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Rio Grande Valley birds, butterflies, dragonflies through the eyes of an ex-Buckeye

June 2009
Home | Estero Llano Grande State Park | Polydamas | May 2010 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | November 2009 | December 2009 | October 2009 | August 21, 2009 at Estero Llano Grande State Park esp Guava Skipper | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | Feb 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | Estero Weekly Butterfly Walks 2008-9 #1-15 | Estero Butterfly Walks 2009 17-30 | Estero Weekly Butterfly Walks #31 and over | Nov 2006 thru Feb 2007 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | March 2008 | January 2008 | February 2008 | December 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | April 2007 | March 2007

June 1 Harlingen's Dixieland Park 5 Jackrabbits, 1 Mexican Ground Squirrel, Cottontail.  Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Northern Bobwhite, Pied-billed Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Turkey Vulture, Osprey    1, White-tailed Kite    3, Harris's Hawk    4, Crested Caracara 2, American Coot, Killdeer, Laughing Gull, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, White-winged Dove, Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, Common Ground-Dove, Common Nighthawk, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Tropical Kingbird, Couch's Kingbird, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike 5, Purple Martin, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, European Starling, Lark Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Eastern Meadowlark, Great Tailed Grackle, Bronzed Cowbird, Lesser Goldfinch, House Sparrow  Tony Butler Municipal Golf Course  not far away, Red-crowned Parrot    2

June 3 Estero  Kid's groups today but we notice an Osprey being chased by Laughing Gulls.

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June 6 Estero On the strictly traditional trail to Alligator Lake, the levy, to the picnic stop and back across the boardwalk with Huck and Don Carrell.  Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Plain Chachalaca, Least Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe, Least Bittern (still on nest with one fluffy chick), Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Green Heron, White-faced Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Turkey Vulture, Sora, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Killdeer, Black-necked Stilt, Gull-billed Tern    2, Forster's Tern 1, Eurasian Collared-Dove, White-winged Dove, Mourning Dove, Inca Dove, Common Ground-Dove, White-tipped Dove, Red-crowned Parrot 5, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Pauraque    1, Buff-bellied Hummingbird, Black-chinned Hummingbird  1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Great Kiskadee, Tropical Kingbird, Couch's Kingbird, Western Kingbird 1, White-eyed Vireo, Purple Martin, Bank Swallow, Cave Swallow, Carolina Wren, Northern Mockingbird, Curve-billed Thrasher, European Starling, Olive Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle, Bronzed Cowbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Lesser Goldfinch, House Sparrow.  Added a Bewick's Wren on the Camino de Aves later, when taking groups back to see the alligators (saw two).
The best part of the day however was when visiting Chris Harrison and friend visiting from San Antonio found a BLOTCHED WATER SNAKE just off the deck!  This is not only a first record for Estero Llano Grande State Park but none of the books or websites indicate a county record yet for Hidalgo, Cameron or Willacy (Starr, yes.).

June 7 Estero Night Hike At least 10 scorpions and 10 tarantulas, a couple Lesser Nighthawks, lots of Pauraques.

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June 12  Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota We weren't out long, and mostly in the car, but: Mallard, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Spotted Sandpiper, Ring-billed Gull    1, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Chimney Swift, White-throated Swift, Cordilleran Flycatcher 1, Western Kingbird    1, Warbling Vireo, Red-eyed Vireo, Blue Jay, American Crow, Violet-green Swallow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, American Dipper 6, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Veery, American Robin, Gray Catbird    1, European Starling, American Redstart, Ovenbird, MacGillivray's Warbler 1, Common Yellowthroat, Song Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Black-headed Grosbeak, Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Brewer's Blackbird, Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, Pine Siskin, House Sparrow.  What about YELLOW-BELLIED MARMOT and LEAST CHIPMUNK.

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June 13  Our first day of the actual touring, around Lawrence County South Dakota: Mallard    4, Turkey Vulture    30, Red-tailed Hawk    1, American Kestrel    2, Killdeer    1, White-throated Swift    4, Lewis's Woodpecker 2, Red-headed Woodpecker    4, Northern Flicker    4, Dusky Flycatcher 1, Warbling Vireo    2, American Crow 1, Barn Swallow    8, Rock Wren 2, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher    1, Mountain Bluebird 3, American Robin 5, European Starling    1, Virginia's Warbler 2, Yellow-rumped Warbler    1, Yellow-breasted Chat    1, Western Tanager    2, Spotted Towhee    5, Chipping Sparrow    8, Lark Sparrow    2, Dark-eyed Junco    2, Lazuli Bunting 1, Red-winged Blackbird    10, Western Meadowlark    4, Yellow-headed Blackbird    1, Brewer's Blackbird    6, Common Grackle    5, House Sparrow    4, and Crook County Wyoming: 308 Pronghorns (only 1 in SD), 15 Mule Deer, 5 Whitetail, 95 Prairie Dogs, 2 Yellow-Bellied Marmots, 1 Cottontail, more Least Chipmunks, 1 Coyote, 2 Red Squirrels, an Old World Swallowtail, Melissa/Boisduval's/Western-Tailed/Silvery Blues... Canada Goose    52, Gadwall    1, Blue-winged Teal    1, Northern Shoveler    3, Wild Turkey    2, Pied-billed Grebe    2, Eared Grebe    2, Western Grebe    1, American White Pelican    25, Great Blue Heron    5, Turkey Vulture    5, Northern Harrier    2, Cooper's Hawk    2, Swainson's Hawk    10, Red-tailed Hawk    11, Ferruginous Hawk    8, Golden Eagle    9, American Kestrel    3, American Coot    1, Killdeer    7, Mountain Plover    3, American Avocet    1, Spotted Sandpiper    1, Upland Sandpiper    1, Wilson's Snipe    1, Wilson's Phalarope    3, California Gull    1, Mourning Dove    12, Common Nighthawk    5, Northern Flicker    1, Loggerhead Shrike    3, Black-billed Magpie    1, Horned Lark    44, Cliff Swallow    72, Barn Swallow    5, Red-breasted Nuthatch    1, White-breasted Nuthatch    1, House Wren    1, Mountain Bluebird 5, American Robin    1, Sage Thrasher    1, Chipping Sparrow    2, Brewer's Sparrow    11, Vesper Sparrow    4, Lark Bunting    98, Grasshopper Sparrow    4, Dark-eyed Junco    2, McCown's Longspur 10, Chestnut-collared Longspur 10, Red-winged Blackbird    7, Western Meadowlark    63, Common Grackle    3, Brown-headed Cowbird    4, Red Crossbill    1 

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June 14 Lawrence County SD White-Tailed Jackrabbit, Least Chipmunk, Yellow-Bellied Marmot (for the third day in a row!), Mallard    6, Great Blue Heron    4, Sharp-shinned Hawk    1, Cooper's Hawk    1, Red-tailed Hawk    1, Mourning Dove    8, White-throated Swift    1, Red-naped Sapsucker    2, Hairy Woodpecker    1, Dusky Flycatcher    3, Cordilleran Flycatcher    2, Warbling Vireo    3, Black-billed Magpie    3, Tree Swallow    2, Violet-green Swallow    8, Barn Swallow    1, Black-capped Chickadee    5, Red-breasted Nuthatch    5, Canyon Wren 1, American Dipper    4, Golden-crowned Kinglet    5, Ruby-crowned Kinglet    2, Mountain Bluebird    1, Townsend's Solitaire    1, Veery 4, Swainson's Thrush    2, American Robin    20, Gray Catbird    2, Aubudon's Warbler    5, American Redstart    8, Ovenbird    1, MacGillivray's Warbler    4, Common Yellowthroat    1, Chipping Sparrow    6, Song Sparrow 4,White-Winged Junco 4, Black-headed Grosbeak 8, Red-winged Blackbird    9, Red Crossbill 4, Pine Siskin 13, House Sparrow 14.  PenningtonCo SD    6 Bighorn Sheep; 5 Mule Deer; 1500 Bison,  3 Pronghorn, Mallard    4, Mourning Dove, Lewis's Woodpecker    1, Red-naped Sapsucker    3, Downy Woodpecker    1, Hairy Woodpecker    1, Black-backed Woodpecker 3 (an adult pair feeding young in the nest!), Plumbeous Vireo    1,, Warbling Vireo    1, Red-eyed Vireo    1, Northern Rough-winged Swallow    2, Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, White-breasted Nuthatch    2, Townsend's Solitaire    2, Yellow Warbler    1, Black-and-white Warbler    1, American Redstart    4, Ovenbird    1, Common Yellowthroat    1, Western Tanager    2, Chipping Sparrow    6, Black-headed Grosbeak, Red-winged Blackbird    5, Brown-headed Cowbird    25, Red Crossbill    2

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June 15 Mount Rushmore, SD  Although there were hundreds of people, smack in the middle of them was this MOUNTAIN GOAT scratching his back on a wire fence used to keep people on the sidewalk and off the grass!

June 17 Dixieland Park  Today the dogs and I found the first Texas Tortoise I've ever seen in this highly recreational park.

June 18 Estero Llano Grande SP Celia's Roadside-Skippers and White Peacocks plentiful.  Black-bellied Whistling-Duck    11, Mottled Duck    1, Plain Chachalaca    4, Northern Bobwhite    1, Least Grebe    6, Pied-billed Grebe    4, Neotropic Cormorant    1, Least Bittern    6, Great Blue Heron    2, Great Egret    8, Snowy Egret    12, Little Blue Heron    2, Tricolored Heron    2, Cattle Egret    1, Green Heron    9, Black-crowned Night-Heron    2, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron    2, White Ibis    1, White-faced Ibis    4, Roseate Spoonbill    8, Wood Stork 6 (first of season for Huck and me), White-tailed Kite    3, Harris's Hawk    3, Common Moorhen    13, American Coot    43, Killdeer    7, Black-necked Stilt    15, Laughing Gull    1, Gull-billed Tern    1, Rock Pigeon    4, Eurasian Collared-Dove    6, White-winged Dove    32, Mourning Dove    26, Inca Dove    12, Common Ground-Dove    8, White-tipped Dove    7, Red-crowned Parrot 17, Groove-billed Ani 6, Buff-bellied Hummingbird    5, Black-chinned Hummingbird    1, Green Kingfisher    2, Golden-fronted Woodpecker    30, Ladder-backed Woodpecker    1, Brown-crested Flycatcher    8, Great Kiskadee    5, Couch's Kingbird    12, White-eyed Vireo    2, Purple Martin    4, Northern Rough-winged Swallow    2, Cave Swallow    2, Carolina Wren    1, Northern Mockingbird    27, Long-billed Thrasher    2, Curve-billed Thrasher    1, European Starling    5, Olive Sparrow    1, Northern Cardinal    3, Red-winged Blackbird    8, Great-tailed Grackle    97, Bronzed Cowbird    2, Brown-headed Cowbird    2, Lesser Goldfinch    1, House Sparrow    8

June 19 Frontera Audubon  Fast walk-through for lunch: Plain Chachalaca    14, Green Heron    2, White-winged Dove    6, White-tipped Dove    11, Yellow-billed Cuckoo    1, Chimney Swift    1, Buff-bellied Hummingbird    8, Golden-fronted Woodpecker    4, Brown-crested Flycatcher    3, Great Kiskadee    4, Purple Martin    1, Black-crested Titmouse    1, Northern Mockingbird 3, Great-tailed Grackle    9, House Sparrow 1.  Estero Butterfly Walk #20, a pitiful 20 species:  Giant Swallowtail, Great Southern White, Lyside and Dainty Sulphurs, Gray Hairstreak, Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak, Dusky-Blue Groundstreak, Reakirt's Blue, Red-Bordered Metalmark, American Snout, Texan and Pale-Banded Crescents, White Peacock, Queen, Brown Longtail, White and Tropical Checkered-Skippers, Laviana White-Skipper, Julia's Skipper, Southern Skipperling, Celia's Roadside-Skipper.

Clench's Greenstreak
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June 20 Bentsen was very active with butterflies but I only had an hour to spend:  GRAY MINISTREAKS, CLENCH'S GREENSTREAKS, Clyties, the first Gulf Fritillary in a long time, looking for the TELEA HAIRSTREAKS and missed the dingy purplewing.  And I couldn't help but notice the Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Altamira Oriole flying over.

June 22 Dixieland Park with 3 dogs, in improved section only, with much machinery and trucks and workmen:  Black-bellied Whistling-Duck    2, Neotropic Cormorant    2, Snowy Egret    6, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron    3, Killdeer    8, Laughing Gull    25, Forster's Tern    1, Rock Pigeon    10, White-winged Dove    16, Mourning Dove    40, Inca Dove    1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker    2, Tropical Kingbird    2, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher    1, Loggerhead Shrike    1, Northern Mockingbird    2, Great-tailed Grackle 12, Bronzed Cowbird    6, House Sparrow    10

June 23 It was my day off and I was going to be free from 1pm to 6pm!  I determined my goal was to see the shorebirds Dan Jones recently reported on Texbirds.  On my way I thought I might pick up the birds of Port Isabel Road.  I had bought a scope from an Eagle Optics email months ago, well maybe a year ago, so I brought it along to try it out.  The first bird I saw through it was the Aplomado Falcon at the hacking station, and while looking for sparrows the scope's lenses were wetted by their first raindrops.  Raindrops!  Port Isabel Road turns to glue and wet cement and quicksand at the slightest hint of moisture!  Dark clouds had gathered overhead from somewhere!  I gave up my casual tour and drove as fast as I could, passing the skeletons of past skirmishes other cars had experienced with the road, huge ruts, now dry and harmless-looking. 
I made it to 100 and drove in the rain to Holly Beach, where the rain had stopped.  I only had enough time to scope them a bit (no time to count them:  a Reddish Egret, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 8, Black-bellied Plover, Snowy Plover, Wilson's Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Black-necked Stilt, American Avocet, Greater Yellowlegs, Willet, Lesser Yellowlegs, Long-billed Curlew, Ruddy Turnstone, Western Sandpiper, Dunlin, Wilson's Phalarope, Laughing Gull) before the rain returned and I ran for the car. 
I pulled off the road right after the South Padre Island Causeway, where there were 2 Sandwich Terns, 2 Caspian Terns, 12 Royal Terns, 24 Least Terns, a Great Blue Heron, 2 Wilson's Plovers, 2 Willets and a Great-Tailed Grackle.  On to the Convention Center where it kept raining intermittently until finally it poured and I was forced to leave for home:  Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Reddish Egret, Green Heron, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Clapper Rail, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Killdeer, Black-necked Stilt, Willet, Long-billed Curlew    2, Laughing Gull, Caspian Tern, Royal Tern, Black Skimmer    2, Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove, Great Kiskadee, Barn Swallow, Northern Mockingbird, RedWinged Blackbird, House Sparrow

June 24 Carol and I were asked to lead a bird walk for children near Misson at El Rocio Resort: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, Rock Pigeon, White-winged Dove, Mourning Dove, White-tipped Dove, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Common Nighthawk, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet    1, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Green Jay, Purple Martin, Bewick's Wren 1, Northern Mockingbird, Long-billed Thrasher, Curve-billed Thrasher, Olive Sparrow, Northern Cardinal, Great-tailed Grackle, Bronzed Cowbird, House Sparrow.  Also two Texas Tortoises.

June 25 Tiocano Lake Black-bellied Whistling-Duck    43, Fulvous Whistling-Duck    60, Neotropic Cormorant    10, Great Blue Heron    2, Great Egret    10, Snowy Egret    73, Little Blue Heron    2, Tricolored Heron    2, Cattle Egret    4, Green Heron    1, White-faced Ibis    2, Roseate Spoonbill 2, Harris's Hawk    1, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Killdeer    4, Black-necked Stilt    40, Least Tern    4, Red-winged Blackbird    15, Great-tailed Grackle    50

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June 26 Estero Butterfly Walk #21:  Pipevine and Giant Swallowtails, Great Southern White, WHITE-ANGLED, ORANGE-BARRED, and Lyside Sulphurs, Little Yellow, Gray Hairstreak, Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak, Clytie Ministreak (6!), Ceraunus, Western-Pygmy, CYNA, MARINE, and CASSIUS (5!) Blues, Fatal and Red-Bordered Metalmarks, American Snout, White Peacock, Queen, Brown Longtail (these last three are by far the most common), POTRILLO SKIPPER, Mournful and Funereal Duskywings, White, Tropical AND DESERT Checkered-Skippers, Laviana and Turk's-Cap White-Skippers, Fawn-Spotted, Clouded, Julia's, Fiery and Celia's Roadside- Skippers, Whirlabout, and Southern Skipperling.  The recent rains must have been wonderful for butterflies since we had 38 species this week-- almost twice of last week's 20.  I was also very happy to see a  White Satin Moth again.  We have plenty of Yellow Oleander in the park so this should be no surprise I guess.
 
 

Satin White Moth
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Male Black Witch
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June 28 Estero My first Black Witch of the season.

To see my history of birding before I moved to Texas just click one of these links: at Oxbow Lake, in Defiance County.
at Independence Dam State Park, in Defiance County.
in Sherwood Ohio, my old hometown, in Defiance County
the rest of Defiance County.
in Paulding County, one county south of Defiance County, in Northwest Ohio
at 16 and C in Williams County, in Northwest Ohio.
the rest of Williams County
in Fulton County, also in Northwest Ohio
around Lake Erie
as well as other various spots in Ohio
and occassionally other states.
I've also researched my genealogy a bit (my other hobby). Click here to learn about the Yochums.
and the Hinsch's
and the Stahls.
and the Jones'
and the Rathbuns.
and the Mattsons
and the Browns
and the Weisers
and the Batdorffs.
Genealogy Tree, Generations 1 through 6
Genealogy Tree, Generations 7 through 12
Genealogy Tree, Generations 13 and up