Southeast TX trip (04/22-04/26/2011)

From 04/22-04/26/2011 with Mike Fleming and Stefan. Select pictures are at:

SO – Smith Oaks (High Island)
BF – Bolivar Flats
BS – Boy Scout Woods (High Island)
SW – Sabine Woods (Sabine Pass)
AN – Anahuac NWR
GS – Gore Store Rd (Big Thicket)
BO – Boykin Springs (Angelina NF)

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (near Sabine Pass)
Fulvous Whistling-Duck (2 at AN)
Mottled Duck (AN)
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Northern Bobwhite (1 calling at BO)
Pied-billed Grebe
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Neotropic Cormorant (SO)
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Cattle Egret
Reddish Egret (BF)
Green Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
White Ibis
White-faced Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Swainson’s Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk (1 above Kirby Nature Trail, Big Thicket)
Crested Caracara (SW)
Yellow Rail (1 at AN)
Clapper Rail (1 at Yacht Basin Rd; another possibly hybrid bird off SH124)
Purple Gallinule (SO)
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Piping Plover (Bob Rd)
American Oystercatcher (1 at Rollover Pass)
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper (2 at BW)
Marbled Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Red Knot (many at Bob Rd)
Least Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper (several at Sea Rim SP)
Short-billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
Herring Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Gull-billed Tern (2 at 108 loop near BF)
Caspian Tern
Royal Tern
Sandwich Tern
Common Tern
Forster’s Tern
Black Tern (several at Bob Rd and Rollover Pass)
Least Tern
Black Skimmer (Rollover Pass)
Rock Dove
Eurasian Collared-Dove
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
Inca Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Great Horned Owl (1 chick at Rook Woods, BW)
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Red-cockaded Woodpecker (BO)
Piliated Woodpecker (Taylor Bayou)
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Kiskadee (1 at SW)
Eastern Kingbird
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Loggerhead Shrike
White-eyed Vireo
Yellow-throated Vireo (1 at SW)
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Carolina Chickadee
Brown-headed Nuthatch (a few at BO)
Carolina Wren
Sedge Wren (AN)
Eastern Bluebird (near GS)
Veery (SW)
Gray-cheeked Thrush (SW)
Swainson’s Thrush
Wood Thrush (SW)
American Robin (1 near SW)
Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Tennessee Warbler (a few at SO)
Northern Parula (2 singing at White Memorial Park; 1 at SW; 1 at SO)
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler (1 at SO)
Magnolia Warbler (1 at SW;1 at SO)
Cape May Warbler (1 female at SW)
Black-throated Green Warbler (1 at SO)
Pine Warbler (BO)
Blackpoll Warbler (1 at BW)
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Prothonotary Warbler (Taylor’s Bayou)
Northern Waterthrush (2 at SW)
Swainson’s Warbler (1 singing at BW)
Kentucky Warbler (1 singing at Kirby Nature Trail in Big Thicket; 1 at BW)
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler (1 at BW; several singing at GS and Kirby Nature Trail)
Yellow-breasted Chat (1 at BO)
Western Tanager (1 at SO)
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Bachman’s Sparrow (2-3 at BO)
Savannah Sparrow
Nelson’s Sparrow (1 at Yacht Basin Rd near Gilchrist)
Seaside Sparrow (AN)
Swamp Sparrow (1 at SW)
White-crowned Sparrow (1 at Texas Point parking lot)
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Painted Bunting (2 at SW, 1 at BW)
Blue Grosbeak (2 at SW)
Dickcissel (1 at SW)
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark (AN)
Common Grackle
Boat-tailed Grackle
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Sparrow

Total: 156 (as opposed to the ‘08 trip with 184)

– Bonus birds: Cape May Warbler, Nelson’s Sparrow and Great Kiskadee
– Running into Sam Woods at BS again
– Due diligence with Stilt Sandpiper identification
– Cleaned up at Boykin Springs: Mike instantly found his lifer Brown-headed Nuthatch, then we got really close to a singing Bachman’s Sparrow and finally I found the Red-cockaded Woodies.
– We did the last rail walk of the season and got 1 Yellow. It was a late afternoon walk, so there was little else calling or singing
– Finding and tracking down a singing Kentucky Warbler at the Kirby Nature Trail
– A singing Swainson’s Warbler at Boy Scout Woods and a Bay-breasted Warbler at Smith Oaks.
Other notes:
– A strong wind from the south (about 25mph+) on all 4 days made the migrants overshoot High Island and Sabine Woods. The number of warblers was extremely low. On the first day at HI we found exactly ONE warbler: A singing Swainson’s … What this all meant was that we had to spend all 4 days working on our warblers and there was not enough time for anything else.
– We tried 3 locations for shorebirds near Anahuac for Upland Sandpiper, but failed to find any. We also were not able to return to the area around Bolivar Flats to clean up our list. We had originally intended to look around Katy Prairie, but ran out of time.
– Big misses: Blue-headed Vireo, Ovenbird, Least Bittern, Red-headed Woodpecker, Upland Sandpiper. None of the usual sexy warblers like Blue-winged, Golden-winged, Blackburnian and Cerulean were seen during the time we were down there.
-We tried a few new sites this time: 1. Taylor Bayou: Supposed to have breeding Swainson’s Warbler (we didn’t get it). Take 124 east of Winnie. Past Hampshire, turn east on Craigen Rd and 1mi to the bridge (which is currently out). 2. Rollover Pass: In Gilchrist. Check the bay side here. 3. Yacht Basin Rd. Just west of Rollover Pass. Go up to where there is a broken-down truck in the reeds to the west. This site has several Nelson’s Sparrows. 4. Bob’s Rd: Several miles west of Gilchrist on the bay side. Great for shorebirds when mudflats are exposed



  1. You guys made a killing! Nice photos too!

    It’s amazing how different your group of birds is compared to what we had less than two weeks earlier. We were lucky to have a few “later” birds arrive early for us, but there were several species you saw that must have shown up as we were leaving. Timing really comes into play with these trips, eh?


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