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Texas - mainly Rio Grande Valley

November 2007

By Stephen Burch, England

Systematic List

Abbreviations used in table below:

  • BE - Bentsen
  • FA - Falcon State Park
  • LA - Laguna Atascosta
  • PE - Pendleton Park, Harlingen
  • QM - Quinta Mazatlan
  • SA - Santa Ana
  • SL - Salineno
  • SC - South Padre Island Convention Centre
  • SP - Sabal Palm
  • SS - South Padre Island Shore

Rio Grande Valley (RGV) specialities given in bold italics

Species Comments
Least Grebe SA & SP where numerous
Pied-billed Grebe  
Slavonian Grebe 1 at LA - in with 1000's of Coot on Laguna
American White Pelican Kemah Boardwalk, Houston & SS
Brown Pelican All coastal locations
Double-crested Cormorant  
Great Blue Heron  
Great Egret  
Reddish Egret  
Tricoloured Heron  
Little Blue Heron  
Snowy Egret  
Black-crowned Night Heron Regularly towards dusk, Kemah Boardwalk, Houston
Wood Stork Approach road to LA only
White Ibis SS
Roseate Spoonbill Small flock over approach road to LA. Also SS
Black-bellied Whistling-duck PE
American Wigeon Rio Grande at SL, SC
Northern Pintail SS
Blue-winged Teal SP
Northern Shoveler  
Redhead LA, SP etc
Lesser Scaup LA only
Ruddy Duck LA
Black Vulture Rio Grande at SL
Turkey Vulture  
Hook-billed Kite One probable along Rio Grande at SL
Northern Harrier  
Sharp-shinned Hawk Probably also Cooper's but not confident on IDs to claim both
Harris' Hawk SA, LA approach road, road to Boca Chica beach etc
Grey Hawk Ad & juv at BE
Red-shouldered Hawk SA
White-tailed Hawk Route 150 near Bayview, SE of Harligen only
Red-tailed Hawk Over fields near SP
Crested Caracara Widespread in SL, FA area. Also 2 at LA
American Kestrel  
Plain Chachalaca At nearly all RGV site feeders, apart from SL
Sandhill Crane Flock in flight from LA approach road
Virginia Rail One at dusk at SC boardwalk
American Coot LA etc
Black-necked Stilt  
American Avocet  
Grey Plover LA, SS
Semipalmated Plover SC
Killdeer LA
Piping Plover SC
Kentish Plover SC
Wilson's Snipe Flock at Willow Lake SA
Long-billed Curlew LA
Greater Yellowlegs SA
Lesser Yellowlegs  
Spotted Sandpiper Rio Grande at SL
Willet LA, Boca Chica Beach etc
Ruddy Turnstone  
Western Sandpiper  
Least Sandpiper  
Stilt Sandpiper SA
Ring-billed Gull Boca Chica Beach
American Herring Gull  
Laughing Gull  
Caspian Tern  
Royal Tern  
Forster's Tern  
Mourning Dove  
White-winged Dove SL, SC
Common Ground-dove  
Inca Dove At most RGV site feeders
White-tipped Dove At most RGV site feeders
Green Parakeet 10th in north McAllen between Violet & Dove
Greater Roadrunner FA, LA
Buff-bellied Hummingbird QM, SP
Ruby-throated Hummingbird QM only
Ringed Kingfisher 3 at Rio Grande at SL
Green Kingfisher SA, SP
Golden-fronted Woodpecker Common at most RGV feeders and also at PE
Ladder-backed Woodpecker BE feeders only
Least Flycatcher 1 at SP
Eastern Phoebe  
Vermilion Flycatcher 2 at PE, 1 at FA
Great Kiskadee Widespread from QM onwards
Couch's Kingbird 1 at SP behind visitor centre
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  
Carolina Wren  
Bewick's Wren 2 on nature trail at FA
Grey Catbird  
Northern Mockingbird  
Long-billed Thrasher QM and other RGV sites
Curve-billed Thrasher More obvious than above
Clay-coloured Robin 1 at QM on main feeders behind house (ID'd from photo)
Blue-grey Gnatcatcher  
Black-crested Titmouse  
Verdin 1 at FA
Loggerhead Shrike  
Green Jay At all feeding stations?
Common Starling  
Blue-headed Vireo Glimpse of 1-2 at SP
Orange-crowned Warbler Abudant
Magnolia Warbler 1 prob this at SC
Prairie Warbler 1 at SC
Black-and-white Warbler 1 at QM, 1 Frontera Aududon Thicket, Weslaco
American Redstart 1 at SC
Common Yellowthroat 1 at SC
Wilson's Warbler 1 at SP
Red-crested Cardinal  
Olive Sparrow First glimpsed at SA. Better views on SL feeders
Clay-coloured Sparrow 2 at feeders at FA
Lark Sparrow A few by approach road to SL
Black-throated Sparrow With Lark Sparrow at SL, FA
Lincoln's Sparrow SL
Pyrrhuloxia By approach road to SL, SL 'dirt road', FA & 1 'sparrow alley' dirt road N of La Joya
Red-winged Blackbird  
Great-tailed Grackle Very abundant in all towns/cities in area!
Bronzed Cowbird Only identified at PE
Altamira Oriole 2 at Ebony Grove feeders, BE. Also 1-2 SL
Hooded Oriole 1-2 at SL
Audubon's Oriole 1-2 at SL

Total = 121
Number of lifers = 33

Abbreviations used in Table above:

  • BE - Bentsen
  • FA - Falcon State Park
  • LA - Laguna Atascosta
  • PE - Pendleton Park, Harlingen
  • QM - Quinta Mazatlan
  • SA - Santa Ana
  • SL - Salineno
  • SC - South Padre Island Convention Centre
  • SP - Sabal Palm
  • SS - South Padre Island Shore

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All pictures copyright Stephen Burch

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