Bird (and nature) News Archive # 33
January 1 to June 30, 2020
Old Bird News XXXIII

Some commonly used abbreviations used are:
"in town" - means in Utopia
sps. - species
(ph.) = photo obtained
ad.=adult; imm.=immature; ma.=male; fem.=female; juv.=juvenile
odes=Odonata = dragonflies and damselflies; leps=Lepidoptera (butterflies)
FOS - "First of Season" (usually used for 1st spring or fall migrant to show up locally)
FOY - First of year - 1st one seen this year
FOF - First of fall
LTA - Less than Annual
UP - Utopia Park on 1050 just west of 187
UR - Utopia on the River
LM - Lost Maples SNA; GSP - Garner St. Pk.
SRV - Sabinal River Valley
SR - Seco Ridge a couple miles west of Utopia in Uvalde County
 (our yard March 2005 to Mar. 2013)
BanCo - Bandera County
UvCo - Uvalde County
WU = Weather Underground (sometimes local station readings referenced)

Bird News Archives Index

Bird News Archive XXXIII (#33) ~ 2020: Jan. 1 - June 30

.... in reverse chronological order, unless you scroll to end and read from the bottom up.

Notes without location cited are in or from yard which is a couple miles south of town at edge of the river habitat corridor. If it doesn't say where it was, it was in or from the yard. Often a few daily yard notes is all the drivel you get. Ready, steady, go!

January through June 2020 (to March so far)

Read from bottom up to view in chronological order.

~ ~ ~ March summary ~ ~ ~

We lucked out with some rain in March, 4-6 inches in most areas locally, of very badly needed precip. Saved the spring bloom. Too late for a few of the earliest bloomers, but in time for most. We did not freeze in March, though two of the coldest mornings of winter (15F and 20F) were the last few days of February.

Butterflies were fairly normal, the 30 sps.over the month is normalish. Spring is not the time for rare things, we are just thrilled to see a new season flying again. Awesome to see Elfins and Orangetips. One big satiny white thing got away. The best butterfly was a moth. The Cercropia I found at the gas station will be a highlight of the year.

Dragonflies are just barely getting going. I saw a couple damselflies fly off without an ID over the month. One was a Forktail (Ischnura sps.) and a couple were Dancers (Argia sps.). Finally on the 31st I got my first damselfly ID of the year, a Violet Dancer in the yard. For dragons, the only type seen in multiples was Dot-winged Baskettail, as often the case in March. Two Pale-faced Clubskimmer and one Common Whitetail were the only other two species seen. Just a few of the earliest emergers are expected in March. April is when they get actually get started, and it does not really pick up steam until May.

March birds are great for all the returning migrants and breeders. The month starts out like winter and ends in full-blown spring. There is a constant wave of arrivals of species that haven't been around, often for 6 months or more. As in all of our summering insect eaters. First-sighting-of-the-year species show up nearly daily all month, so March is guaranteed to be fun and exciting. It was 90 species I saw locally over the month, very locally. Mostly around the yard, a few at the park in town, or between here and there. We didn't go anywhere. The weekend we planned to go to Lost Maples was the first one it was closed.

The only rare bird was a Common Pauraque at our place Mar. 1-10. My first record for winter or early spring, all my priors were late summer. The flip side of all the arrivals is that by the end of the month lots of winterers are gone or departing. The excitement of old friends arriving makes it hard to pay proper attention to departure (last) dates of winterers. Arrival dates are easy by comparison. Wintering Sharp-shinned Hawk and Brewer's Blackbird for example largely depart by the end of March, as do most of the wintering Chipping Sparrow, Myrtle Warbler, and many others. So March is when winterers are bugging out whilst breeders are showing up, to eat the bugs that will soon be out.

~ ~ end of March summary ~ ~

~ ~ ~ another archive version of March, but with
more FOS date details, the March update header ~ ~ ~

March started off with a bang on the 1st with a COM. PAURAQUE calling at dusk at our place! It was still giving great vocals on the 9th. Judy Schaeffer reported the first Black-chinned Hummingbirds at her feeders Mar. 2. A Catbird was reported at Lost Maples Feb. 27 in ebird. I bet the first early few Golden-cheeked Warbler are back now (on 6th) or this weekend. Here are some of my March FOS dates. White-eyed Vireo the 10th, Yellow-throated Warbler the 11th, Yellow-throated Vireo, Black-and-white Warbler, and female Black-chinned Hummingbird on the 13th. On the 14th was the FOS Monarch, FIVE of them. The 15th saw my FOS Ash-throated Flycatcher (2). My FOS Barn Swallow and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher were on March 17, as well as a spectacular Cecropia moth. Late evening the 17th we had 2.5-4" of rain locally depending how lucky you were! Heard a FOS Scissor-tailed Flycatcher on the 18th. Another inch or so of rain fell pre-dawn the 20th! Birds and plants are popping daily now, the spring show has begun. My FOS Golden-cheeked Warbler was a male singing in the yard on the 23rd. Male Rufous Hummingbird in the yard the 24th. The 25th saw my FOS Common Yellowthroat and Great-tailed Grackle. The 26th I saw FOS Clay-colored Sparrow (3), and a (male) Ruby-throated Hummingbird. The 27th my FOS Summer Tanager was in the yard. On the 29th was my FOS Black-capped Vireo near our place. The 31st saw my FOS Chimney Swift and Cave Swallow in town.

~ ~ ~ back to the daily drivel ~ ~ ~

Mar. 31 ~ A 52F or so low felt great, and some sun is nice to see. Light northerly flow. Got up to about 75F. Saw another of what was surely a Nashville Warbler, heard flight notes too. Vermilion and briefly a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher were in yard. Summer Tanager and White-eyed Vireo singing. Did a quick town run to the P.O. in the later afternoon, still no bread at the store. There were finally some Cave Swallows back at the bank, my FOS, and over the (closed) park entrance a couple FOS Chimney Swift were high up along with some Barn Swallow. Nice to see a couple more aerial insectivores have returned. Saw FOY Rose-bellied Lizard in a pile of big tree flood debris at the park. In the yard saw a Pale-faced Clubskimmer (ode) patrolling where water was sprayed.

Mar. 30 ~ Ran about 62-72F for a temp spread, overcast, some mist and drizzle occasionally. There is a Gnatcatcher circling the yard singing like it wants to set up territory here. That would be awesome. A, or the, male Summer Tanager sang for a bit in the yard pecans. All but the big native one are still just sticks, the grafts leaf out later than the natives. The native one is just starting to leaf out but well underway. There were 50 plus Cedar Waxwing around for much of the day. A couple each male Ruby-throated Hummer and Clay-colored Sparrow. Got some Poverty (Roosevelt) Weed (Baccharis neglecta) sprigs in the ground, in hopes of some shrubbery. Nice to have Lark Sparrows back singing in the yard. Outstanding was just after 11 p.m. I was outside and a Long-billed Curlew called as it flew over northbound. Around half of my local records are calling nocturnal migrants, mostly northbound in March.

Mar. 29 ~ A low at about 42F felt wonderful. We will miss this soon. A few things got away early when I was outside without bins. A sparrow looked like a Cassin's, a seet flight note looked like a Nashville Warbler when it zoomed away, and a couple slim medium birds with long tails looked like Hooded Oriole. But they all got away. Each would have been a FOS. Still Clay-colored Sparrow on patio and in with Chippy flock. One Horace's or Juvenals Duskywing flew by. Also saw a, or the, Disparate Forester moth again, briefly at some open Texas Persimmon flowers. There must be 600 or more open Crow-Poison in the yard now.

Noonish we walked over to the draw and up it a bit for some Poverty Weed cuttings. Right when we got out of the gate I heard Scissor-tails and there were 3 males and a female in the top of the big Pecan! In the draw heard Hutton's Vireo, Bewick's Wren, and Black-crested Titmouse. The afternoon was cloudy. Later about 5p.m. I went over to the 1445 knoll for a quick look. Kathy was busy with other things.

Saw a Roadrunner and a Great Horned Owl. Probably a half-mile from where I parked I found a mini-flocklet. It had my FOS (occasionally singing) Black-capped Vireo in it, so my day was made. Two Olive Sparrow, one Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, two Orange-crowned Warbler and a Hutton's Vireo, were the rest of the flocklet, all of which moved together, including the Black-cap. It likely just arrived, none were there last Monday. Was too cool and cloudy for butterflies though. Did see a FOS Common Whitetail dragonfly, and a couple Dot-winged Baskettail. Also a couple blooming Pink Mimosa (Mimosa borealis). An open area with a thousand blooming Slender-stem Bitterweed looked great. Saw one Pincushion Daisy flower open.

Mar. 28 ~ Low was about 70dF (!) from warm moist air from the south being sucked up in front of the inbound front. Just after 8:30a.m. the front got here and it dropped to 64 or so. We missed the rain part. Dry air and northerlies behind it 15 mph gusting to 25 by mid-morning, and blew most of the day. Breezy land-birding blows. Was supposed to be at Lost Maples today, durnit. Worked on more garden and yard stuff. A few Monarch went through, at least two male Ruby-throated Hummingbird here now, a few Clay-colored Sparrow and maybe 4 Lincoln's Sparrow continue around yard. Heard the first extended singing of Lark Sparrow for the year, man they can really go, what a great singer. Saw some Texas Onion Flowers. Have not seen the Sharp-shinned Hawks, probably in a week. The wintering daily yard few have departed.

Sorry about the gray clouding from the window screen.
This is looking down on the crown of a Grasshopper Sparrow.
Nice median crown stripe. The eye position is interesting
to me, allowing it to see above and behind it to a degree.
I'd have seen twice as many birds with eyes like that.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

Mar. 27 ~ Low was barely that at 66dF or so. Cloudy and springy. The Ruby-throated Hummer is guarding the front porch feeder. Nothing like showing up and taking over. The Brewer's Blackbirds are really thinning out, so departing now. There were 41 Waxwings in the big pecan early. The Yellow-throated Warbler bathed again this morning. When I got back from town that first spring male Turkey was in the yard.

In some flower news, Kathy spotted the FOY Rain Lily. I saw a few Bluebonnet open on 360 near 187. Along the back fence there is a bunch of Prairie Fleabane open now, some Blackfoot Daisy, some Blue Gilia (FOY), and out of nowhere in the yard a single stalk of Puccoon sprung up and is blooming, which is new for the yard list.

Town run to top up supplies, I think we have a nearly a months worth of most stuff now save a few perishable items. Just in case. As of yesterday Utopia Park is CLOSED until further notice. So I can't tell you what was there. It and Lost Maples are both off the options list right now. Was looking forward to a date at Lost Maples tomorrow, but which now is out. At least there is habitat from the front door here for us to access so we can still bumble about the great outdoors a bit. Guess I will be birding the knolls and river habitat corridor.

Mar. 26 ~ Low of about 65dF, almost foggy, cloudy until early afternoon whence some sun and warmed to about 84. In the morn I had 3 FOS Clay-colored Sparrow with the Chippy flock in the blooming (male) Mulberry. Always nice to see them. A couple or few Blue-gray Gnatcats around yard. Thought I saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird early, no light or color, but it had a big long tail projecting way past wingtips which fell near base of tail and a short straight bill. No way was it a Black-chinned. Well whaddya know, the last hour of sun the front porch feeder was being guarded by an adult male Ruby-throat! A young Turkey was around a bit.

Saw another Disparate Forester moth, and a FOY Texan Crescent butterfly. A few Monarch went through. Late afternoon Kathy spotted the Yellow-throated Warbler at the bath, great to see that again, surely this is the nearby breeder that uses yard daily. He has been singing from the area for a week, but we had not seen him back at the bath yet.

Mar. 25 ~ About 52F for a low felt fantastic. Sunny is nice too, and the birds are singing, it is wonderful out. I ran to town early quickly, and saw my FOS Great-tailed Grackle (2 males) at the gas station, their primary natural habitat of choice here. At UP there was a FOS Common Yellowthroat. Since they do not winter here we know it is a passage bird on the move, very cool, and a good early date. Not to mention, a migrant warbler! Nice to see some Barn Swallows flying around town. Cypresses are now putting out their first green leaflets, the biggest oldest ones first.

It got up to about 87F or so in the afternoon! I saw 90's reported along the Rio Grande! The standard daily lately few Blue-gray Gnatcatcher went through the yard over the day, as well as a few Monarch. Thought I saw a Zone-tailed Hawk go by on one break outside. Some Turkey Vulture are dropping innermost primaries already. Mated local breeding residents, surely the males, as females have an egg to lay. Saw the first ones a week ago, now several are showing it. The Rufous Hummer must have tanked and split first thing as I did not see it all day, it was here at dark last night.

Mar. 24 ~ Ran about 64-84F today, and finally a mostly sunny day. More sun than we have seen in over a week, so a treat. Birds were mostly the same, love hearing Yellow-throated Vireo in the yard singing again. Vermilion Flycatcher displaying lots over the pecans. Couple Barn Swallow over the yard were nice, wish some would find the carport. In the afternoon, a FOS for me was a Rufous Hummingbird, an adult male with a little bit of green flecking in the back. Good bird to snag as a migrant here in spring. Barred Owl calling at river before dusk. Some butterflies were moving, but nothing different. Mostly Red Admiral and So. Dogface, but 3-4 Monarch went through over the day. Add-on: a FOY Pale-faced Clubskimmer dragonfly was out front before dusk.

Mar. 23 ~ Still gray and misty in the a.m., about 62dF. Outstanding was about 9 a.m. hearing singing and then seeing (in the dying Hackberry) my FOS Golden-cheeked Warbler. He gave a half-dozen measures and time for me to enjoy in the bins before flying north over the house. Whaddabird! Something about getting my FOS from the back porch is special too, especially since the last couple weeks have been too busy or wet to get out. I had been dyin' for one.

Late afternoon took an hour spin into the live-oaks behind us. Took advantage of the wet ground and dug up a couple of a blue flower for transplanting. There were butterflies on it: Monarch, Painted Lady, and 3 FOYs: Julia's and Fiery Skipper, and a Nysa Roadside-Skipper. In a mile we saw at least 4 Monarch. Checked the 1445 (south) knoll, heard a Hutton's Vireo and a Rufous-crowned Sparrow. On the knoll we saw a FOY Elada Checkerspot, one Henry's Elfin, one Black Swallowtail, and a Funereal Duskywing, among a few of the more common things. Heard a few Gnatcatcher as we drove around. Back at the hovelita at last sun kip notes attracted my attention to my FOY view of a male Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, which flew over southward toward the grass airstrip. Might be the local breeder.

Mar. 22 ~ Still gray, mist and drizzle the only things on the menu. Stayed 50dF or so all morning, but slowly warmed in the afternoon into the 60's, so took the chill out of it. By the afternoon we had added another .25" of rain to the total, so 5.25" for us here since Monday the 16th. It was a wet week. Supposed to dry out and get to near 90 this week! That heat will make the green explode. Too wet and mucky out there so catching up on inside jobs, like bird notes. Saw my first Dakota Verbena flowers open today. There were 21 Cedar Waxwing around briefly. Great Horned Owls were calling after dark.

Mar. 21 ~ Another gray day with mist and drizzle, the occasional light shower, wet, muddy, and we flatlined at ca. 50dF all day. All told it was about three-eighths of an inch of precip over the day, so 1.25" from Friday and Saturday, and for us here 5" since Monday. Water is life. Great to see some growth on a couple of the cuttings of Texas Plum Jerry and Judy Schaeffer gave me. One is really booming already. Have to go collect a couple other species right now when doable, want some Poverty Weed for some shrubbery.

The hummingbirds were swarming due to the cold and wet, there are dozens here now, and lots of females too. Saw the imm. female Cooper's Hawk going after a male Brown-headed Cowbird, was rooting for the hawk. Ran to town to grab a couple more last stock items. They had been out and got a new shipment of frozen fish. I got the last loaf of bread of a few the sandwich shop gave the store for locals since they were out all week. Gadzooks! Big Ern must have cancelled the Bar-b-q due to rain. Park was too muddy to bird.

Yellow-throated Warbler, male, presumedly the local breeding
individual that uses the yard daily or so all spring to fall.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

Mar. 20 ~ Happy Spring Equinox! A cold front got here overnight and wrung some rain out of the atmosphere. At KRVL it was 69F at 4 a.m., 59 at 4:30, and we were about 55 at dawn, where it stayed all day with northerlies on it. We got about seven-eighths of an inch of rain! Aquifer needs it badly. Town run fer errands, but park was too muddy to bird. Was a Green King below the spillway where a creek or stream. Town was about normal for a Friday, except the store is out of milk, bread, flour, and a few other things. Amazing.

The main thing, what really matters though, is Rosie's chicken fajita tacos. One is enough for all but the most eager eaters. In case I haven't mentioned it, with birder tourist season maybe coming soon... she opens early usually (by 7 I think) for breakfast tacos. I recommend the chorizo and egg, with cheese added. I put some of both the red and green salsa on it. One and you feel like you just ate somewhere in Mexico.

In town I heard some rain news for the week. Some lucky folks east and north of town had over 4" in the one big rain event the 17th. Many had an inch the day before that, and the inch many got last night, so some had around 6" of rain locally this week if you caught all of them right. Most got at least 4", which is outstanding, unbelievable, amazing, stop me any time. We are happy campers here now. The spring bloom will go off well.

Late evening when all the sparrows came down I got a good count of 125 plus Chipping Sparrow. Since the equinox worked them for a FOS Clay-colored to no avail, suprisingly. But there was an imm. White-crowned among them which is new here. There were a dozen Field, and a few Lincoln's, as well as a couple Lark. At one point I had those five species in a single binoc field of view.

Mar. 19 ~ Another 64dF low and still cloudy. Saw four Lark Sparrow at once, which was great, one was singing a little at dusk. Gnatcatcher and a couple Myrtle Warbler went through yard. Singing Yellow-throated Vireo and Warbler around the house are likely the local yard vicinity breeders. Saw the female Flacate Orangetip again today. Also a pale morph female Orange Sulphur. The first Blue-eyed Grass (the dwarf Iris) flower is open now on a clump we protectively guard and take care of. What a beautiful flower. Also saw my FOY Tube-tongue flower. Heard Barred Owl over at the river at dusk and after dark. A couple bats were flying around going in and out of the pecans, so I presume they were our Red Bats.

Mar. 18 ~ Soaked ground is great to see! Great timing for a good rain. Low was 64F or so, some mist but mostly just cloudy all day. Heard some single kip call notes from a FOS Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, but which I did not see. Ran to pickup a few things in town trying to fill in stock holes (like extra bird seed) here just in case. The park was too muddy to bird. Saw Little Creek Larry and showed him my Cecropia photos from yesterday. He said he had one at his porch last night but it was gone this morning. Yesterday must have been the day they popped locally.

Here at hovelita a Gnatcatcher went through, Ringed Kingfisher and Barred Owl calling over at the river. The imm. female Cooper's Hawk took an ad. male Cardinal in the afternoon. Great was after dark finally hearing frogs! After the big rain they came out. One Chorus (Strecker's) Frog, and a few Rio Grande Leopard Frog were going off. I was concerned at not hearing a Chorus Frog yet this year so that was nice. Only heard one though, so there was no actual chorus, which remains concerning.

Mar. 17 ~ Happy St. Patrick's Day! More clouds, mist and drizzle, about 65F for a low. That male Vermilion Flycatcher is sure a bright spot in the yard among all this gray. Mid-morn my FOS Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was in a Hackberry outside. After 1 p.m. a second one went through yard moving north. Heard Ash-throated Flycatcher and Yellow-throated Vireo.

A quick town run noonish for a few things. Finally the Barn Swallows are back on Main St., my FOS, at least a half-dozen. Nothing at Utopia Park. The beast of the week I almost stepped on at the gas station, my first ever local CECROPIA moth. These are one of the big fancy 5" silk-moths. I think it was cold, it couldn't get off the ground. I put it in the car after grabbing a couple docushots. By time I got over to the store it had warmed up and was flying around so I let it out. It was last seen gaining altitude at 40' over Main St.! Pic below.

A slow-moving thunderstorm cell found us in the evening. We had 2.5" in 45 minutes! It was 2.75 total with a second round that went by an hour after the big one. I could hear the river rushing from the front porch for the first time since last June or so.

Mar. 16 ~ About 2:30 a MCS moved over and dropped an inch of rain! When you are down a foot or two every inch matters, especially in sprouting season. Low was 62F, maybe got up to about 72. Best was my FOS Lark Sparrow finally! It is clear our breeding population departs for the winter. A few Myrtle Warbler moved through yard. At one point outside I swear I heard Northern Rough-winged Swallow but did not see it. Musta been going by behind the house. Heard a Ring King over at the river. I see a couple of those internal short branches of the big Pecan has leaf bud sprouts breaking stems. A couple Texas Persimmon have some new leaves coming out as well. A few Silver-puff flowers are up for a couple days now.

Mar. 15 ~ About 64dF for a low, another misty and drizzle morning. Was a peek of partial sun briefly early afternoon, but mostly low clouds, might have hit 74. There were two (FOS) Ash-throated Flycatcher out there early. Heard a Yellow-throated Vireo across the road, later in afternoon it was further up habitat corridor and another sang to the south, so two today. Yellow-throated Warbler singing from nearest Cypress hearable from porch might be our local nester back. Couple Myrtle Warbler went through. One ginchy ad. White-crowned Sparrow flushed too quickly to check, so probably a migrant. Probably three Lincoln's Sparrow in yard now. Saw another female Falcate Orangetip butterfly during the partial sun period. Got some more garden and yard work done.

Mar. 14 ~ Ran about 68-80dF for a temp spread, misted much of the morning, drippy. Saw 10 Am. Goldfinch coming in to the sunflowers. Kathy and I both thought we heard an Ash-throat up the hill behind us, but from inside, and not outside to verify it was not the White-eyed Vireo which does and has been giving a near-perfect Ash-throat ka-brrrrr. Might have had one but want something solid for a FOS date. In the later afternoon it lifted a bit so I took a quick spin over to the south (1455') knoll less than a mile from our place. One of those bumps, a pimple, on the flat valley floor. It was 4:45-5:45 so birds were pretty quiet, no Olive Sparrow, Black-cap Vireo, Golden-cheek, or Gnatcatcher there yet. Heard Roadrunner singing. A couple sparrows shot off low in thick stuff that were Olive or Rufous-crowned.

Great were flowers and butterflies. The Mountain Laurels there are going well, a couple spots smelled fantastic. I saw FOY flowers of Diamentia, Blackfoot Daisy, Slender-stem Bitterweed, lots of Paralena, two types of Acacia shrubs were blooming, and some beautiful bluish-white thing I have never seen (ph.). A couple Agarita were still going, but most is over. The live-oaks are very yellow and dropping leaves, the Buckley Oaks are blooming. A couple Dot-winged Baskettail dragonfly were flying but no Pronghorn Clubtail yet. A few Asilid (Robberfly) were out on the trail.

It was the first day this year with over 8-9 species of butterflies, which was great. New emergences. A bunch were FOY including at least FIVE (all worn migrants) Monarch around and on Laurel flowers. Some of the Laurel trees there are 16' tall. Other FOYs were Black and Giant Swallowtail, a worn Queen, a Northern Cloudywing, 2 Funereal Duskywing, a Reakirt's Blue and 2 Checkered White. Other species were Red Admiral, American Lady, Variegated Fritillary, Little Yellow, Dainty Sulphur, Sleepy Orange, Southern Dogface, Comm. Checkered-Skipper, Pipevine Swallowtail, and always a treat, 2 Henry's Elfin. Eighteen species in an hour means we are out of the winter butterfly desert. New stuff is flying! The Crimson Patch were not out yet though.

This is a Cecropia, one of America's big fancy moths.
Wingspan is about 5" and what a beauty! March 17, 2020.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

Mar. 13 ~ Happy Friday the 13th! About 64-74F for a temp spread, and cloudy, typical springy thingy. A wee bit of sun this afternoon. Supposed to continue like this for the next week, with various low-end chances at rain. We need it. Nothing different around yard in a.m., two or three Lincoln's Sparrow continue, and heard Belted Kingfisher over at the river. Did the town run 11-1 or so. Suprised to still see no Barn Swallow along Main St., they are tardy.

The park had 3 singing Yellow-throated Warbler, after hearing two along the road in Cypresses as I left house. So FIVE singing males today, they are back. One male Green Kingfisher up at the island, couple each Blue Jay and Lincoln's Sparrow, one male Common Grackle, a Kinglet (Ruby). In the Hackberries by the entrance sign were a dozen Myrtle Warbler. Bunch of FOY Blanchard's Cricket-frog were calling. When I got back home (with Rosie's tacos) there was a FOS Yellow-throated Vireo singing just past the draw adjacent to north side of yard. Great to hear that again. Musta just been in the yard a bit earlier.

At 7 p.m. I looked out a window and there was my FOS male Black-and-white Warbler about 10' away in all of its awesomeness. Whaddabird. Ten minutes later I saw my FOS female Black-chinned Hummer, the usual week behind the first males. No Pauraque heard tonight by 8:30. Lots of Peach trees blooming in town, the Redbuds are going great, and lots of Dewberry flowers on the island at the park. Birds are hitting the growing green flower buds popping out on the Mulberry and Hackberry trees. They love them.

In general here it is as if nothing different is going on at the moment. The only thing unusual or abnormal here now is spring breakers. We have toilet paper, water, and hand-sanitizer at the store, it is 100% carry on as we were. The store said spring breakers were taking pix of the TP to post (!) to the intertubes. Great, the locals thank you. Lots of folks talking about how many big chain stores are out of the three above items in San Antonio and vicinity, and even at convenience stores half way here from SAT. Please calm down people.

Mar. 12 ~ Cloudy, about 64-80dF for a temp spread. Sure is great to hear all this birdsong again! And Martins overhead. Mostly stuck at the desk and did not catch anything different. Wondering where the Barn Swallow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Black-and-White Warbler, and Ash-throated Flycatcher are. Probably some of each are around by now, I just have yet to see one. I was busy and forgot to be outside at Pauraque time to listen for it. About 11 p.m. I had a FOY, my first mosquito bite. I thought I saw one earlier this evening, but this is now confirmed, scratch scratch. A Red Bat is circling the big Pecan as one always does in bat season, presumedly it lives in the tree. Almost forgot, FOY Shining Flea-Beetle today.

Mar. 11 ~ About 60dF for a low and overcast, but clearing and warming quickly. The male Mulberry is really breaking stems with flower buds now. Heard Turkey gobbling this morning. A quick town run about 10 a.m. so a look at the park. Heard a Green Kingfisher, saw 3 Gadwall, a Hutton's Vireo, and best was a calling, not singing yet, FOS Yellow-throated Warbler. A migrant warbler! Actually a returning breeder, rather than a transient, fine with me. Just unplug if that first bright warbler of spring doesn't put some spring in your step. Early side of arrivals, but not earliest ever for them.

Here is an interesting tidbit from looking at my spring arrival dates for Yellow-throated Warbler, which well illustrates why you should record dates. Spring, fall, wintering, breeding, all of them. The last four years of spring return-arrival dates are ALL FOUR earlier than the ALL dozen return-arrival dates the 12 year period prior to the last four. Fascinating. For the times they are a changin'.

Today a second male Black-chinned Hummingbird showed up, and the FOY hummer squabbles followed almost a full second later. At and after dark heard no Pauraque tonight, but the Barred Owl was calling over at the river.

It got up to a smokin' 82dF on the cool shady front porch, had to have been 85 on the sunny south side of the houselet. There were a number of butterflies moving, best was my FOY Falcate Orangetip, a female. Several Dogface were moving, Variegated Frit, Red Admiral, American Lady, Pipevine Swallowtail. Either a Questionmark or Goatweed Leafwing flew over above me, wings did not look jagged so probably a Leafwing. One Little Yellow. At least 8 species, probably the high diversity day for me so far this year. Nice was a FOY Disparete Forester moth, what a beauty. I am sure that was what blasted by me yesterday but I did not get a second confirming view.

Mar. 10 ~ Ran about 60-72dF for a temp spread, cloudy, but no precip. The male and female Vermilion Flycs were moving around the yard together this a.m., great to see. About 7 a.m. heard my FOS White-eyed Vireo out back, at 9 it and another across the road were both calling. Still looks like just one hummer here. About 11 a.m. a bird flew up into top of the big Pecan right off front porch, no light, just a silhouette against gray sky, luckily it called, an Audubon's Oriole. Wasn't there 5 seconds and flew north up river habitat corridor. How much goes by that we don't see? Heard a Purple Martin overhead in afternoon. Bewick's Wrens still working on nest in box on big Pecan. A few Myrtle Warbler went through yard northbound. A Turkey was gobbling at dusk, which forgot to mention, thought I heard it a day or two ago. Saw a couple Anemone flowers, a few Yellow Wood-Sorrel, and my FOY Crow-poison flowers. Kathy said she had the Crow-poison yesterday.

Mar. 9 ~ Only about 60dF for a low, with some much needed light rain. Precip is critical here in spring. Another good day to be a desk jockey. It was about .2 of rain by the end of the day, which is great. Did not hit 70dF. In the late afternoon had to run to town, saw two male Vermilion Flycatcher on way. Then later p.m. my FOS female Vermilion Flycatcher was in our yard, likely our local breeder.

At the park there were a couple Myrtle Warbler, Kinglet (Ruby), two Lincoln's Sparrow which are migrants, did not see the female sapsucker. A pair of Blue Jay were gathering mud and some aquatic vegetation, no doubt for a nest. I keep forgetting to mention the Willows are breaking stem with new leaf growth. Today was the first Dewberry flowers I have seen this spring.

About 7 p.m. I was out front with bins luckily when a Double-crested Cormorant flew upriver. I have only had one or two from the yard. Was hoping for Neotrop, as need that for the yard list, no luck, short tail, big and fat, big thick kinked neck. Barred Owl calling over at river after dark.

Went out just after 8p to listen for the Pauraque. After a few minutes of silence I gave one patented wheeer whistle and BAM! The wind of my whistle had yet to dissipate and it went off. Flew all around the yard, at one point right over the big pecan right off front porch. This went on for a few minutes, it was a great audio show. It gave two examples with the intro notes, which I had not yet heard from it.

Mar. 8 ~ Low in low 50'sF, cloudy and breezy, too windy from south. More work on stuff here. Two or three Lincoln's Sparrow out there now. Still no Lark Sparrow back yet. Field remains in good numbers, over a dozen at least, and several singing all around. A single waxwing. The rest was the regular gang, but at least they are all singing now. I can't believe how red the male Cardinal have gotten over the last couple or few weeks. It seems fairly sudden that they all finally wear the duller tips off the plumage and become a whole 'nother level of both brightness and saturation. I mentioned it to Kathy a couple weeks ago, that some were getting brighter, now many of them are at full strength color. Seems like just one male Black-chinned Hummingbird here so far.

Mar. 7 ~ About 45-65dF for a temp range, mostly cloudy, pretty breezy out of the south. Some mist in a.m., a little bit of sun later in day briefly. At least one male Black-chinned Hummingbird showed up here today, our first this spring. Worked on stuff here, trying to get yard and garden stuff done before distractions start arriving from southward. I have an extra shovel if anyone wants to help gather some growfast over in the horse corral. I probably said this before, but moving here I thought there would not likely be any situation ever again in which a snow shovel was the best tool for the job... wrong again! At least two Lincoln's Sparrow were in yard, they are on the move now. Otherwise it was just the regulars that I saw. I got distracted and forgot to be outside at 7:07 to listen for the Pauraque.

An Anole, aka American Chameleon. Over a dozen live
around the house, they are coming back out now after
wintering in the cracks in the stone outer layer of house.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

March 6 ~ Ran about 42-68dF, partly cloudy, not cold or hot is great here. In the morn a couple Golden-crowned Kinglet moved through the live-oaks behind the house. Thought sure I heard one call from a White-eyed Vireo but it didn't call again. One Lincoln's Sparrow at the bath is surely the one around the yard the last five days or so.

Town run, saw no Barn Swallows on Main St. yet. At the park there were: 6 Gadwall, a Ringed Kingfisher, a few Myrtle Warbler, a Hutton' Vireo, couple Kinglet (Ruby), a Common Grackle which is new and could well be the returning island breeder, a pair of Blue Jay, and one female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Which is also new and has drilled a couple young pecans real good, one looks a bit too much. A Myrtle Warbler was hitting the sap wells when the sapsucker was gone. The town highlight of course is some of Rosie's chicken fajita tacos to bring home.

The Mountain Laurel flowers around town look done and spent already, seems early for that to be over. The Redbud trees are going well. In the yard saw a few Yellow Wood-Sorrel flowers. I sprayed water around and in less than a minute my FOY Henry's Elfin (lep) came in for a drink a few feet from me. Saw a few Pipevine Swallowtail. Clouded up later in afternoon. A little cool at dusk, did not hear the Pauraque.

March 5 ~ Ran about 42 to 72F today, sunny and nice. In the morning a couple dozen Robin and a dozen Cedar Waxwing hit the bath and left with over a quart of water. Saw the White-crowned Sparrow out there at the seed. Great to hear bird song really getting going from the residents. Cardinals, Wrens, Titmice, Chickadees, Field Sparrow, and all the migrants will be returning soon. I heard what surely was a Barn Swallow today but it must have been just passing over and I didn't see it. Just two call notes I heard. Saw a, or the, imm. fem. Sharp-shinned Hawk take a male Brown-headed Cowbird today, that was neat. If you could just train them to do that. In the p.m. I heard a Ringed Kingfisher over at the river. At dusk, 7:07, the Pauraque burst into 5 minutes of call as it floated around the area. I got one glimpse when it crossed the yard. It was calling in flight, just the wheeerr part, trolling I suppose. Too cool. I saw one Anemone (Wind-flower) open today, my FOY.

Mar. 4 ~ Low about 54F, high in low 60's, and cloudy till afternoon. But we got rain overnight! An inch, maybe 1.1"! We need it badly right now as things are trying to sprout or bloom. The Laurel flowers we have out back are much reduced, I presume due to lack of rain. A dry February hurts spring. I see buds breaking stem on the male Mulberry tree. It is about to explode green out there. Just add water. Were some waxwings around early. The blackbird flock is still around. Saw a Lincoln's Sparrow that had just bathed, probably the one I have been hearing the last two days. Finally in afternoon the winds behind the front cleared it out with 20-30 mph northerlies for a while. Still no hummer here. Too windy and did not hear the Pauraque.

Mar. 3 ~ More of same cloudy and overcast, low was just under 60 and high not 70dF. Kathy saw the adult White-crowned Sparrow briefly come into the birdbath again. Wish I could get pics of that. Sure neat hearing Red-winged Blackbird singing in the yard. Again thought I heard a Lincoln's Sparrow out there but didn't see it. The pair of Bewick's Wren continue to work in the box I just put up right off the front porch. Got a nest shelf up in the carport out back today. The Eastern Phoebe pair nests under the eaves on north side of house and I doubt they will move, they have been at the same nest now 7 years. I am hoping to catch a pair of Barn Swallow. Barred Owl calling after dark over at the river. Did not hear the Pauraque tonight.

Mar. 2 ~ Cloudy and overcast all day, ran about 55-70F. Judy Schaeffer reported the first Black-chinned Hummingbirds I have heard of this spring locally today. There were at least 18 Am. Goldfinch on the sunflowers this morning. Thought I heard a zzzzeet note of a Lincoln's Sparrow but didn't see it. There was a pair of Bewick's Wren taking material into a box I placed yesterday. That sure took long. Location, location... Actually a pair used it before successfully in a different spot, but had quit. Some wasps used it one year, a big spider another, which I let it have it that year. The pair of Lesser Goldfinch is still around, they might be some of our local breeders. I was outside at 7:07 p.m., two minutes before the Pauraque started calling last night. At 7:08 it went off into a nice series, just giving the wheeeerr, no intro chips, but very neat to hear here.

March 1 ~ Ran about 53-74dF today, cloudy morning, sunny afternoon. Doing a bunch more yard stuff before spring birding starts distracting those easily distracted thataway. Two bird boxes put up, some soil moving, outdoor cleanup it has been too cold to do. That one single Robin that seems to have stuck it out all winter here despite others coming and going, was up in the big Pecan squawking at first sun early. Kathy saw a Hermit Thrush take a bath. Funny to have a male Red-winged Blackbird cracking sunflower seeds on that feeder, this is not normally seen here. Late afternoon I saw what I suspect is the yard-corral breeder male Vermilion Flycatcher! He is back!

Then mind-blowing was at dusk, about 7:09 p.m., a COMMON PAURAQUE began calling! I called Kathy out, it called for a couple minutes at least. My first local late winter or early spring record, all my prior local records were late summer in July, August, and September. Can't help but wonder if this was one that was here last year from Aug. to September. Weird for a first nightjar of the year too. Have not had a Poor-will yet, though I bet some are out and calling now on these warm evenings where foothills and rocky slopes.

~ ~ ~ February summary ~ ~ ~

Overall it was very dry, but at least we had a wee bit o' rain, like a half-inch, plus some fog-mist days. River is up from Jan. rains, but ground moisture is needed badly as things start to sprout. Wild food crops were poor and now are depleted. The first Agarita, Mountain Laurel, Dutchman's Breeches, and Redbud flowers were seen open.

Butterflies were few and far between, the 12 most expected likely last-years leftover species for the month, mostly just one or two of each. Missed any fresh new Henry's Elfin and Olive-Juniper Hairstreak this Feb., but did have a fresh Gray Hairstreak. The only dragonfly I saw locally was one fresh Green Darner. One damselfly was seen briefly in park woods but got away.

Birds were sorta weak, at the end of a slowish drought influenced very low foodcrop supply winter. Finally a good look at an ad. fem. Rusty Blackbird in corral was nice the 15th, which may be a 6th year returnee. The first returning spring migrants are of course on the Feb. menu. First Purple Martin was back the 13th, and the first spring migrant flock of Turkey Vulture was 23 on the 18th, Sandhill Crane were northbound the 22nd. The highlight of the month was fascinating, though not anything countable, an intergrade or hybrid Sapsucker that was partly a RED-BREASTED, which are accidental in Texas.

~ ~ ~ end Feb. summary ~ ~ ~

~ ~ archive copy Feb. update header ~ ~

February. The ground is turning green with sprouty things. The first Agarita flower showed on the 5th! Hard freeze the 6th at 22dF, and 25 on the 7th. Some good birds were reported around the Knippa area in January: Mountain Plover, White-tailed and Ferruginous Hawks. Then in Uvalde a Morelet's Seedeater, another of which was seen near Brackettville. We had a bat hanging out, literally, under the eaves over a week. My first actual returning breeder passerine showed about 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 13, a calling male Purple Martin soared around overhead! A local saw a small brown hummingbird, surely a Rufous, at blooming Agarita Feb. 13. An ad. fem. Rusty Blackbird was here at our place Feb. 15. My first fresh dragonfly of the year was a Green Darner Feb. 17. On Feb. 18 saw the first flock of Turkey Vulture, 23 of them came in a string low after the front hit. Very interesting was an intergrade (hybrid or backcross) Red-breasted x Red-naped or Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on Feb. 21 right across the road from house. First northbound Sandhill Cranes I saw were Feb. 22. Coldest mornings of winter were Feb. 27 at about 15dF for us here, and the 28th was about 21dF. About a week to Golden-cheeks!

~ ~ end archive copy update header ~ ~

~ ~ back to the daily drivel ~ ~

Feb. 29 ~ Low in 50's, high was about 70F or so, cloudy morning, sunny afternoon. Sorta springy. Lots to do here getting yard and garden stuff done and ready for a growing season. Worked on a couple birdboxes too. Did not see anything different around yard but a beat old worn (last years model) Vesta Crescent (lep) which is my FOY. Must have been in suspended animation through winter, or just arrived from elsewhere. In afternoon went to park and tagged trees with Marsha Jo in prep for a flood debris cleanup and Chinaberry tree removal project below spillway towards the road (1050). Flushed one Lincoln's Sparrow, which is new there, and saw about 25-30 Cedar Waxwing.

This is a female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, note all white throat.
Note big black crescent on breast not present on intergrade or hybrid
sapsucker below. Due to black crown with only a very few red feathers,
this is not an adult, so then, a first-spring bird not yet a year old,
just acquiring its first adult plumage. White areas on posterior head
and nape still show some muddiness to them from immature plumage.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

Feb. 28 ~ Another chilly one at about 21dF here. Birdbath wasn't frozen solid like yesterday. It sits on a big flat rock on the ground so the ground heat makes it freeze slowly. It has to be really cold for 6-8 hours at least. Town run fer errands. The park had a couple Gadwall, a Ringed Kingfisher, a couple Myrtle Warbler and a Kinglet (Ruby). Slow. It will start popping with migrants soon. No Barn Swallows on Main St. yet, any day now. Judy Schaeffer said she hasn't seen a Black-chinned Hummer yet, but her Rufous was still there a couple days ago. Any day now for Black-chined arrival too. Kathy spotted a So. Dogface (butterfly) which is a FOY - first of the year. Got up to about 72dF or so, 50dF diurnals! A few waxwings were around, an imm. fem. Sharpy dove through yard. An adult White-crowned Sparrow at the birdbath might well be a migrant.

Feb. 27 ~ Holy cow it got cold. Our themometer read 15dF! I saw 20 at KRVL. Surely was the coldest morning of the winter so far, a couple days before the end of climatalogical winter (Dec. - Feb.). The birdbath was frozen solid. Seemed the same gang around yard. I did see a sapsucker fly from across road, across the yard to far side of the corral, but did not go after it. Had a quick town run later in afternoon, nothing in the woods at the park but a Barred Owl, at least 30 Turkey Vulture were roosted in the dead Cypress snags. Saw my FOY Common Checkered-Skipper in the peak 60dF afternoon heat here at the casita.

Feb. 26 ~ A chilly 33dF low with 15-25 mph winds on it meant chills in the 20's! Might have hit 50dF or so out of the wind, but was chilly all day. Buried in the office as usual on Wednesdays, thinking of how great it was that it was not this cold and windy yesterday. We lucked out on the weather. Best thing I saw here today was open Mountain Laurel flowers on the one I toss seed under. Lots of buds and one good open bloom I could smell. The scraggly Agarita out back is about done blooming now. Was the same gang here. The big 200 or so Brewer's Blackbird flock has had 1 Eur. Starling in it the last few days, besides the dozen plus Red-wings and two dozen Brown-headed Cowbirds. About 17 or so Am. Goldfinch chowing down sunflowers. Still lots of Field Sparrow, and more Chipping getting rusty crowns.

Feb. 25 ~ Chilled down to 35dF with the northerly flow building, thankfully the winds were not too strong at 10-15 mph. Guided a couple great couples from MI today and we birded the brush country Sabinal to Uvalde. Warmed up nicely and winds stayed low so we lucked out on the weather which was great. The big Sunflower field just N. of Sabinal had been cut harvested and ploughed under, and had very few birds save Meadowlarks. Over the day we probably saw nearing a couple hundred meadowlark, most that I saw well enough to say, which was few, were Eastern.

We checked the UvCoRd 309 crossing at the Sabinal River (creeklet there). Did not get Green Jays this time. There were Long-billed Thrasher, heard Verdin, heard my FOY White-eyed Vireo, some Myrtle Warbler, Olive Sparrows, Green Kingfisher, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, and some other stuff. They saw a Kiskadee fly off fearless leader missed, and I forget which one of the ladies spotted an Audubon's Oriole feeding with Cardinals, at times on the ground as they are wont to do. Two or three Common Yellowthroat chupped from the tangles. One day there will be a megarary here.

We jogged over to lower Sabinal Rd. to head west. Saw lots of Red-tailed Hawks (15-20 over the day), mostly eastern types, but a couple western dark below types, and not one fuertes, which is really odd. Saw one male Sharp-shinned Hawk, and a nice Merlin, a couple Harris's Hawk, many Caracara, one field had 19, probably saw 40 over the day. Along the road somewhere had a Cactus Wren, and I caught a glimpse of a Curve-billed Thrasher, we saw a few White-crowned, Savannah, and Vesper Sparrows, but no big flocks (drought), saw a couple Say's Phoebe. The area around the house with all the Martin houses was good. There is a corn (deer) feeder just east of the house behind the treeline on the north side of the road. Several Green Jay were calling there. There were Martins at the houses, the pastures had Sandhill Cranes, a Harrier, and 2 Vermilion Flycatcher were in the corral across from the house.

Just south of Knippa we had a flock of about a hundred Am. Pipit dematerialize on us. Then we checked around UvCo 101 north of Knippa and saw lots of dirt clods, more Red-tails, but no Plovers or fancy hawks. We had good Mexican food for lunch in Uvalde, then went to UvCoRd 202 crossing at the Nueces River. I cannot believe how parched the drought has it out there. It is dire need of some serious rain. South of Hwy. 90 it is D2 or worse, it looks D3 or worse to me. The trails were too overgrown to negotiate along the river, but the road out across the river is always good. There were a hundred Gadwall and a dozen or more Ring-necked Duck, a few Green-winged Teal, the usual Black Phoebe, several Green Jay calling from woods, Great Egret, a Ringed Kingfisher flew around, a couple Song Sparrow. We saw a pair of Carolina Chickadee, which have been being reported there. They are mighty scarce once you get south off the plateau if west of SAT, save around Uvalde where a very very few seem to maybe reside or at least occur intermittently.

Then we went to Cook's Slough for the heat of the afternoon. It was great as usual. There were at least 20 Neotropic Cormorant, saw a Kiskadee, more Olive Sparrow, a flock of Myrtle Warbler had one male Audubon's in with them, saw an Orange-crowned Warbler or two, one White-eyed Vireo, heard a couple Gnatcatcher, saw a few Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, some Gadwall and Green-winged Teal, a Coot or two, a Harris's Hawk, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, more Vermilion Flycatcher. There were a couple Green Jay glimpsed, same for a Green Kingfisher. Best bird was a Winter Wren, not seen by most, but I got a good ID look. Not mentioning every bird, and we didn't cover half the slough.

On the way back on Hwy. 90 a few miles east of Uvalde I saw a drive-by Prairie Falcon on a tele pole north of the RR tracks on north side of 90. It was a great day of birding the brush country, with great company. Ran out of time for the hatchery, the city park, didn't check Dunbar Lane, and of course Ft. Inge is closed during the week. There is lots to bird down there.

Feb. 24 ~ Another mostly overcast day running 54dF to about 65 or so, strong southerlies early, then calm, then cleared out as front passed and light northerly flow, but not blowin' hard yet. Nothing different around the yard but too busy to look much. Several Common Raven, a Caracara, Red-tailed, Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawk. Great was my FOY Gray Hairstreak. After dark there was a Barred Owl calling over at the river.

Feb. 23 ~ Cloudy and 54dF for a low, I think it hit about 68 or so at peak heat. Front arriving tomorrow. Had work to do here so mostly just yard looking and the same gang. About 200 Brewer's Blackbird, and an ugly 30 Brown-headed Cowbird. The Cowbirds are a huge increase the last few days and obviously spring migrants are arriving, the inglorius bastards. One Cedar Waxwing. Late afternoon we took a spin around up the hill behind us in the live-oak-juniper habitat. It ranged from quiet to dead. Could not find a flock of sparrows. Had a glimpse of a Roadrunner and a Rufous-crowned Sparrow sneaking away. No Spotted Towhee, heard a couple titmouse, saw a couple Cardinal, one big buck Axis Deer. Some few Agarita in bloom but still not much going, one Redbud had buds out just about to open. Buckley Oak has leaf buds just barely breaking stem still. Saw a few Dutchman's Breeches flowers open, the only thing besides Agarita going. We saw 3-4 moths of some sort, and 1 American Lady butterfly.

Feb. 22 ~ We ran about 38-62dF for a temp spread, sunny with 10-15 mph southerlies, gusting higher. Saw a sapsucker fly out of the yard early but I was on my way to town so didn't chase it. Was probably the intergrade I saw yesterday. About 20 American Goldfinch here going through sunflower seed on that feeder. Had to do a dump and recycle run so went to town too. Park was quiet, which we will soon start missing. Spring breakers start in a couple weeks or so. Best was a flock of Sandhill Crane overhead moving north. First migrant group this spring. Best event in town was Big Ern's Bar-B-Q being open. So I brought 2 lunches and dinner home and we got to have BBQ in Feb. without having to do the work.


This is the hybrid or intergrade sapsucker seen last week.
Note on the top pic the amount of red on head is out of limits
for normal Red-naped or Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. This
requires Red-breasted Sapsucker genes. On the second pic
note red on breast below throat, again, requiring Red-breasted
genes. Note also there is no black crescent on the breast.
Note the solid red forehead to nape over crown. It could be some
sort of backcross or who knows what kind of combo. It is
of interest in Texas since it is partly Red-breasted Sapsucker
which are very rare in the state.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

Feb. 21 ~ Froze, 30dF for a low, warmed to about 55dF in the afternoon. Most of the morning the big blackbird flock was over in the corral or in our pecans. There were a dozen chorusing Red-winged Blackbird amongst the 150 Brewer's and 12 Brown-headed Cowbird. They sang lots of the morning, which was great to hear. First time this year there has been a real chorus of them going this spring. I can't believe how green the ground has gotten in the last week or two.

Town run day. Right after I pulled out of the driveway onto the dirt road I caught a bird flying, close, out of the corner of my eye, just at the far corner of the yard. Saw it was a sapsucker, hit the brakes, so did it, landing in a bare pecan right by the road. I slouched down in my seat and got a couple poor docushots of it. It was a male, apparent Red-BREASTED x Red-naped Sapsucker intergrade, hybrid, or backcross. It could be that the Red-nape parent was impure, maybe a cross with a Yellow-bellied. I can't rule that out. But mainly, it was significantly a Red-breasted, and anything with Red-BREASTED Sap genes in it is a very rare bird in Texas. But which you don't get to count as anything unless pure since hybrids or intergrades are not any whole species. It is the first Sap with Red-breasted genes I have ever seen in Texas. Was very lucky to have gotten a shot of the head! It flushed and was flying toward our yard last I saw it, probably landed in the pecans. But I was late already and had a docushot so headed to town to do my errands. I suspect it is the first half of a Red-breasted Sapsucker ever reported in Uvalde County. There have been a few of this type of hybrid reported in Texas in the last decade or two. There are only a very few pure Red-breasted records in the state.

The park had one Pied-billed Grebe, the 5 Whistling-Ducks, 2 Gadwall, and one American Wigeon, which flushed away alone. Up in woods was one male Ringed Kingfisher at the top of the slough. Otherwise, a couple each Blue Jay, Eastern Bluebird, and Myrtle Warbler, a Kinglet (Ruby), and a few Chipping Sparrow was it. In town a couple Redbud trees had some open flowers! Pink trees! At the library a couple Mountain Laurel flowers were open! I walked over and took a big hit off some buds. It was awesome man. It had been a year since I got that groove on. When I saw them it was like a Pavlovian response, the sirens sweetly singing. Don't tell me there is nothing to aroma therapy. I took two more big hits before I left the bush muy tranquillo. Laurels before the last week of Feb.! I used to think of them as a March to April thing. Gadzooks! Some major signs of spring knocking at the door out there!

Feb. 20 ~ Still flatlining in the 40's dF, but now with a 10-20 mph north wind on it, so chilly. As of the afternoon we are at 48 hours in the 40's and gray. Looks like we are missing all the rain, just a little mist was all we got. Was about 150 Brewer's Blackbird and 10 Brown-headed Cowbird with them over in the corral. They are real ginchy and hard to work, I never got them all in bins, again. New in with them was about 10 Red-winged Blackbird, mostly females. At one point the Red-wings landed on the patio and were eating white millet! Some Cowbirds too (yech). The Brewer's never land on the patio. Clouds finally cleared right before sundown. Now it will get cold soon as the wind stops.

Feb. 19 ~ Spent the day in the 40's dF flatlining, supposed to be that way through tomorrow until the front passes and it gets cold. A little mist, but mostly just overcast and a light north wind. An adult Cooper's Hawk took a Cardinal in the morning. Was about a hundred Brewer's Blackbird and 10 Brown-headed Cowbird but I only got parts of the group in bins and never could see them all. Lots of Field Sparrow out there, maybe very near a couple dozen. About 85 Chipping Sparrow today. No bat.

Feb. 18 ~ Another foggy morn about 64dF or so. Where it stayed until the front began arriving mid-day, and started dropping. Late afternoon after the front hit about 5:40 a low train of 23 Turkey Vulture went by. Amazing to watch them tach northward with good progress into a north wind without flapping. My first spring migrant flock of them this year. We have had a very few around already. Usually these first arrivals are our local breeders. Shortly after everything was tanking up on seeds with the front bearing down. I counted 21 Field Sparrow at once! Biggest flock I have ever had here. They must be building up as 8 was my high count recently. So again a couple 'common' birds provide a couple great data points today. No bat. At the park advisory board meeting I saw Judy Schaffer and she said she had one Rufous Hummingbird over-winter at their place in town this winter.

Feb. 17 ~ Warmed from the 40's after midnight to 60dF at sunup. Fog, mist, and wet out. Good for ground moisture which is critical right now during sprouting season. Finally in the afternoon it burned off, cleared up, and got warm, to about 78dF or so! As is customary the day before a front arrives. In the fog noonish a couple Killdeer flew over calling, shapes just barely seeable. Later afternoon I snuck up the hill to see how the Agarita bloom was. Not even 10% is blooming, a couple bushes very well though, lots of bees on them. One American Lady was an old worn leftover, a Red Admiral was brand spanking new, you could tell by the fresh paint. No Elfin or Juniper Hairstreak yet. Better was my first new dragonfly of the year, a male Green Darner, with still shiny wings, so just emerged, likely today. Nearest water (river) about 3/4 of a mile or more away from where I was. Usually Dot-winged Baskettail is first dragon of the year. There were the smallest buds just barely breaking stem on the Buckley (Spanish or Red) Oaks. The magic Golden-cheek trees. When their new leaves unfurl, Golden-cheeks appear. Did not see the bat under the eaves today after his event on the porch yesterday. Methinks that was it for that.

Feb. 16 ~ Very foggy for a few hours early, about 47dF for a low. Slowly burned off to overcast in afternoon and warmed into 70's! Had too much work to do here to get out. Was the same gang around the yard. Maybe 10 Am. Goldfinch, only a few Cedar Waxwing today. The bat was on the ground on the back porch, it doesn't look well. Mighta got a better shot of it. Tried to give it a fly I swatted. Stop laughing please, I said 'num nums?' with my offering. After lunch it was gone, so it must have flown off. To get away from that dead fly maybe. Been too cold with no bugs at night for a long time now. Not normal behavior, something must be wrong. Maybe due to the dearth of bugs in the fall it was not able to fatten up enough to make it through winter?

Feb. 15 ~ We ran about 38-58dF for a temp spread. Was 25 Waxwings here today, and the Brewer's Blackbirds were up to just over 50. Mostly over in the corral but sometimes up in the big pecan. There was one female Brown-headed Cowbird in with them. In the afternoon I heard a weird call out of the flock so grabbed bins and walked over into corral. An ad. fem. Rusty Blackbird was in with them. First time I have binned one all winter. I thought I heard one in Nov. or early Dec., but have not seen one. There was an ad. fem. that wintered here for the last 5 prior years. Maybe this is it? I have not been serious about working them this winter when they are in the corral as they mostly show after rains when it is muddy and cold, and there are not the usual hundreds. Every time I did work the flock I got nuthin' but Brewer's.

Here is the mystery bird I posted at the end of last year.
It saw a Cooper's Hawk and dropped like a rock off
the snag into thick willows below. It is just growing out
a new tail, so does not have the full tail we expect on
an adult male Common Grackle. Taken Sept. 20, 2019
The cropped blowup of the bird is right above Dec. 27 entry.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

Feb. 14 ~ Happy Valentine's Day lovers. We had a chilly 29dF low, a minor freeze. I see the bat under the eaves this morning. Town run day. Saw Little Creek Larry, who said he saw a small brown hummingbird yesterday. Which is surely a Rufous and likely a migrant as they move very early, starting in February. It was at wild Agarita flowers. Several folks mentioned to me they have Agarita in bloom now. The park was slow, a couple Myrtle Warbler, a couple Ruby-crowned Kinglet, no ducks, no Coot. Heard Blue Jays in town. Turkey Vulture over house here. A big imm. female Cooper's Hawk was flushing the seedeaters here, besides the Sharpy or two. Probably a few dozen Agarita flowers now on the bush out back. Forgot to check the Redbuds at the library.

Feb. 13 ~ Low was about 36dF or so, chilly but bearable. Sunny, and warmed to about 60dF later afternoon, very nice thank you. Too busy to look much but at a 5:30 p.m. break for my lizard brain to soak a few last rays of sun, a male Purple Martin burst into call right overhead. Soared around a bit calling in its full awesomeness. This is usually the first neotropical migrant passerine that breeds here to return from winter in the tropics. They get them down on the coast in January! A sign of spring if I ever saw one. There were about 30 Brewer's Blackbird over in the corral since it is nice and muddy. The American Goldfinch flock was at least 20 birds. A couple Robin were out there early morn. The bat is roosting a couple eaves over from where it was when Kathy first found it. Away from our in-and-out traffic at the back porch door.

Feb. 12 ~ A chilly day was still at 41dF in the morning. But we got a half-inch of rain overnight! So very mucky out there, but wet. Had a quick town run early, at the park there were the 3 Gadwall and the 5 Whistling-Duck, but not seeing the Coot lately. Methinks it either left or got picked off. Since I was there, ya know, I grabbed a couple egg, cheese, and chorizo breakfast tacos from Rosie to bring home. Oh my. Then I didn't care if I didn't see any birds. In the afternoon all of a sudden a bat seemed to fly out from under the eaves and was flying around the patio. Then out over the yard and across the road. We must have not seen it and it was up there. Hated that we flushed it in the day. Maybe it got a bug or two. Now I know to check up there real good.

Feb. 11 ~ Was clear for a while last night but more fog-mist-drizzle in morning. Light north winds and a low of 42dF, chills in 30's. Damp and wet, good day for the desk. Keeps the dust and juniper pollen down anyway. Temps did not increase all day. It flatlined at 42 all day, with some wind and wet on it. Feels like winter. It's lovely out, come on down. The male White-winged Dove are showing beautiful mauve napes and rear-necks now. Breeding season is on the way. There are at least 35 White-winged Dove here now, Kathy thought 10 more than that. That was just one good flush event count I got. I probably didn't see them all.

Feb. 10 ~ The sorta low was 66dF with fog and mist. Front is inbound shortly, streamer showers by mid-morn. Cooler northerlies arrived in the afternoon, a few spits and spritzes. About 50dF by 5 p.m. and dropping, but no freeze behind it. Only saw the same stuff in my peeks about as I tossed seed. Was 19 Waxwing in the flock today. Some of the Chipping Sparrow are showing lots of rusty on their crowns now, I presume the older males get it first. One of the Am. Goldfinch here is showing the first bits of yellow as well.

Feb. 9 ~ Warmed overnight from mid-50's to 60dF or so by dawn, with fog, mist and drizzle. Keeps the dust down anyway. A dozen open Agarita flower clusters now on the scraggly one growing out of limestone rock out back. Worked on things here since 40 pct. chance of rain and very breezy. Then sorta cleared in afternoon and got up to at least 75dF! Hondo and Uvalde had 80! It is the warmup before the next front.

Birds were the same gang, but with more singing. Was 14 Cedar Waxwing in the flock today. The number seems to be different every day. Which when considering how few are around this winter is interesting. Saw the Turkey Vulture again. Saw a newly minted fresh and shiny Pipevine Swallowtail that was not the dull old beat up one I saw a couple times in January. As in a new emergence. Just a reminder at the risk of being redundant, get yer bird boxes ready!

Feb. 8 ~ Ran about 35 to 60dF, fog, drizzle, mist in morn, but no precip of consequence, but you would be soaked if out in it. Nice and sunny in late afternoon. In the morning saw my first Turkey Vulture of the year from the yard, which is likely a new spring arrival. It or another was out there again in the afternoon. There are over a half-dozen Agarita flower clusters open now on the scraggly bush out back. At least a hundred Chipping Sparrow, 6 or so Field. Caracara and Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Will mention a couple good birds down in the brush country in January which I saw in ebird. Two Morelet's Seedeaters north to near Hwy. 90 is great, one near Brackettville, another in Uvalde! I think both photo'd and likely new county records. Though I have encountered Seedeater twice in UvCo prior, I never got pix to prove it. Then near Knippa there were Mountain Plover, White-tailed and Ferruginous Hawk. That brush country is great in winter.

Here is the bat that is hanging around. It looks pretty
rusty-toned in person, methinks it is a Red Bat.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

Feb. 7 ~ Another chilly morn at 25dF. Gotta longjohn. Had to throw hot water on the iced birdbath. Warmed up incredibly though, way more than they said, to an amazing 73dF! No one complained. One Utopia station showed 75. 50dF diurnals. At 6 p.m. it was still 70 or above! Reminds me we could have White-eyed Vireo here in a week, and we will have Golden-cheeked Warblers back in a month!

There was an ad. male Lesser Goldfinch here this morning. It could well be a spring migrant returning. In the old days before thistle seed feeding, they did not winter here. Most still don't. They return in Feb., formerly about the 22nd. Like many things they have been returning sooner (only a very very few stay the winter) each year. Since we have not have one around, I would not be surprised if this were a spring arrival of a returning bird. The House Finch are really getting going singing, always great to hear their enthusiasm.

Town errand run. Mostly just errands. And Rosie is gone so no Tacos today. How will I live? A park check saw the 5 Black-bellied Whistling-Duck continuing, a dozen Myrtle and one Audubon's Warbler, a couple Kinglet (Ruby), and one male Green Kingfisher. Which I couldn't spot across the river as it called from low in thick Cypress branches. Then when the male Egyptian Goose mounted the female and began bellowing this obnoxious sonorous honking I wasn't sure if it was just the decibels, or the force of the honk that hit it, which flushed said GreenKing to a new now visible perch, at a safer distance from those damned introduced non-native feral geese.

The bird of the day Kathy found, a bat! The FOY bat. Whilst I was in town, about noon-thirty she was on back porch coming inside when it flew in over her head and hung up under the eaves! It was still here when I got back and got some hopefully usable shots. It was in dark shade with bright sun out and so color was hard to tell. Seemed too big for Brazillian Freetailed. Great close views though, it was there all afternoon. It disappeared some time around dusk. We missed it flying off, musta been during dinner. Edit add-on: OK whaddyaknow, in the pix it looks fairly rusty toned and I suspect it was a Red Bat.

Feb. 6 ~ The wind finally stopped after midnight, so it got cold. Low was about 22dF! There's yer winter, right there. I see so far for Dec. and Jan., the first two months of climatalogical winter, the U.S. ran 4.5 dF above normal. It is not your imagination. The birds went through that first round of seed pretty quickly. By noon it was mid-40's and bearable in sun out of the wind, but breezy, and that air is cold. Stayed windy until late in the afternoon. Not so bad being stuck at the desk. Late in the day an adult female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker went through the yard, achieving bird-of-the-day status by doing so. Was in the big dying Hackberry and went to a pecan before crossing road toward river. First sap I got to study well in my bins this year. Finally. Saw a second Agarita flower cluster open today on the same bush along fenceline on slope out back where I toss seed.

Feb. 5 ~ The front hit before midnight last night, we did not get any precip from it here. The winds are 20 gusting to 30 mph, and the low was 34dF. Chill factors in low 20's! Warmed to almost 40 at peak afternoon heat when sun came out, and bearable if out of the wind, but it blew hard all day. A great day to be stuck at desk in office. Shoveled extra seed rations. It was 33dF at dark, chills below 25, feels like winter. Can't wait to see what we have tomorrow morning! So winter hit on a Wednesday this year. Saw two dozen waxwing in the flock today. The big event of the day was an open Agarita flower! First spring flower of the year. On the early side, which is not really probably as good as it sounds.

Feb. 4 ~ The warm day before the front. Low was about 52dF, got up to about 75! Foggy early but sunny in the afternoon. The birds were the same gang. Saw a Caracara, the local nester Red-tailed Hawk, a Sharp-shinned Hawk or two, heard a Kinglet (Ruby). Had to run to town quickly later p.m., saw the Whistling-Ducks at the park, and on way home along 187 a Turkey Vulture. This is probably the one I saw in the park 10 days ago and the one early returnee. Valentine's Day was average former return date for them. Heard the Screech-Owl right over back fence at dusk.

Feb. 3 ~ Cool and gray, maybe 52dF for a low. Stayed overcast but warmed to about 64dF. Some sprinkles on and off over the day might have totalled a tenth of an inch. In a.m. saw a Long-billed Thrasher eating Hackberries over in the corral which flew into the big dying one in the yard. Mid-morn counted 18 American Goldfinch on the ground eating sunflower seeds, biggest single flock I have seen this winter. A dozen Cedar Waxwing and as many House Finch. The rest was the same gang.

Feb. 2 ~ Happy Groundhog Day! In some areas aka as the Woodchuck. When Kathy and I lived in New Jersey we shared a yard with one, it was awesome. Very neat beast. Here it froze again, another 31dF barely, but chilly. The birds were the same. We are probably right about at peak of what could be called the winter minimus, diversity-wise. In Feb. we see the first of spring passage migrants and local breeder returns.

This winter without the usual bug crop, few hackberries, no pecans left, and fewer seeds due to no fall bloom from drought, birds are fairly down overall. Even the seedeaters are low in numbers. Worked on stuff here and didn't get out. When it is a little slow get yer other stuff done. Put that time in the birding bank. Spend it going off on a tangent on the intertubes. It is certain if you went out and beat the dickens out of the bushes a couple days a week you could turn great things up closer than you want to know. There are virtually always good birds out there, undiscovered. No matter where you are. One way to find them is to look where others have not. Where they have been, look harder, e.g., more thorough coverage.

Feb. 1 ~ We froze, but barely, about 31dF for a low. Might have hit 70 at peak heat, pretty nice out. Had to do some yard work I have been way behind on before everything starts growing again. The sparrows and a Mockingbird sure like the fallow look and habitat. Lots of grass is sprouting and the base ground color is now more green than brown. There were at least 21 Cedar Waxwing in the big Pecan, the flock is slowly growing. A few American Goldfinch were at the sunflower feeder. The pair of Bluebirds were in the yard lots early, surely our box breeders. It is great to hear some birdsong again! Cardinal, Carolina Chickadee and Wren, Bewick's Wren, Eastern Phoebe and Bluebird, Field Sparrow, White-winged and Mourning Dove, and House Finch are all singing daily. Ten species singing now.

This is a flashback from last fall. Field Sparrow
on the bath, American Resdart on rock.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~ January summary ~ ~ ~

It was a wet one with 3-4" of rain depending where you were locally. We were at four here. Above average Jan. precip. We are still way behind but likely moved from D2 to D1, so major major improvement. It was getting dire again. Temps were above average, some locals asking where is winter. There was that Tuesday, and then that Wed. was sorta...    There was more cold in Nov. and December. Averaging 4-5dF above normal nationwide.

Butterflies were 6 species locally, which is at the low end of the range for the month. These are old individuals still hanging on through the winter. Dragonflies were 2 species, Variegated and Autumnal Meadowhawks, as expected. Did see a couple Cucumber Beetle and a Syrphid (nectar or bee fly) over the month. Heard Field Cricket one warm evening.

Most food crops seem mostly depleted and bird numbers are down overall. The family of 5 Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks wintering at Utopia Park is a first here in my 16 winters. The Coot there is likely its 3rd winter. Not being seen much this winter are: very few Robin and waxwing, almost no Siskin, no Flicker or Junco, only 2 Saps so far, and on and on. A male Vermilion Flyc. showing up Jan. 26 is likely a record early returnee. Small but fair numbers of Verdin and Pyrrhuloxia are in the valley this winter. Only saw one ad. ma. Pine Warbler all January.

I only count 70 sps. of birds I saw locally over the month. We did not get up to Lost Maples, and besides weekly park checks once or twice, only cruised the local roads and hole-in-walls a few hours one day a week. I am sure another 10-20 sps. are around if you dug in all the nooks and crannies. Too busy with work. We saw another ten or so species Jan. 5 down in the brush-country around Sabinal. The exciting stuff was a Prairie Falcon, 7 Green Jay, a Harlan's Hawk, Kiskadee, Swamp and Olive Sparrow and others. A few dF warmer down there makes a big difference in birds.

~ ~ ~ end January summary ~ ~ ~

~ Jan. update header ~

January. We birded around Sabinal Jan. 5 and saw: 1 Prairie Falcon, 7 Green Jay, 12 Long-billed Thrasher, a couple Olive Sparrow, heard a Kiskadee or two, saw a Harlan's Hawk, a Swamp Sparrow, 5 Harris's Hawk, Verdins and Pyrrhuloxias. Great birding down there now. Up here, we got rain! Finally some precip Jan. 16 & 17, about 3"! Another half-inch overnight on Jan. 21-22, another .75" on the 28th. Enough to lift us out of D2 level (extreme) drought to D1. Jan. 24 at Utopia Park there was a nice bright male Pine Warbler and a male Ringed Kingfisher. An adult male Vermilion Flycatcher was at the golf course pond by Waresville Cmty. on Jan. 26.

~ ~ end Jan. update header ~ ~

~ ~ back to the daily drivel ~ ~

Jan. 31 ~ Low of 42dF and overcast, mostly cloudy but slowly warmed to 60 in the late afternoon. Heard a Ringed Kingfisher over at the river early in morning, first in months from yard, they have not been around. Maybe they are returning to breed. Heard the Verdin as well. Town errand run and so a park check. Lucky me. It is a dirty thankless job, but someone has to do it.

One male American Wigeon was nice, but no Gadwall, Coot, or Whistling-Ducks. Up near island eating Mayflies were at least a dozen Myrtle Warbler and a few Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Some Titmouse and Chickadee in the woods. Picnic area had a couple Blue Jay, and a small flock of Chipping Sparrow with a few Bluebird and more Myrtles, but they were moving quickly through the trees. I did not see the Pine Warbler but was late so didn't have time to work them. Was one Audubon's Warbler. After the P.O., gas, Ranch Outpost and grocery store I did squeeze in a final stop at Rosie's for chicken fajita tacos to bring home. Just know if I die on a Friday afternoon, I was very very happy.

Jan. 30 ~ About 38dF for a low and overcast. Might have hit 50 at peak heat. About a hundred Chipping and a half-dozen Field Sparrow on the seed. Two Ground Dove, 3 dozen Cardinal. Still can't believe I have yet to see a Flicker or Junco this 'winter', and just a couple fly-bye Sapsuckers. We do need some more cold. I already know that I will regret saying that. Thursdays are desk, phone, and computer days inside here.

Jan. 29 ~ Happy Curmudgeon's Day, finally one I can get behind. Was about 38dF for a low, light northerly breeze. Coolish. Saw an Am. Goldfinch on the sunflower feeder. Heard a Robin early. Wed. desk day for me. Afternoon warmed to 64 or so. The KSAT Hi-Lo records for this date are 5 and 89dF! Otherwise it was a dull day at the desk. I have to make sure all the bird boxes are in order quickly, it is that time folks. These residents get to making a choice for the first round in February. They have already had Purple Martin down on the coast.

Jan. 28 ~ Had some rain overnight, looked about .75"! Turned out to be a wet January, we are at about 4.25" for the month. Great news, we needed it badly. Low was about 50dF, got up to 65 or so. Strong winds from noon on, 20 mph gusting to 30. I did have the Verdin out front by the gate again today. Spiffy little bird, love being able to see one in the yard.

Mid-morn I had to run around town to help a buddy get to the med. ctr. so a quick look at the park while waiting. Going up to B & R (north of town a few miles) and back I saw 4 Kestrel and 4 Red-tailed Hawk along the roads, and meadowlarks but no time to stop and work those. At the park were the 5 Whistling-Duck, 3 Gadwall, an adult male Ringed Kingfisher, a few Myrtle Warbler, a Ladder-backed Woodpecker, and a Kinglet (Ruby).

I dropped my friend off at a ranch south of town. There was a real nice looking Bulldog there, surely AKC, a beauty. And took to me real well, very nice dog. It got kinda excited about getting scritches and ran a big loop around the yard, came back and jumped up on my leg. It was then the odor hit. It had stepped in a big pile of itself, apparently the step before it jumped up on me, because my leg was now covered in freshly spent Bulldog. AKC no doubt. Proving once again, no good deed goes unpunished. At least it was a quick dash home and into other pants, and there were no important meetings I was on my way to. I hate when I get home and have to call my wife out to hose me off before I can enter the house.

Jan. 27 ~ Was about 40 for a low and got up to a toasty 75dF. The warmup before the next front. Counted 14 Cedar Waxwing in the flocklet today. Heard a Verdin out front toward road. The rest was the same gang. A few of what looked the same butterflies were out too. Saw the worn Pipevine Swallowtail, the American Lady, the Orange Sulphur, and a Sleepy Orange. The four wintering butterflies visiting the yard this year. Otherwise the same stuff.

Jan. 26 ~ We ran 50-80dF for a temp spread and mostly sunny, pretty darn nice except the part about it supposed to being winter now. I saw an American Lady (butterfly) here in the yard as it warmed. We took a couple hour spin-about mid day. Pulling out on 187 there was a Gulf Fritillary. The park is empty long as you are there before church gets out on Sunday. Nearing noon there were two Barred Owl countersinging there, one right over main picnic area, the other across and below spillway. A Robin and a couple Blue Jay were alarming on the one in the park. We had maybe a half-dozen Myrtle Warbler, a Kinglet (Ruby), a couple Gadwall, heard the Whistling-Ducks but didn't see them.

We went out UvCoRd 355 aka Lee St. to Little Creek. There, right where that road meets the creek and turns left there were some ducks (besides the barnyard menagerie). It was over a dozen American Wigeon, twice that many Gadwall, and 45 or so more un-ID'd ducks at the further south pond that looked mostly Gads. Durnit, did not bring scope. Heard Verdin and Pyrrhuloxia in that area again as well. On the way back into town, along the closer straight section nearest town, east of the jog at edge of town, there was a flock of at least 6 White-crowned Sparrow, plus 2 Cardinal and 1 Long-billed Thrasher working the hedgerow.

Then we checked the golf course pond by the Waresville Cmty. Amazingly there was an adult male Vermilion Flycatcher there, acting like it was the one that owns the joint all spring to fall. It has not been there prior this winter. Last year set my record early date at Feb. 16, prior to last year my earliest was Feb. 24. Most years most arrive the first week of March. This is over two weeks earlier than my anomolous earliest. Holy cow! Late Jan.!?!?!?!? The Red-winged Blackbird flock in the dead cattails around the pond is now 75-80 birds, overwhelmingly males but a few females. Nothing else there this time but one Eastern Phoebe. Did have an Orange Sulphur there.

Jan. 25 ~ Ran about 51-59dF for a temp spread, overcast, misting from shortly after noon on. It's a 'wet out'. Too wet to be out. So worked on stuff inside. The 13 waxwings were around a couple times. I heard the first Field Sparrow song of the year, which was great. In the summer they sound mournful, but now it sounds cheerful. Or is it me? Late in p.m., there were at least 8 at once on the seed out back, through the office window. Here anyway, you never see big flocks of them like many other sparrows. A Sharpy was diving around as usual off and on.

This is the male Vermilion Flycatcher at the golf
course pond by the Waresville Cmty., Jan. 26.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

Jan. 24 ~ About 36dF for a low, a bit chilly. Mostly sunny and got up to the mid-to-upper 60's dF. Saw two Robin up in the big Pecan early. About 8 waxwing were around too. Town run for errands. At the park there was the Coot, 3 Gadwall, a Ringed Kingfisher, and best was a super bright male Pine Warbler. In fresh plumage they can really light up in the right sunlight. There have not been many around this winter, so a treat. Maybe a half-dozen Myrtle Warbler, 45 Chipping Sparrow, a Kinglet (Ruby), missed the P-b Grebes. There was one Belted Kingfisher below the spillway.

Jan. 23 ~ About 50dF for a low and sunny, calm, so a very pleasant break between winter systems. No freeze showing on the 10-day, which takes us to February. I see the first little reddish budlets of new growing Agarita flower clusters breaking stem. One of the first earliest signs of spring being on the horizon. Some parts of it happen very early a way down south. There are some green leaves poking up out of the ground, and I have seen a few open Straggler Daisy flowers here and there. But they can pop a flower any week of the year with a few warm days and a little bit of water. Heard a wee bit of Cardinal song, a couple White-winged Dove sang, several Carolina Wren and a Bewick's Wren were singing, and Chickadee and Titmouse both gave snippets of song. I heard six species sing today. Very nice.

Jan. 22 ~ Held steady around 50 all night, with drizzle and eventually a few showers pre-dawn. Foggy after that. We got another .6 of an inch of rain all told. Fantastic. We need it badly. Winter rains are critical for spring sprouting. Stayed in the 50's all day. I saw a small group of 13 Cedar Waxwing in the big pecan. Later one imm. Sharp-shinned Hawk dive-bombed another imm. sitting in top of the tree. This is why the seedeaters keep flushing. The rest was the regulars.

Jan. 21 ~ About 35dF for a low, mostly cloudy, light breeze and chilly early, stronger southerlies most of the day as something approaches that might give rain overnight. Got up to low-mid 50's but with the wind was still chilly. The ground is still wet from all the rain a few days ago. We were at D2 per the U.S. Drought Monitor, which is severe drought. We likely improved a level to D1 with the 3" rain event. Just south of us along and below Hwy. 90 and toward Mexico is some D3 which is extreme drought. I did not see anything but the regular cast today, hence the drought news. LOL

Jan. 20 ~ A brief freeze, about 30dF for a low. Mostly sunny, got up to about 60dF at peak heat. A quick look at park in town since I had to run up there. Little Creek Larry said he had a small flock of Robin and a flock of 50 or so Cedar Waxwing around town earlier. I asked and he said he too has not seen one flicker all fall and winter yet. There were 3 Gadwall and the Pied-billed Grebe on the park pond, one Great Blue Heron, and a Green Kingfisher up in the slough by the island. One Myrtle Warbler. Slowsville. Best thing today was hearing White-winged Doves singing, a couple at least, maybe three, giving full 'who-cooks-for-you' song. Great to hear again after months of not. One month since the solstice and they are triggered.

Jan. 19 ~ About 35dF for a low and sunny, but with a northerly breeze on it, so chilly. Actually was 10-20 mph until later afternoon. Got up to about 58dF or so, nice when the wind finally stopped. Same stuff around the yard, but there were 7 Cedar Waxwing in a small group in a Hackberry. I walked around up the hill behind us a bit. Glimpsed a Spotted Towhee tail, saw some Titmice and Cardinal, flushed a pig. At least got a mile in for the legs. Only a month until blooming Redbuds, Agarita flowers and Elfins. In two months Golden-cheeked Warblers will be arriving back in numbers.

Jan. 18 ~ Was in the 40's early a.m. as the last few drizzles finally cleared. It was over 3" of rain total here for the event. Probably 3.25 or so. The ground needed that, though it is a bit mucky out there now. A second front overtook the first and cleared us out noonish, bringing with it the post-frontal blow. Was 10-20 mph gusting higher the rest of the day until dusk when it finally laid down. So worked on stuff inside. The Bewick's Wren was singing a bit, and heard a Cardinal doing 'quiet song', that under-the-breath gibberish they do especially early in the singing season.

I specialize in bad pix of good birds. This is the
Harlan's Hawk we had south of Sabinal a few
weeks ago. We saw it much better than this, close.
And it was awesome.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

Jan. 17 ~ Stayed in 50's all day and rained, and no one complained. There was about 1.5" from the event as of early morning. Then by 3 p.m. we were at 3" here! Most of it a good slow-soaker as they call them, so just what the aquifer needed. It was getting grim, this is more than welcome relief, at last! Especially for the early sprouting stuff, these winter rains are critical. Some gets going in a few weeks. Only thing in the yard was a heard White-crowned Sparrow singing in the rain, which was nice.

Town errand run. Checked the park briefly in the rain. Saw a Zone-tailed Hawk that had adult tail feathers with white bands. Wondering if it is a different bird than the imm. that has been around, or is that one getting adult tail feathers now. Also saw one Green Kingfisher, the 5 Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, and the Coot. One Turkey Vulture was in with the Black Vultures. It has not been with them all winter so far and I suspect just showed up recently. They are very rare here in winter. Most winters they are (or were) absent mid-November to mid-February. The last couple or few winters I have seen a very few in that period.

Jan. 16 ~ It was about 65dF just before dawn, and by mid-morn 55 as the cold air arrived. But we got rain! Supposed to be a couple days of it as the front moves over us southward, stalls, and returns tomorrow moving north. It was off and on drizzle and showers all day. We were nearing an inch by dusk. We were so parched it is great. Heard a Robin. Kathy heard some Waxwings. Had a good flock of Chipping Sparrow come in for the seed, about 120, surely my highest count so far this winter. If I tried to chase the flock around the weeds and brush down the road, I would not likely see half of them. But with bait, I can scrutinize them at a level simply not possible in the field chasing them around. Still no Clay-colored Sparrow in with them, never saw it again after Thanksgiving weekend. Had hopes for it wintering.

Jan. 15 ~ Wow a 65dF low is a bit balmy for this time of year. Muggy, in January. Too busy to lookabout. Will mention a report I saw from early Jan. of a Rufous-backed Robin seen at the same spot as last winter just west of Uvalde. This seems very likely a returning bird, where UvCoRd 202 hits the Nueces River. Was the same gang around the yard. I drove through the park early in the drizzle, saw four Gadwall, that was it.

Jan. 14 ~ Low of about 55dF and low overcast. At least it is not cold. Heard a few measures of Cardinal song this morning, the first wisps of that this year. Great to hear again for the first time in months. Clouds finally cleared in afternoon, about 3 p.m. it was 74dF on the cool shady front porch, hotter in the sun. I saw an 80 reading at KRVL and at least one Utopia station was 79dF! So this is Jan.? Did not see anything but the usual suspects today.

Jan. 13 ~ Was upper 30's dF at midnight last night, lower 50's by sunup, with a dense fog advisory. Might have hit lowest 60's dF for a high. The lone waxwing continues to whistle for friends, to no avail so far. As in birding, the key is perserverance. At least I am getting to hear one a little bit this winter. The rest was the usual gang. Heard a Kinglet (Ruby), the Myrtle Warbler was out there, Caracara cruising over, some Field Sparrow among the Chippies. Too busy at work to bird.

Jan. 12 ~ Barely froze, maybe 30dF and overcast with low clouds early. Most of the day was breezy and slowly warmed back to about 60 barely, briefly. The birds were the same gang. Same as it ever was, it is the winter doldrums here. Too much work to do here. Carolina Wrens are getting a lot more vociferous. Nothing else is really going yet like they are.

Jan. 11 ~ It was the post-frontal blow today, 10-20 mph gusting higher northerlies. Too windy to bird. Low was 40dF so chills were around freezing early. Got up to 64 or so. Heard that single Waxwing up in the Hackberry again. Were about 15 House Finch in the big Pecan, they are increasing in the yard lately after being scarce for a couple months. A few each American Goldfinch and Field Sparrow. One Caracara flew over and some buteo I wish I would have seen before it was the north end of a southbound bird. Saw the Lo-Hi record temps for this date at SAT are 10 and 80dF. So you only have to be prepared for a 70dF temp spread. Great Horned and Barred Owl were calling at the same time out front after dark.

This is a Long-billed Thrasher wondering what I am looking at.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

Jan. 10 ~ Low was about 64dF (!) with heavy overcast and southerly gulf flow. Winds picked up to 10-20 mph gusting 25 and higher. Got up to about 80dF in the afternoon! A few dF short of a record methinks, which at SAT for this date is 84dF. Weird when it is this warm and all the trees are leafless. Save the Junipers, which are really spewing pollen now, you can see the rust color on the males. Park had the Coot and 5 Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, but that was it. The woods are dead this winter, no bugs. Saw a very few Mayflies. Heard one Cedar Waxwing in yard. The rest was the same gang. A line of thunderstorms went by around dark from a front passing central Texas. The Utopia rain kryptonite held and we got a half a tracelet of rain. Just 15-20 miles east they had 2-3 inches.

Jan. 9 ~ A low of 58dF with some fog was balmy, high was about 72. A few American Goldfinch were around but the rest seemed the same. Heard the Ground Doves. Which are no longer hyphenated (was Ground-Dove). It is official, lose the hyphen. When can we lose the 'Common' part? I already did. Either the Sharpy or the Coop flushed all the seedeaters a couple times. A Caracara went by.

Jan. 8 ~ We were 26dF again, chilly with iced birdbath. NOAA had KRVL for a 34 low, they had 25! Then zonal flow returned, gusty southerlies, warmer moist air, near 60dF by noon. Heard one Cedar Waxwing in a Hackberry mid-morn. The rest looked the same out the office window. It is back to the salt mine time for me. Heard Chickadee singing song briefly. Late afternoon I had a quick zip through town and at the park pond saw the Coot and 5 Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, my first water birds of the year.

Jan. 7 ~ Was about 32-70dF temp spread, sunny after some clouds in a.m. Was all the same gang around the yard. It is back at the desk and computer for me. Ready to go back to bird around Sabinal again, took two days. I really would like to see that pale small hawk north of town, and more better looks at that big female Harlan's would be nice too. No way can I get down there this weekend. Maybe the one after?

Jan. 6 ~ Ran about 30-75dF for a temp spread today. Nice. But it is back to the salt mine Monday after the holiday break. I heard a White-throated Sparrow out there a couple times, surely the tan-striped bird I saw yesterday morning. A few Field and about 75 Chipping Sparrow as usual. Other than hearing a Verdin over in the draw, there was nothing different. Same yard gang. That's OK, I am still fairly drunk on all of yesterday's great birds.

Jan. 5 ~ A 26dF low! NOAA had KRVL for 38, they were 29, off by a category again. We rolled down the hill to bird the Sabinal area about 9:30, in no hurry for that cold. As I threw out the noon batch of seed right before we left I saw a tan-striped White-throated Sparrow out back. The one here in Nov. and Dec. was a white-striped type, so this is a new one.

The short version around Sabinal: Prairie Falcon, Kiskadee, Green Jay, Olive Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Long-billed Thrasher, Harris's Hawk, an awesome female Harlan's Hawk, Verdin, Pyrrhuloxia, etc. It was a great half-day of barely scratching the surface down there in the sticks of the flatlands. Could not find any Geese, only had a couple Cranes fly over, no Mountain Plover. Due to the drought and much of the farming being rain-fed, there was little corn this year. I did not see one good fallow corn field. Lots of cotton, some sorghum or somesuch. Lots of fields were left fallow.

As we approached the high spot a few mi. north of Sabinal I said "this is Harris's Hill" to Kathy. By time we got over it we had two Harris's Hawks on tele poles. Stopping to view one an orange-billed, black-lored White-crowned Sparrow popped up, as in the Rocky Mtn. oriantha type. Always nice here. The big Russian Sunflower field just north of Sabinal that had the 500 Am. Goldfinch last year is not yet harvested, still dried seedheads intact, so the clouds of birds are not there yet. Should be by the end of January. There were birds there but not like after they harvest the seed heads. Some Cardinal and a couple Pyrrhuloxia were hitting them at SE corner of field.

We heard an Audubon's Oriole as we drove around the NE quadrant of residential Sabinal. Nothing at the city park. At the dry Sabinal River crossing just southwest of the school where the Western and Couch's Kingbirds and Rusty Blackbird were last Jan., we saw none of that. It was bone dry, no water. There was a very tame Roadrunner there, a flock of at least 160 White-winged Dove, one Myrtle Warbler, a Verdin, couple Titmouse and a Kinglet (Ruby). Might have heard a Pine Warbler there.

Further east on that road past the water treatment plant out in the pastures there was a flock of over 100 American Pipit, and a few Killdeer. Kathy looked up to look for the Cranes calling overhead and spotted what was the rarity of the day, a Prairie Falcon up high moving fast. Always a great bird to see. It moved west too quickly for a pic. Appeared to go down somewhere west of 2730. Saw some Savannah Sparrow. Couldn't pick anything out of the pipits but you could mostly only see them when they flushed. Thought I heard a Sprague's. Another Harris's Hawk was soaring way high with a couple Black Vulture there.

We then went out Lower Sabinal Rd., the one that goes to Uvalde south of Hwy. 90. Saw more major brush clearing and loss of habitat. It is like they are at war against habitat. Only had a couple tiny small groups of White-crowned Sparrow which was odd. Very few sparrows everywhere we went. Lots of Red-tailed Hawk, mostly fuertesi, but a couple belly-banded eastern types. Tallied a dozen Red-tails over the half-day. Couple more Harris's Hawk, one a sub-adult, and now at 5 in a couple hours. Some Kestrel. About 8-9 Bobwhite were nice. Some Long-billed Thrasher, but best was some Green Jay. A house (with martin houses) on the road about half-way between Sabinal and Knippa has some planted ornamental oaks in the front yard. The Green Jays were harvesting the acorns. There were at least 4 and probably 5 right at once in the group. They were crossing the road, grabbing acorns, and heading back over into the brush. They were doing their hawk call imitation too. What species of hawk is that they imitate? There was one imm. male Vermilion Flycatcher in the corral across the road from the house. Heard a few more Verdin along the road. Did more fields, nothing.

Then we went to UvCo 309 which is about 3 miles south of Sabinal. A couple hundred yards west of 187 it crosses the Sabinal River, which is a creeklet there. You can walk some dirt tracks upriver a bit, south side is better, you can get further. As last January here, we had Great Kiskadee (heard 2) and I saw a Swamp Sparrow, my first this winter. There were at least 6 Long-billed Thrasher in the area, and I might have had a Brown. It was rufous to and over the crown. There were at least a couple Olive Sparrow in the area, (easiest ones to see ever) as well. Perfect place for a rare Robin or somesuch. At least a couple more Green Jays were nice too. Another couple Myrtle Warbler and Kinglet (Ruby), at least two Common Yellowthroat also there. Someone dumps poached deer carcass remains just south of the crossing at the start of the track on that side of creeklet, and I suspect the jays and thrashers are working on them. Also there we saw one Variegated Fritillary, one Reakirt's Blue, two Dainty Sulphur for butterflies, and two 2 Autumnal Meadowhawk for dragonflies.

Then we checked almost a mile south on 187 around the Ranchero Crk. crossing but it was dry. It can be good when water. Another half mile south is UvCo 312a running east off 187. It is farly well vegetated on both sides for much of the public mile and change. More Long-billed Thrasher, over a hundred Meadowlark, most looked Western, 5-6 more Bobwhite in the road, more Verdin and White-crowned Sparrow, lots of Cardinal. A half-mile or so out this road is where the female Harlan's Hawk was. It first came up from low, and later in the poor blurry pix you can see its crop is well distended so it must have just finished eating something.

Along the various roads over the day we saw 5 Roadrunner, heard at least 7-8 Verdin, only saw a half-dozen Pyrrhuloxia, 2-3 Say's Phoebe, only a couple Vesper and no Lark Sparrow, maybe a couple dozen Savannah Sparrow, 8 Kestrel, a couple N. Harrier, 7 Caracara, about a dozen Long-billed Thrasher, 3 Olive Sparrow, 7 Green Jay, 2 heard Kiskadee, 75-100 each of Mockingbird and Cardinal, 8 L. Shrike, 15+ Bobwhite, and some lesser things. Did not see any Cactus Wren or Curve-billed Thrasher, did not hear an Orange-crowned Warbler or a White-eyed Vireo. Somewhere had a quick view Cooper's Hawk. Lots of Mourning Dove, a few Collared-Dove, cowbirds and blackbirds, prolly some other stuff I didn't pay attention to. Like some Titmice, a Lincoln's Sparrow, a couple Ladder-backed Woodpecker, etc..

Amazing what an entirely different environment it is just 20 miles away down off the plateau and into the brush country. On the way back we had cold stuff in an icechest so could not stop for a compact buteo on 187 north of Sabinal. It looked like a pale morph Harlan's Hawk, in fact very like the one I saw in Utopia 5 years ago. It was where a UvCo county road crosses 187 in both directions, about 3 miles north of Sabinal. Lots of hawks down there this winter, which was great to see.

Jan. 4 ~ A chilly one here, about 28dF briefly just after sunup. Birdbath iced over. NOAA had KRVL for 36dF low, it was 26! Off by a category again. About the fifth time so far this cold season. Keep it in mind if headed out thisaway in winter. Long johns, check. It warmed up though, above average to about 74dF or so here, so 50dF diurnals again. Great to be able to open everything up and air it out. Kathy heard a chickadee whistle a short bit of song notes. FOY for that. Worked on stuff here since planning on skipping out for a half-day birding tomorrow.

Whaddabird! Green Jay, near Sabinal Jan. 5.
This is how you see everything in south Texas
brush-country, through branches and twigs in the brush.
What this shows well is how bright plumage in dappled
light becomes a type of camo.

~ ~ ~ last prior update below ~ ~ ~

Jan. 3 ~ We ran about 44-64dF for a temp spread today. The post-frontal blow got here about 10 a.m. and it was 15-25 mph all day, gusting to 30. Sunny, but blown out. Town run and park check. A flock of 50+ meadowlark on UvCo 360 east of the river looked like Eastern. At the park did not see the Coot, Pied-billed Grebe, Whistling-Ducks, any kingfisher, or Great Blue Heron. The new year list remains waterbird free. There was a winter flock in the park, a few Robin, some E. Bluebird, a couple dozen Chipping Sparrow, 6+ Myrtle Warbler, and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Heard a Pine Warbler. Didn't see anything different in the yard, Kathy saw a Hermit Thrush at the bath. Planning to bird the flatlands of the Sabinal area down in the brush country on Sunday.

Jan. 2 ~ Still hovering around 50dF, won't go up or down, overcast and foggy early. It is Thursdays back at the salt mine here anyway. Just the regular cast outside. The main yard inhabitants are Carolina and Bewick's Wren, Carolina Chickadee, Black-crested Titmouse, Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Chipping and Field Sparrow, Cardinal, Eastern Phoebe and Bluebird, Mockingbird, House Finch (just 1 pr.), American Goldfinch (2 or so) plus Ground, White-winged and Mourning Dove. Then daily a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Myrtle Warbler or two pass through, and Common Raven and Black Vulture fly over. Either a Sharp-shinned or the Cooper's Hawk flushes all the seedeaters a couple times per day. Both are regular. Those are the basic winter gang here. Seeming like we lost our Rufous Hummers that were here. Every couple or few days we see Red-tailed Hawk, Caracara, and an Orange-crowned Warbler. Most nights we hear Great Horned, Screech-, and often Barred Owl. Some years we are covered in Robin, Waxwing, Siskin, and American Goldfinch, but not this year. Barely any of any of them.

January 1 ~ Happy New Year! Here we go again! Sure that was so fun, heck ya, let's do that again. But can we take a different route this time? Did not cool down much last night, was about 48dF for a low, cloudy, misted a couple hundredths over the day, might have gotten into low 50's dF for a high. Still not seeing the Rufous Hummingbirds, about two weeks for the female and four days now for the male. Did work about 80 Chipping Sparrow and had only a few Field among them, no Lark, no Clay-colored. The rest was the same gang. Since coolish and wettish worked inside on things. So far it looks very birdable next weekend though. Finally.

~ ~ ~ above is 2020 ~ ~ ~

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Index page with links to all 'Old Bird News' pages ...

Bird News Archives Index

Links to earlier archived bird news pages below, broken into six month increments. One day I'll quarter it out by season as well, so all years of each season are together, perhaps making say, searching springs easier.

Odd numbered archives are January through June.
Even numbered archives are July through December
(except a couple when the split missed, probably due
to excessive amount of drivel in spring).

Bird News Archive XXXI
January 1, 2019 - June 30, 2019

Bird News Archive XXX
July 1, 2018 - Dec. 31, 2018

Bird News Archive XXIX
January 1, 2018 - June 30, 2018

Bird News Archive XXVIII
July 1, 2017 - December 31, 2017

Bird News Archive XXVII
January 1, 2017 - June 30, 2017

Bird News Archive XXVI
July 1, 2016 - December 31, 2016

Bird News Archive XXV
January 1, 2016 - June 30, 2016

Bird News Archive XXIV
July 1, 2015 - Dec. 31, 2015

Bird News Archive XXIII
January 1, 2015 - June 30, 2015

Bird News Archive XXII
July 1, 2014 - December 31, 2014

Bird News Archive XXI
January 1, 2014 - June 30, 2014

Bird News Archive XX
July 1, 2013 - December 31, 2013

Bird News Archive XIX
January 1, 2013 - June 30, 2013

Bird News Archive XVIII
July 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012

Bird News Archive XVII
January 1, 2012 - June 30, 2012

Bird News Archive XVI
July 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011

Bird News Archive XV
January 1, 2011 - June 30, 2011

Bird News Archive XIV
July 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

Bird News Archive XIII
January 1, 2010 - June 30, 2010

Bird News Archive XII
June 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009

Bird News Archive XI
January 1, 2009 - May 31, 2009

Bird News Archive X
July 1, 2008 - Dec. 31, 2008

Bird News Archive IX
January 1, 2008 - June 30, 2008

Bird News Archive VIII
July 1, 2007 - Dec. 31, 2007

Bird News Archive VII
January 1, 2007 - June 30, 2007

Bird News Archive VI
July 1, 2006 - Dec. 31, 2006

Bird News Archive V
January 1, 2006 - June 30, 2006

Bird News Archive IV
July 1, 2005 - Dec. 31, 2005

Bird News Archive III
January 1, 2005 - June 30, 2005

Bird News Archive II
June 1, 2004 - Dec. 31, 2004

Bird News Archive I
Winter 2003-04 Summary Notes
and Mar. 31 - May 30, 2004
Go, look, see, take notes and pictures, boldly nature nerd where no one has before. Few things rival the thrill of discovery. Besides having fun and learning, you will probably see some things people won't believe without photos.  ;)
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Read UP from bottom to go in chronological sequence.
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