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Northern Ohio birder moves to South Texas
Estero Llano Grande State Park
May 2010
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August 21, 2009 at Estero Llano Grande State Park esp Guava Skipper
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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
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March 2007

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

It's been 10 months!

October 1 Monday @ Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park It's the scheduled birdwalk today:  Javelina made a wallow out of Kiskadee Blind pond, no water left!  4 Fox Squirrels.  Plain Chachalaca 15, Double-crested Cormorant 30, Anhinga 3, Green Heron 1, Turkey Vulture 1, White-tailed Kite 1, Broad-winged Hawk 1, Gray Hawk 1, Red-tailed Hawk 1 (ho-hum in Ohio, listed as Rare in Bentsen check-list), Killdeer 1, White-winged Dove 4, Mourning Dove 1, Inca Dove 1, White-tipped Dove 1, Greater Roadrunner 1, Groove-billed Ani 10, Chimney Swift 4, Buff-bellied Hummingbird 2, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 20, Ringed Kingfisher 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 9, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 7, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 2, Black Phoebe 1 (just about it's eastern- and southern-most boundary), Brown-crested Flycatcher  2, Great Kiskadee 8, Couch's Kingbird 5, White-eyed Vireo 3, Green Jay 22, Cave Swallow 3, Barn Swallow 25, Black-crested Titmouse 18, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 8, Northern Mockingbird 5, Long-billed Thrasher 3, Black-and-white Warbler 1, Olive Sparrow 4, Northern Cardinal 3, Red-winged Blackbird 63, Great-tailed Grackle 30, Brown-headed Cowbird 25, Altamira Oriole 1

Rambur's Forktail-- this female is prettier than male!

Oct 2  Rio Grande Cemetery Pond for lunch (Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 7, Great Egret 1, Snowy Egret 2, Little Blue Heron 1, Cattle Egret 11, Turkey Vulture 1, American Kestrel 2, Killdeer 4, Solitary Sandpiper 4, Western Sandpiper 4, Mourning Dove 2, Common Ground-Dove 1, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 6, Loggerhead Shrike 1). Bentsen Gatehouse for afternoon. There was no seed in the feeders, and there was quite a group at the gatehouse outside.  Still almost the normal number of birds came to the feeders: (3 Chachalacas, 7 Green Jays, 1 GoldenFronted Woodpecker, 1 male Ladderback, 1 WhiteWinged Dove, 5 WhiteTipped Doves, 2 Ruby Throated Hummingbirds, 1 LongBilled Thrasher, Cave Swallow1, Barn Swallow 25, Ani 1, Roadrunner 1). I also checked for butterflies around the gatehouse: (Giant Swallowtail, Pipevine Swallowtail, Lyside Sulphur, Large Orange Sulphur, Cloudless Sulphur, Gulf Fritillary, Mexican Fritillary, White Peacock, Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak, American Snout, Hackberry Emperor, White Checkered-Skipper, Sachem, Whirlabout, Southern Broken-Dash, Laviana White-Skipper, Turk’sCap White-Skipper, Clouded Skipper, Brown Longtail, and just as I was leaving a TWO-BARRED FLASHER flew in!). The only mammal was a Mexican ground squirrel. Dragonflies included Red Saddlebags, Eastern Pond hawk (m&f), Slough AND Eastern Amberwing , Checkered, Swift and Black Setwings, Powdered Dancer, Rambur's and Citrine Forktail.


Oct 3 BentsenFrom the Hawktower: Blue-winged Teal 5 (first of the season for me), Double-crested Cormorant 10, Anhinga 601, Great Egret 1, Wood Stork 1, Black Vulture 2, Turkey Vulture 50, Osprey 1, White-tailed Kite 5, Harris's Hawk 2, Broad-winged Hawk 3407, Gray Hawk 2, Swainson's Hawk 4, Solitary Sandpiper 2, White-winged Dove 7, Mourning Dove 1, Common Ground-Dove 1, Groove-billed Ani 27, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 2, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 3, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 1, Great Kiskadee 1, Couch's Kingbird 7, White-eyed Vireo 1, Green Jay 2, Barn Swallow 6, Black-crested Titmouse 2, Verdin 1, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3, Northern Mockingbird 3, Long-billed Thrasher 1, Olive Sparrow 1, Northern Cardinal 3, Red-winged Blackbird 70, Great-tailed Grackle 12, Brown-headed Cowbird 2, Altamira Oriole 2. Best was a COYOTE walking on the resaca dike below us!

For lunch, I started at NABA next door: Giant Swallowtail, Southern Dogface, Cloudless--, Large Orange-, Lyside Sulphurs, Little Yellow, Gray Hairshtreak, Mallow & Lantana Scrub-Hairstreaks, Ceraunus Blue, FATAL METALMARK, Gulf Fritillary, JULIA HELICONIAN, ZEBRA HELICONIAN, Mexican Fritillary, Bordered & CRIMSON PATCH, ELADA CHECKERSPOT, PALE-BANDED CRESCENT (where have all the Texan crescents gone?!), Phaon Crescent, Pearl Crescent, White Peacock, BANDED PEACOCK, Tropical Leafwing, Hackberry & Tawny Emperors, Queen, Soldier, Brown Longtail, Sickle-Winged, BrownBanded, White-Patched, White Checkered, Laviana White, Fiery, Clouded, Dun Skippers, Whirlabout. (Okay, it's only 38 species) then finished at Bentsen gardens with 15 more for a total of 53-- Pipevine Swallowtail, RedBordered Metalmark, RedBordered Pixie, American Snout, Common Mestra, Carolina Satyr, WhiteStriped Longtail, TWO-BARRED FLASHER, Tropical Checkered, Turk’s-Cap White, Celia’s Roadside, Eufala Skippers, Common Sootywing, Southern Skipperling, Southern Broken-Dash

Cleaning Hummingbird feeders then-- wow! there were so many Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds, they were guarding feeders, even trying to keep me from taking them down to clean and refill them!


Oct 4 Bentsen Resaca Vieja trail  Plain Chachalaca 28, extremely noisy at 8am, Black Vulture 2, Turkey Vulture 10, Sharp-shinned Hawk 2, Cooper's Hawk 1, Broad-winged Hawk 973, some still sitting in the trees!, Gray Hawk 2 (an adult sitting on a branch nearby at 60x!), Swainson's Hawk 2, White-winged Dove 2, Mourning Dove 2, Common Ground-Dove 1, White-tipped Dove 2, Greater Roadrunner 2, Groove-billed Ani 12, Chimney Swift 2, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 2, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1, Brown-crested Flycatcher 1, Great Kiskadee 1, Couch's Kingbird 3, Green Jay 8, Cave Swallow 3, Barn Swallow 30, Black-crested Titmouse 2, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3, Northern Mockingbird 4, Long-billed Thrasher 1, Curve-billed Thrasher 1, Olive Sparrow 1, Northern Cardinal 7, Great-tailed Grackle 24, Altamira Oriole 3 .


Oct 6 South Padre Island Convention Center and Causeway Northern Pintail 8 (my first of the season), Brown Pelican X, Great Blue Heron 4, Great Egret 2, Snowy Egret 2, Little Blue Heron 2, Tricolored Heron 3, Reddish Egret 1, Cattle Egret 32, White Ibis 2, Osprey 1, Crested Caracara 1, Clapper Rail 1, Black-bellied Plover 1, Semipalmated Plover 4, Piping Plover 11, Killdeer 1, Black-necked Stilt 3, Greater Yellowlegs 3, Willet 47, Lesser Yellowlegs 14, Whimbrel 1, Long-billed Curlew 3, Marbled Godwit 3, Ruddy Turnstone 6, Sanderling 25, Least Sandpiper 29, Stilt Sandpiper 9, Short-billed Dowitcher 12, Laughing Gull X, Caspian Tern 1, Forster's Tern 13, Royal Tern 28, Sandwich Tern 66, Rock Pigeon 9, Northern Mockingbird 2, Great-tailed Grackle X.


Oct 7 Bentsen Hawktower Plain Chachalaca 5, Anhinga 50, Great Egret 1, Black Vulture
                                    2, Turkey Vulture 334, Osprey 2, White-tailed Kite 3, Cooper's Hawk 7, Broad-winged Hawk 248 (one DARK-MORPH juvenile!), Gray
                                    Hawk 2, Swainson's Hawk 5 (one intermemdiate-phase!), American Kestrel 5, Peregrine Falcon 1, Killdeer X, White-winged Dove
                                    8, Mourning Dove 2, Inca Dove 1, Common Ground-Dove 2, Greater Roadrunner 2, Groove-billed Ani 15, Golden-fronted Woodpecker
                                    6, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 2, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 1, Eastern Wood-Pewee 2, Great Kiskadee 6, Eastern Kingbird 1,
                                    Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 1,White-eyed Vireo 1 Green Jay 2, Northern Rough-winged Swallow X, Bank Swallow X, Cave Swallow
                                    X, Barn Swallow X, Black-crested Titmouse 2, Verdin 1, House Wren 1, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3, Northern Mockingbird 2, Northern
                                    Cardinal 3, Red-winged Blackbird 6, Great-tailed Grackle 9, Altamira Oriole 3
NABA for lunch Pipevine
                                    & Giant Swallowtails, Southern Dogface, Cloudless--, Large Orange-, Lyside Sulphurs, Little Yellow, Gray Hairstreak, Mallow
                                    Scrub-Hairstreak, Western Pygmy & Ceraunus Blue, Gulf Fritillary, JULIA HELICONIAN, ZEBRA HELICONIAN, Mexican Fritillary,
                                    Bordered & CRIMSON PATCH, ELADA CHECKERSPOT, PALE-BANDED CRESCENT, Phaon Crescent, Pearl Crescent, White Peacock, BANDED
                                    PEACOCKS, Tropical Leafwing, Tawny Emperors, Queen, Soldier, Brown Longtail, Sickle-Winged, White Checkered, Laviana White,
                                    Common Mellana, Sachem, Fiery, Clouded, Dun Skippers, Whirlabout at NABA for lunch. 
                                     TWO BARRED FLASHER, RED ADMIRAL, QUESTION MARK and DORANTES LONGTAIL added
                                    at Bentsen. 


Oct 8 Bentsen Mary banded a second different Allen's Hummingbird today, identifying it in-hand!  TWO Allen's?!!. Bird walk was confined to the gardens due to the lack of electricity at the park:  Black Vulture 6, Turkey Vulture 12, Osprey 2, White-tailed Kite 2, Northern Harrier 1, Cooper's Hawk 2, Harris's Hawk 1, Red-shouldered Hawk 1, Broad-winged Hawk 400, Gray Hawk 1, Swainson's Hawk 300, American Kestrel 3, White-winged Dove 3, Mourning Dove 22, Common Ground-Dove 2, Groove-billed Ani 2, Buff-bellied Hummingbird 5, Archilochus Hummingbird 24, Rufous (or should I merely say Selasphorous at this point?!) Hummingbird 1, Allen's Hummingbird 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 1, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 2, Great Kiskadee 3, Couch's Kingbird 7, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 1, Cave and Barn Swallows, Northern Mockingbird 6, Nashville Warbler 2, Northern Cardinal 2, Red-winged Blackbird 6, Great-tailed Grackle 12, Hooded Oriole 1.  As I left work, a male Cockatiel sat on the telephone wire with a flock of Mourning Doves,  surviving an attack by a Kestrel. 


Oct 9 Bentsen The day started with a little tiny GECKO in the shower. What a cutie. As I pulled off the freeway onto Bentsen-Palm, at Minerva, a TROPICAL KINGBIRD sounded off from a telephone wire! At work I was supposed to be on the phones all morning, but as luck would have it I got to go around filling all the feeders, putting out new ones, as feeder season begins once again-- Green Jays and Chachalacas literally flocked to us! At one place, twenty Chachalacas fed furiously only five feet away. Carl said that sometimes Green Jays fed from the bucket of sunflower seed in the back of the golf cart as he went from one feeder section to the next. A BELTED KINGFISHER on a telephone wire at the irrigation canal was my first of the season, a taste of Ohio. Don said that we were down to 100 hawks today from 1000 yesterday!


Oct 10 Bentsen Hawkwatch morning: Plain Chachalaca 3, Anhinga 123 Great Blue Heron 14 (most in one flock), Great Egret 2, Cattle Egret 100, Turkey Vulture 71, Osprey 1, White-tailed Kite 2, Northern Harrier 2, Sharp-shinned Hawk 1, Cooper's Hawk 5, Harris's Hawk 3, Broad-winged Hawk 2000, Gray Hawk 3, Swainson's Hawk 15, American Kestrel 2, Killdeer 1, Groove-billed Ani 6, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 4, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 3, Great Kiskadee 6, Tropical Kingbird 1 (Minerva at Bentsen-Palm Rd), Couch's Kingbird 3, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 9, Barn Swallow 50, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3, Northern Mockingbird 1, Long-billed Thrasher 2, Common Yellowthroat 1 (at HQ), Red-winged Blackbird 600, Great-tailed Grackle 106 Bentsen Butterfly survey,Normal number of species (54) but a low number of individuals (428). Almost nothing is in bloom except for Turk's Cap: Pipevine Swallowtail 10, Giant Swallowtail 9, Giant White 1, Clouded Sulphur 17, Southern Dogface 2, Cloudless Sulphur 32, Large Orange Sulphur 25, Lyside Sulphur 15, Tailed Orange 3, Little Yellow 16, Mimosa Yellow 1, Sleepy Orange 1, Silver-banded Hairstreak 1, Gray Hairstreak 8, Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak 9, Lantana Scrub-Hairstreak 1, Western Pygmy-Blue 3, Ceraunus Blue 5, American Snout 48, Gulf Fritillary 21, Mexican Fritillary 3, Bordered Patch 32, Phaon Crescent 15, Pearl Crescent 5, White Peacock 17, Common Mestra 3, Tropical Leafwing 1, Empress Leilia 1, Tawny Emperor 23, Silver Emperor 1, Carolina Satyr 3, Queen 13, Soldier 2, Brown Longtail 2, Two-barred Flasher 1, Sickle-winged Skipper 5, Brown-banded Skipper 9, White-patched Skipper 4, White Checkered-Skipper 7, Tropical Checkered-Skipper 5, Laviana White-Skipper 7, Turk's-cap White-Skipper 1, Common Sootywing 1, Clouded Skipper 17, Southern Skipperling 1, Fiery Skipper 8, Whirlabout 2, Southern Broken-Dash 2, Sachem 1, Dun Skipper 1, Celia's Roadside-Skipper 1, Eufala Skipper 1, Ocola Skipper 4.

male Silver Emperor on the "Magic Hedge"

Fiery Skipper, common but, well, uh, Fiery!

Tailed Orange, prettier on the upperside

Fatal? Rawson's? Rounded?


Oct 10 NABA's International Butterfly Park, with exactly 50 species: Pipevine Swallowtail Battus phileno, Giant Swallowtail Papilio cresphontes, Southern Dogface Colias cesoni, Cloudless Sulphur Phoebis sennae, Large Orange Sulphur Phoebis agarithe, Lyside Sulphur Kricogonia lyside, Tailed Orange Eurema proterpia, Little Yellow Eurema lisa, Mimosa Yellow Eurema nise, Gray Hairstreak Strymon melinus, Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak Strymon istapa, Ceraunus Blue Hemiargus ceraunus, Fatal/Rounded/ Metalmark Calephelis, Red-bordered Metalmark Caria ino, American Snout Libytheana carinent, Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae, Julia Heliconian Dryas iulia, Zebra Heliconian Heliconius charithonia, Mexican Fritillary Euptoieta hegesia, Bordered Patch Chlosyne lacinia, Crimson Patch Chlosyne janais, Elada Checkerspot Texola elada, Pale-banded Crescent Phyciodes tulcis, Vesta Crescent Phyciodes vesta. Phaon Crescent Phyciodes phaon. Pearl Crescent Phyciodes tharos, Common Buckeye Junonia coeni, White Peacock Anartia jatrophae, Banded Peacock Anartia fatima, Tawny Emperor Asterocampa clyton, Queen Danaus gilippus, Soldier Danaus eresimus, White-striped Longtail Chioides catillus, Dorantes Longtail Urbanus dorantes, Brown Longtail Urbanus procne, Sickle-winged Skipper Achlyodes thraso, Brown-banded Skipper Timochares ruptifasciatus, White Checkered-Skipper Pyrgus albescens, Laviana White-Skipper Heliopetes laviana, Common Sootywing Pholisora catullus, Clouded Skipper Lerema accius, Fiery Skipper Hylephila phyleus, Whirlabout Polites vibex, Southern Broken-Dash Wallengrenia otho, Sachem Atalopedes campestris, Dun Skipper Euphyes vestris, Celia's Roadside-Skipper Amblyscirtes celia, Eufala Skipper Lerodea eufala, Ocola Skipper Panoquina ocola, Purple-washed Skipper

Oct 12 South Padre Island, I forgot about Biker Fest so couldn't go to the Convention Center.  Just the causeway and Isla Blanca and Sheepshead:  Brown Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorant 2, Anhinga 4, Great Egret 50, Snowy Egret 1, Cattle Egret 100, White Ibis 7, Osprey 2, Ruddy Turnstone 1, Sanderling 50, Laughing Gulls, Forster's Tern 1, Royal Tern 2, Rock Pigeon 2, Eurasian Collared-Dove 1, Mourning Dove 1, Belted Kingfisher 1, Least Flycatcher 1, Great-tailed Grackles


Oct 13 Harlingen TX tour I had from 1pm until 6pm free so hit City Lake (Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 158, Snowy Egret 1, American Coot 2, Laughing Gull 65, Forster's Tern 1, Rock Pigeon 2, Inca Dove 3, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 5, Vermilion Flycatcher 1 male, my first of the season, Couch's Kingbird 1, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 1, Northern Mockingbird 8, Great-tailed Grackle 10, House Sparrow 10) , Tiocano Lake (Mottled Duck 17, Blue-winged Teal 6, Northern Shoveler 4 my first of season, Northern Pintail 1, Neotropic Cormorant 1 Double-crested Cormorant 1, Great Blue Heron 1, Great Egret 1, Snowy Egret 17, Little Blue Heron 1, Tricolored Heron 1, Cattle Egret 248, Roseate Spoonbill 1, Wood Stork 1, American Kestrel 1, Killdeer 8, Black-necked Stilt 71, American Avocet 1, Lesser Yellowlegs 2, Western Sandpiper 30, Least Sandpiper 12, Stilt Sandpiper 10, Long-billed Dowitcher 34, Forster's Tern 1, Rock Pigeon 11, Mourning Dove 1, Common Ground-Dove 1, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 1, Great-tailed Grackle 17) , LaFeria Turf Farm, checking for sandpipers but nothing here, unless you count Turkey Vulture 1, Rock Pigeon 2, Mourning Dove 2, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 14, Red-winged Blackbird 5, Great-tailed Grackle 4 Dixieland Reservoir, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 4 Neotropic Cormorant 4 Great Egret 1 Snowy Egret 4 Turkey Vulture 2 Osprey 1 Laughing Gulls, Forster's Tern 1, White-winged Dove 21, Mourning Dove 23, Eastern Phoebe 1, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 21, Barn Swallow 20, Northern Mockingbird 7, Great-tailed Grackles, Bronzed Cowbird 400, Brown-headed Cowbird 200, House Sparrow 20. At one time, my CAR was covered with Bronzed Cowbirds!!! Hugh Ramsey Park, A BOBCAT?! At 4pm?!! This close to the busy traffic of Harlingen?! Plus a garter snake. Great Blue Heron 1, White-winged Dove 3, Mourning Dove 1, Inca Dove 3, Common Ground-Dove 2, Groove-billed Ani 1, Buff-bellied Hummingbird 4, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1, Green Kingfisher 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 6, Great Kiskadee 8, White-eyed Vireo 2 (including one dark-eyed juvenile frolicking in the bath as nervous Momma called from the side), Blue-headed Vireo 1, Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1, Barn Swallow 2, Black-crested Titmouse 2, Carolina Wren 1, Bewick's Wren 2, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 3, Northern Mockingbird 2, Curve-billed Thrasher 2, Orange-crowned Warbler 1, Nashville Warbler 2, Yellow Warbler 1, Black-and-white Warbler 1, Wilson's Warbler 1, Olive Sparrow 3, Northern Cardinal 2, House Sparrows, plus Texas Spiny Lizards and many Mexican Bluewings), and Pendleton Park (Laughing Gull X Rock Pigeon X White-winged Dove X Mourning Dove X Red-crowned Parrot X Golden-fronted Woodpecker X Ladder-backed Woodpecker X Northern Mockingbird X European Starling X Great-tailed Grackle X Bronzed Cowbird X House Sparrow). Wish I had had time for Harlingen Thicket.

Oct 14 Bentsen Big Sit Plain Chachalaca, Neotropic Cormorant, DoubleCrested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great and Cattle Egrets, WOOD STORK, Black and Turkey Vultures, Osprey, WhiteTailed Kite, Northern Harrier, SharpShinned, Cooper’s, Gray, Harris’s, Broadwinged, Swainson’s Hawks; Am Kestrel, Merlin, Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, WhiteWinged, Mourning, Common Ground-, WhiteTipped Doves; GrooveBilled Ani; BARN, Eastern Screech, GreatHorned Owls; Lesser Nighthawk, Common Pauraque, RubyThroated Hummingbird; Ringed, Belted, Green Kingfishers, GoldenFronted and LadderBacked Woodpeckers, Eastern WoodPewee, Eastern Phoebe, Great Kiskadee, Couch’s Kingbird, WhiteEyed Vireo, Green Jay, NoRoughWinged, Bank, Cliff, Cave, Barn Swallows; BlackCrested Titmice, HOUSE WREN, BlueGray Gnatcatcher, Northern Mockingbird, LongBilled Thrasher, ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Cardinal, INDIGO BUNTING, RedWinged Blackbird, GreatTailed Grackle, Bronzed Cowbird, Altamira Oriole, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH-- 64 species. 



Oct 15 Bentsen Bird Walk 8:15-10:15am A Green Jay got stuck in our van, a Gray Hawk posed for photos, a WHITE-TAILED HAWK finished the two hours. Great fun.   Plain Chachalaca, Anhinga, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Gray Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, White-winged Doves, Mourning Doves, Inca Dove, Common Ground-Doves, White-tipped Doves, Groove-billed Anis, Buff-bellied Hummingbirds, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Great Kiskadees, Couch's Kingbirds, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Green Jays, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Cave Swallows, Barn Swallows, Black-crested Titmouses, House Wrens, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Clay-colored Robin 2, Northern Mockingbirds, Long-billed Thrashers. Olive Sparrows, Northern Cardinals, Indigo Bunting 1, my first of the season, Great-tailed Grackles, Bronzed Cowbirds, Altamira Orioles.  Enroute home the lines started to form on the freeway so I left the freeway at Mercedes.  Good thing I got off--  a dozen WOOD STORKS sitting by the side of the road (941).


Oct 17 Bentsen HQ Gardens  Butterfly Walk Best was a still-hanging-around SILVER BANDED HAIRSTREAK on the ballonvine by the tram stop.  A SILVER EMPEROR was on Josh's Diner at the end of the long sidewalk.  Almost nothing is in bloom except for the Turk's Cap (a ZILPA LONGTAIL on this), so I was surprised to get even this many butterflies:  Giant & Pipevine Swallowtails, Lyside, Cloudless & Large Orange Sulphurs, Southern Dogface, Little Yellow, Dusky Blue Groundstreak, many Gray, Lantana Scrub- and Mallow Scrub-Hairstreaks, Silver Banded Hairstreak, Ceraunus and Western Pygmy Blues, RedBordred Metalmark, Snout, Gulf & Mexican Fritillaries, Bordered Patch, Phaon Crescents, White Peacock, Tropical Leafwing, Tawny & Silver Emperors, Carolina Satyr, Queen, Soldier, Brown and Zilpa Longtails, Sickle-Winged, White-Patched, Brown-Banded, White Checkered-, Tropical Checkered-, Laviana White-, Clouded, Fiery & Eufala Skippers, Southern Skipperling, Whirlabout, and Sachems.



Oct 18 Bentsen Night Hike GREAT VIEWS OF AT LEAST SIX ARMADILLOS, A BOBCAT at the water feature opposite the Kiskadee trail, plus 2 Blue Spiny Lizards, 8 Cottontail Rabbits, 3 Opossum, Plain Chachalaca 13, Killdeer 6, Mourning Dove 5, White-tipped Dove 1, Greater Roadrunner 1, Eastern Screech-Owl 3, Great Horned Owl 1, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl 3 (Great views of one, thanks to the persistence of the sisters!), Lesser Nighthawk 16, Common Pauraque 9, Buff-bellied Hummingbird 1, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1, Couch's Kingbird 2, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 16, Green Jay 3, Barn Swallow (thousands!), Clay-colored Robin 1 (Kiskadee Blind), Red-winged Blackbird 25.




Oct 19 Starr County TX 11am to Noon I was at Roma Bluffs. Overhead was quite the migration. In JUST ONE HOUR:

American White Pelican 1 Neotropic Cormorant 5 Great Blue Heron 2 Snowy Egret 1 Little Blue Heron 1 Wood Stork 25, Turkey Vulture 1115 Osprey 1 Cooper's Hawk 2 Broad-winged Hawk 8 Swainson's Hawk 25, American Kestrel 1 Killdeer 4 Spotted Sandpiper 1 Western Sandpiper 25 Least Sandpiper 7 Rock Pigeon 8 White-winged Dove 10 Greater Roadrunner 1 Black Phoebe 3, Great Kiskadee 6 Couch's Kingbird 2 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 8 White-eyed Vireo 1 Green Jay 3 Barn Swallow 22 Black-crested Titmouse 4 Bewick's Wren 2 House Wren 4 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher 2 Northern Mockingbird 6 Curve-billed Thrasher 1 Orange-crowned Warbler 6 Wilson's Warbler 1 Northern Cardinal 3 Pyrrhuloxia 1 Great-tailed Grackle 6 House Sparrow 5

Then it was on to Falcon Park where there were at least 25 people already in the butterfly garden there. Amazing! I have never seen anything like it! Butterflies and celebrities were everywhere! My first butterfly was the amazing SPECTACULAR MALACHITE!!! Did someone say LACEY'S SCRUB-HAIRSTREAK?! Two-Barred Flashers, BLUE METALMARK, CLYTIES, just hundreds of common butterflies like Queens, Sulphurs-- I just don't know where to start or end! Way too many to take a count or even a list!!!  More later on this!


Oct 21 Bentsen State Park Other duties kept me inside most of this beautiful day, but I did get the first hour of the day at the Hawktower:  Double-crested Cormorant 4, Great Blue Heron 1, Turkey Vulture 1, Cooper's Hawk 1, Gray Hawk 2, American Kestrel 1, Peregrine Falcon 1, White-winged Dove 1, Mourning Dove 1, Common Ground-Dove 1, Groove-billed Ani 2 (they're leaving fast! down from counts in the thirties!), Chimney Swift 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 2, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 3, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 1, Eastern Wood-Pewee 1, Great Kiskadee 2, Couch's Kingbird 3, White-eyed Vireo 1, Green Jay 3, Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1, Barn Swallow 20, House Wren 3, Northern Mockingbird 1, Nashville Warbler 1, Lincoln's Sparrow 3, Red-winged Blackbird 13, Great-tailed Grackle 6, Altamira Oriole 2). Best were the butterflies: a SilverBanded Hairstreak was still on the Balloonvine, and my very first PAVON'S EMPEROR was drinking the banana/beer mixture at "Josh's Diner!"

Oct 23 Bentsen State Park I was at the gatehouse all eight hours. Yesterday I was at the gatehouse all eight hours too, but there were factors like rain and 50-mph winds and grounded Cooper's Hawks that kept the feeders empty yesterday. Today: Plain Chachalaca 42, Turkey Vulture 2, Gray Hawk 2, Sandhill Crane 7 (overhead), Killdeer 2 White-winged Dove 1 White-tipped Dove 6 Greater Roadrunner 1 Groove-billed Ani 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1 Golden-fronted Woodpecker 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1 Great Kiskadee 2 Couch's Kingbird 1 White-eyed Vireo 3 (not just heard but easily seen!), Green Jay 7 Northern Rough-winged Swallow X Barn Swallow X Black-crested Titmouse 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2 Northern Mockingbird 1 Olive Sparrow 1 Lincoln's Sparrow 1 Northern Cardinal 2 Indigo Bunting 1 Red-winged Blackbird 8 Great-tailed Grackle 36 Altamira Oriole 2 House Sparrow 2 . Checking for mammals, reptiles and butterflies: Fox Squirel, Blue Spiny Lizard, SickleWinged,Clouded, FawnSpotted Skippers, 12 Monarchs, first of the year, floating by singly in migration, Two-Barred Flasher, Tailed Orange, 4 White Peacocks, Pipevine & Giant Swallowtails, 4 LgOrange, 1 Little Yellow.

Oct 24 Rio Grande Valley Cemetery Pond  Mottled Duck 4, Northern Harrier 1, Crested Caracara 1, American Avocet 2, Solitary Sandpiper 1, Rock Pigeon 2, Mourning Dove 2.  Took an emaciated, dehydrated Harris's Hawk to the rehabilitator in Edinburg. 



Oct 25 Bentsen State Park

Awww, what a nice day-- no Anis to be found! Three-hour tour: Mottled Duck 6 Blue-winged Teal 2 Plain Chachalaca 16 Pied-billed Grebe 1 Neotropic Cormorant 4 Double-crested Cormorant 2 Anhinga 3 Great Egret 2 Green Heron 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk 2 Cooper's Hawk 3 Gray Hawk 2 Crested Caracara 2 American Coot 50 White-winged Dove 2 White-tipped Dove 10 Greater Roadrunner 1 Ringed Kingfisher 1 Belted Kingfisher 1 Golden-fronted Woodpecker 7 Ladder-backed Woodpecker 4 Great Kiskadee 4 White-eyed Vireo 2 Green Jay 25 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2, Hermit Thrush 1, Clay-colored Robin 1 (getting hard to find again), Long-billed Thrasher 5 Orange-crowned Warbler 1 Nashville Warbler 1, great views of a bathing Black-and-white Warbler 1, Northern Cardinal 3 Indigo Bunting 3, a beautiful green female Painted Bunting 1, Great-tailed Grackle 20 Altamira Oriole 4.

Another group on a butterfly walk-- we found fantastic butterflies in just an hour!! These included ERICHSON'S WHITE-SKIPPER and MEXICAN YELLOW! Only 1 Giant Swallowtail, 9 Pipevines, 3 CHECKERED WHITES, 1 GIANT WHITE, 33 Lyside Sulphurs, 6 Cloudless Sulphurs, 4 Dainty Sulphurs, 13 Large Oranges, 2 Tailed Oranges, 20 Sleepy Oranges, 13 Southern Dogfaces, 23 Little Yellows, 1 Mimosa Yellow, 1 Mexican Yellow, 20 Gray Hairstreaks, 4 Mallow Scrub-Hairstreaks, 1 Clytie Ministreak, 2 Silver-Banded Hairstreaks, 1 Lantana Scrub-Hairstreak, 3 Ceraunus Blues, 1 Western Pygmy-Blue, 1 Reakirt's Blue, only 17 American Snouts, 10 Gulf Fritillaries, 1 Mexican Fritillary, 1 Zebra Heliconian, 1 Theona Checkerspot (been awhile!), only 8 Bordered Patches but 15 CRIMSON PATCHES which I've never seen in our garden before (although I always see many 1.5 miles away at NABA), a Texan Crescent (been awhile), 2 Phaon Crescents (I'm sure there's a hundred elsewhere in the garden, this area just isn't there abode), a Question Mark, 2 American Ladies, 5 Red Admirals, 2 Common Buckeyes, 10 White Peacocks, TWO Banded Peacocks, 15 Common Mestras, 5 Tropical Leafwings, 8 Tawny Emperors, TWO male SILVER EMPERORS in perfect electric-blue condition, 1 Carolina Satyr, 13 Monarchs, 60 Queens, 2 Soldiers, 2 Longtailed Skippers, 2 Brown Longtails, 2 WhiteStriped Longtails, 55 SickleWinged Skippers, 5 WhitePatched Skippers, 10 BrownBanded Skippers, 1 TwoBarred Flasher, 2 Coyote Cloudywings 11 White Checkered-Skippers, 12 Laviana White Skippers, 1 Turk's Cap White Skipper, 1 Erichson's White Skipper, 1 Common Sootywing, 3 Clouded, 8 Eufala, 1 Fawn-Spotted, 9 Fiery, 2 Sachem, 1 Common Mellana, 7 Ocola, 1 PURPLE-WASHED SKIPPERs .

Oct 26 AwThe first MEXICAN BLUEWING I've seen in our Harlingen yard! Plus 6 Carolina Satyrs, 5 Brown Longtails, 5 Clouded Skippers, 3 White Peacocks, 3 Gulf Fritillaries, Little Yellow, Large Orange, Queen, MESTRA, Eufala, Wirlabout).

Harlingen Thicket: Not really a fair view, since it was the hot period from 11 to noon.  Nevertheless great close views of the Verdin highlighted this otherwise lackluster tour. Turkey Vulture 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1 Great Kiskadee 2 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 1 White-eyed Vireo 3 Barn Swallow X Verdin 1 House Wren 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1 Northern Mockingbird 12 Curve-billed Thrasher 1 Olive Sparrow 2 Lincoln's Sparrow 16 Northern Cardinal 1 Indigo Bunting 1.  Butterlies included a beautiful SILVER-BANDED HAIRSTREAK in perfect condition, many, many Carolina Satyrs, Cloudless and Large Orange Sulphurs, Little Yellows, Phaon Crescents, Bordered Patches, Twany Emperors, Queens and Monarchs, a BANDED PEACOCK, an American Lady, a Ceraunus Blue, a Whirlabout, and a Mestra.   South Padre Island's Convention Center:  Northern Pintail 18 American White Pelican 6-- they're back!, Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Heron 1 Great Egret 2 Snowy Egret 2 Little Blue Heron 4 Tricolored Heron 4 Reddish Egret 1 Cattle Egret 3 Black-crowned Night-Heron 1 Wood Storks, Osprey 3, Peregrine Falcon 1 Clapper Rail 2 Common Moorhen 2 Greater Yellowlegs, Willet 25 Long-billed Curlew 1 Sanderlings, Western, Least, and Stilt Sandpipers, Short-billed Dowitchers, Laughing Gulls, Forster's and Royal Terns, Black Skimmer 14, Rock Pigeons, Eurasian Collared-Dove 1 White-winged and Mourning Doves, Common Ground-Dove 1 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 1 Marsh Wren 1, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4 (my first of the season), Gray Catbird 5 (my first of season), Northern Mockingbird 2, Tennessee Warbler 2, Orange-crowned Warbler 1, Nashville Warbler 1, Yellow-throated Warbler 1 (my first of season), Common Yellowthroat 4, Summer Tanager 2 (both female), Savannah Sparrow 3, Northern Cardinal 3, Indigo Bunting 3, Red-winged Blackbird 4, Great-tailed Grackle 6. A Buckeye floated by without close examination-- could it have been that elusive Mangrove Buckeye?  It's a Halloween question that will haunt me for a couple hours.

Oct 27 Harlingen Tour I tried Harlingen Thicket again. Last time was high noon, so I tried early morning this morning. I had zero Pyrrhuloxias last time and four this time! Great Egret 1 Killdeer 1 Common Ground-Dove 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1 Golden-fronted Woodpecker 4 White-eyed Vireo 3 Verdin 1 House Wren 4 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1 Northern Mockingbird 18 Curve-billed Thrasher 7 Orange-crowned Warbler 2 Chipping Sparrow 2 Lincoln's Sparrow 7 White-crowned Sparrow 1 Northern Cardinal 4 Pyrrhuloxia 4 Red-winged Blackbird 15 Great-tailed Grackle 43.

Birding was slow at Hugh Ramsey Park, so admired the butterflies: a Julia, a Zebra, Mexican Bluewings, a Sleepy Orange and a WhiteStriped Longtail. White-winged Dove 4 Groove-billed Ani 2 Green Kingfisher 1 Golden-fronted Woodpecker 1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1 Acadian Flycatcher 1 Great Kiskadee 1 White-eyed Vireo 2 Carolina Wren 1 Bewick's Wren 1 House Wren 4 Northern Mockingbird 4 Long-billed Thrasher 2 Curve-billed Thrasher 1 Orange-crowned Warbler 1 Northern Cardinal 2 Indigo Bunting 2 House Sparrow 3

Tiocano Lake was MUCH BETTER!: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 60 Mottled Duck 58 Blue-winged Teal 10 Northern Shoveler 30 Green-winged Teal 2 Neotropic Cormorant 4 Great Blue Heron 4 Great Egret 1 Snowy Egret 53 Little Blue Heron 1 Tricolored Heron 2 Cattle Egret 6 Roseate Spoonbill 10 Turkey Vulture 1 American Kestrel 1 American Coot 6 Killdeer 2 Black-necked Stilt 52 American Avocet 8 Long-billed Curlew 130 Western Sandpiper 50 Least Sandpiper 150 Stilt Sandpiper 200 Short-billed Dowitcher 140 Rock Pigeon 1 Great-tailed Grackle 1

I only had until 1pm, just enough time to squeeze in Dixieland Park: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 27 Mottled Duck 4 Lesser Scaup 100 Ruddy Duck 2 Pied-billed Grebe 1 Neotropic Cormorant 6 Great Blue Heron 2 Great Egret 1 Snowy Egret 4 Cattle Egret 2 Yellow-crowned Night-Heron 1 American Coot 12 Laughing Gulls Rock Pigeon 14 Belted Kingfisher 2 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 4 Northern Mockingbird 2


Oct 28 Bentsen Hawktower 

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, Greater White-fronted Goose 46, Double-crested Cormorants, Anhingas, Great Blue Herons, Great and Cattle Egrets, Wood Stork 6, Black Vulture 34 Turkey Vulture 334 Osprey 1 White-tailed Kite 3 Northern Harrier 5 Sharp-shinned Hawk 4 Cooper's Hawk 16 Harris's Hawk 2 Red-shouldered Hawk 4 Broad-winged Hawk 9 Gray Hawk 4 Red-tailed Hawk 7 Crested Caracara 1 American Kestrel 1 Laughing Gull X White-winged Dove X Mourning Dove X Common Ground-Dove X Groove-billed Ani just 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker X Alder Flycatcher 2 Eastern Phoebe 1 Great Kiskadee 1 Couch's Kingbird 1 White-eyed Vireo 1 Green Jay X Northern Rough-winged Swallow X Barn Swallow X House Wren X Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1 Northern Mockingbird X Long-billed Thrasher X Northern Cardinal X Red-winged Blackbird X Eastern Meadowlark X Great-tailed Grackle X

For lunch I went to NABA and lots of butterflies, all ruled b the Evans' Skipper!!!!

Oct 29 Bentsen The morning involved the weekly Bird Walk: Mottled Duck X Plain Chachalaca X Pied-billed Grebe X Double-crested Cormorant X Anhinga X Cattle Egret X Wood Stork X Turkey Vulture X Northern Harrier X Sharp-shinned Hawk X Cooper's Hawk X Red-shouldered Hawk X Broad-winged Hawk X Gray Hawk X Red-tailed Hawk X American Coot X White-winged Dove X Mourning Dove X Common Ground-Dove X White-tipped Dove X Ringed Kingfisher X Belted Kingfisher X Golden-fronted Woodpecker X Eastern Phoebe X Scissor-tailed Flycatcher X Green Jay X Cave Swallow X Barn Swallow X Ruby-crowned Kinglet X Blue-gray Gnatcatcher X Northern Mockingbird X Long-billed Thrasher X Orange-crowned Warbler X Olive Sparrow X Northern Cardinal X Red-winged Blackbird X Great-tailed Grackle X Altamira Oriole X.

The afternoon found me at the Gatehouse for four hours. The feeders there: Plain Chachalaca 32 White-tipped Dove 5 Greater Roadrunner 1 Golden-fronted Woodpecker 2 Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1 Great Kiskadee 2 Green Jay 5 Northern Cardinal 1 Great-tailed Grackle 7 and a Fox Squirrel.

Oct 31 Bentsen I wanted to count, but our Butterfly Walk was so busy I couldn't keep track.  I did keep a species list: Pipevine and Giant Swallowtails, Clouded Sulphur, Southern Dogface, Cloudless, Large Orange, and Lyside Sulphurs, Tailed Orange, Little Yellow, Sleepy Orange, Gray Hairstreak, Mallow and Lantana Scrub-Hairstreaks, Dusky Blue Groundstreak, Western Pygmy-Blue, Ceraunus Blue, RedBordered Metalmark, American Snout, Gulf FritillaryBordered and Crimson Patch, Phaon and Pearl Crescents, White Peacock, Common MestraMALACHITE, Red Admirals, Questionmark, Buckeye, Tropical Leafwing, Coyote Cloudywing, Tawny Emperor, Carolina Satyr, Monarch, Queen, Soldier, Brown and WhiteStriped Longtails, Sickle-winged, Brown-banded, White-patched, White Checkered-, Tropical Checkered-, Laviana White-Skipper, Turk's-cap White-Skipper, Common Sootywing, Clouded Skipper, Southern Skipperling, Common Mellana, Fiery Skipper, Whirlabout, Southern Broken-Dash, Sachem, Eufala, FawnSpotted, Ocola Skippers.  57 species?  And where were the Mexican Fritillaries?  The Ornythions?