
.
A white morph Reddish Egret was found on the Rio Grande near Salineno on the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in November and continues on the river near Salineno through this week. 
.
Out of our area to the north, a Painted Redstart was found at the Falfurrias Rest Area on US 281 on 10/19 and continues to at least 3/13.  This site is in Brooks County.
.
Out of our area to the west, a +SLATY-BACKED GULL adult was found at Lake Casa Blanca State Park near Laredo and continued through 3/13.  The gull leaves the lake early in the morning and returns in the afternoon.  This site is in Webb County.  Other birds in the area include a Western Grebe and some immature Lesser Black-backed Gulls, usually reported as first winter. Photos of the Lesser Black-backeds would be appreciated!   Latest report of the Slaty-backed Gull is today.
.
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.
.
Updated FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL INFORMATION - Ferruginous Pygmy-Owls are present on the King Ranch (Norias Division only).  Other private ranches are no longer available 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 Wildscape, Pharr, open by appointment ONLY; Call or text 956-460-9864.

Bentsen-RGV State Park, open 7 days until spring; first tram at 8:30 AM.

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

Estero Llano Grande State Park, building/store open 7 days.

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 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.

Resaca de la Palma State Park, building/store closed/no trams Monday-Wednesday starting June 1, grounds open (self-pay station).  

Salineno –feeding station is open, porta-potty in place!  CLOSING SOON. 

Santa Ana NWR- closed to bicycles

Valley Nature Center, Weslaco, closed Sunday mornings and Mondays