Bird (and nature) News Archive # 1
Winter 2003-04 Summary Notes
and Mar. 31 - May 30, 2004
Some commonly used abbreviations used are:
"in town" - means in Utopia
SLC pond - pond on South Little Creek Rd.
LC - along Little Creek
TC area - area of Thunder Creek Rd.
UP - Utopia Park on 1050 just west of 187
LM - Lost Maples SNA; GSP - Garner St. Pk.
SRV - Sabinal River Valley
FOS - "First of Season" (usually used for
1st spring or fall migrant to show up locally)
SR - Seco Ridge a couple miles west of Utopia
in Uvalde County
Ode - Odonata (dragonfly or damselfly)
Lep - butterfly
BanCo - Bandera County UvCo - Uvalde County

2004 - Mar. 31 - May 30 reverse chronological order, unless you scroll to end and read from the bottom up.
May 30 - Golden-cheeked Warblers were feeding young, right on Hwy 470 at the "pass" (Seco?) circa 7 mi. East of the S.Little Creek junction. This on the south facing slope of the pass. Black & White Warbler was singing there too.

May 28-29 no migrants, just the nesting species present now.

May 27 - Another Least Flycatcher at TC. The last migrant?

May 25 - No migrants for about the 3rd day in a row at UP, it's about over folks ... spring migration that is. There was a Green Kingfisher there feeding a young at the island.

May 24 - At TC, Zone-tailed Hawk, a flyover Killdeer, and an Olive-sided Flycatcher. At UP a female Am. Redstart and surely nesting Green Heron. At SLC pond 2 pair of Wood Ducks continue, and 7 Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks.

May 23 - At TC another Least Flycatcher, and a Common Ground-Dove, which was present the next 2 days at least.

May 22 - At UP there were continuing 2 Mourning Warblers and a Northern Waterthrush, plus the Zone-tailed Hawk.

May 21 - at TC an imm. male American Redstart passed through, and 20 Cattle Egrets flew East at dusk. At UP there were THREE Mourning Warblers, another imm. male Am.Redstart, a Northern Waterthrush, and a female Green Kingfisher.

May 20 - At TC there was a singing imm. male Black & White Warbler that sang and bathed. Also a female Orchard Oriole bathed.

May 19 - At TC there was an imm. male Orchard Oriole that sang, and 2 Chihuahuan Raven flew over low calling. UP had a Northern Waterthrush. Down in Uvalde there was a Least Grebe with eggs at a nest, and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron!

May 18 - At TC there was another Least Flycatcher, a male Wilson's Warbler, and an Oporornis warbler that was either Mourning or MacGillivray's.

May 17 - Another Mississippi Kite flew over TC, and another Least Flycatcher was there too. A Green Heron continues at UP, and might be nesting.

May 16 - A small group of warblers was at our place on TC: 3 Yellows and a 1st spring male Blackburnian! A 1st spring male Hooded Oriole was here in the afternoon. On Little Creek were 2 Snowy and a Cattle Egret. At UP the only migrants were 2 Spotted Sandpipers on the dam.

May 15 - An Ovenbird was in the Cypress St. ragweeds by the fruiting Mulberry tree! Apparently a first Uvalde Co. record, its not on their county checklist! There is a Lost Maples report for this date, so see the updates at that page. One highlight though was a FOS Olive-sided Flycatcher. A tardy Solitary Sandpiper was at Little Creek.

May 14 - At TC there was a Catbird, calling and singing, 2 FOS Yellow-bellied Flycatchers (calling too), and a Yellow-breasted Chat and Least Flycatcher. Down at good ol' dependable UP there were several great migrants... Stunning male Canada and Mourning Warblers, and a female MacGillivray's Warbler!! Another Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, my FOS seen Swainson's Thrush and Warbling Vireo, a female American Redstart, a few Wilson's Warblers, and 3 Spotted Sandpipers! Also the Great-crested Flycatchers were gathering nesting material, and Eastern Wood Pewees were singing. The best area is at the north end of the park, where a semi visible foot path wanders north to the bank of the river where the island is.

May 12 - Migrants at TC included Least Flycathcer, Yellow Warblers (which were all around town too) and a tardy White-crowned Sparrow. A Spotted Sandpiper was at UP.

May 11 - Another Eastern Kingbird at TC, also there a dozen Common Nighthawks with some booming, and new (FOS) was a female Baltimore Oriole that bathed.

May 10 - At UP were a couple Eastern Wood Pewee, 3 male Common Yellowthroat and at the hackberry row near the park entrance (which has a couple fruiting mulberries a block north) had a Catbird, Yellow-breasted Chat, Least and Alder Flycatchers. plus a Great-crested Flycatcher and Eastern Kingbird. There are about 40 Cedar Waxwings eating Mulberries.

May 9 - See Lost Maples report for this date. Highlights were Osprey and an imm. male Black- headed Grosbeak at their feeder at HQ. It had been present a couple days prior at least. Also had a Zone-tailed Hawk there, and all the regular expected suspects.

May 8 - Couple Eastern Kingbirds along 187 between Utopia and Sabinal. Mississippi Kite over TC. Dicksissels are everywhere there's weedy fields.

May 7 - Eastern Kingbird at TC

May 6 - I heard a second hand report of a Black-headed0 Grosbeak at a local feeder! Good bird here! At the TC area were Yellow, Wilson's, Orange-crowned and Black and White Warblers, Orchard Oriole, Least Flycatcher, Barred Owl, and the Cuckoos seem to "be in" now.

May 4 - At TC there was Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Least Flycatcher. On 187 just south of town there was a FOS Eastern Kingbird, and several Dicksissel singing in the field on the east side of 187. A male Bullock's Oriole was there too.

May 3 - In town there was the Zone-tailed Hawk circling overhead, and a Mississippi Kite. At UP there were TWO Waterthrushes, the previous Nothern, and another only heard calling, probably another Northern. Only one or two Least Flycatcher remained, and the Wilson's Warbler was still there too. At the TC area was a continuing Rose-breasted Grosbeak, and the FOS Yellow- billed Cuckoo and FOS Common Nighthawk!

May 2 - Note there is a Garner report for this date. (See the Garner page to see what was seen there). The highlight was a Black & White Warbler feeding a young out of the nest already! Here in Utopia, at the park were TWO Catbirds at the island eating mulberries, and continuing Bell's Vireo & Black-throated Green Warbler, and the FOS Wilson's Warbler! A few Least Flycatchers were still present, but most of them and the Buntings had apparently moved on. At TC the highlight was a first-year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak at the sunflower feeder! The Nighthawk there was confirmed as a Lesser.

May 1 - And a great May Day it was. Strong thunderstorms moved over during the night, which often grounds nocturnal migrants (if they're going over) - a birder's dream. Here way out west off the "beaten path" (as migrants go) we get a trickle while the coast is flooded with them. But, that just makes it more exciting when we do get them here!

At TC about all I could call migrants were a singing Orchard Oriole which flew off far (not a local), and an Orange-crowned Warbler. At the SLC ponds there was the usual pair of Wood Ducks & 2 pair of Black-bellied Whistling- Ducks, but new were 10 (5 pairs) Blue-winged Teal, and a pair of Coots. Just north of the ponds in a field were over a dozen Cattle Egrets, and on 187 a mile north of town were another half dozen, and a DOR (dead on road) Porcupine! Then to the best local migrant trap, UP.

At UP there were another pair of Blue-winged Teal (new). Then for migrants there was a flock of 5 Buntings which consisted of a male Painted, 3 female Painted, and one male VARIED Bunting! A Zone-tailed Hawk flew over low. There were 3 Blue-headed, a Bell's, and the regular White-eyed Vireos. Besides the nesting Yellow-throated Warblers, there was an Orange-crowned, a Nashville, two Black-throated Greens, 2 Common Yellowthroat, 3 Yellow Warblers, and a FOS Northern Waterthrush! In the Flycatcher department, there was (probably the same?) Eastern Willow Flycatcher, an Acadian Flycatcher, and at least 7-8 (FOS) LEAST Flycatchers! Continuing were the Brown-crested and Great-crested Flycatchers, plus Eastern and Black Phoebe, and Western Kingbird and Scissortails, for about 9 sps. of Flycs.! (plus Ash-throated nesting at TC) A GRAY CATBIRD was on the island at the north end of the park! A female Bullock's Oriole was also on the island eating mulberries. Several more Painted Buntings were seen, as was the female of the pair of Green Kingfishers there.

April 30 - A couple Orchard Orioles were at TC, and Kathy saw a Nighthawk sps. there (probably Lesser). At UP was male American Redstart and female Black and White Warbler. Were they the ones there on Monday? Also (continuing?) was male Black-throated Green Warbler, and a few neat Dragonflies... Down the road a piece on 187 a half mile south of town there were several Dicksissel singing in the field on Uvalde County 354 that goes east from 187, and 15+ Clay-colored Sparrow.

April 29 - At TC was a Mississippi Kite, a Dicksissel, an Orchard Oriole, imm. male Bullock's Oriole. At UP were: continuing pr. of Brown-crested Flycatcher, Great-crested Flycatcher, male Green Kingfisher, a calling BANK Swallow flying north up river, the FOS female Painted Bunting, male Black-throated Green Warbler, several Nashville and Orange-crowned Warblers, a Blue-headed Vireo, and an Empidonax Flycatcher (Willow), plus regulars like Blue Jay and Common Grackle, Eastern Bluebird, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, etc., etc. A half mile south of town on 187 a male LARK Bunting flew across the road! From LC to town were 3 Caracara and 5 Black-bellied Whistling Duck.

April 26 - There is a Lost Maples report for this date. With the frontal passage there was good local migrant movement. At UP there were Warblers: a male American Redstart, more than one Tennessee Warbler, many Nashville, several Orange-crowned, Myrtle and Audubon's, the FOS Common Yellowthroat, a Black & White, and the nesting Yellow-throateds there! Kathy spotted a FOS Green Heron. There were Red-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos, and the FOS Brown-crested Flycatcher, besides Great-crested Flycatchers! Blue Jays are probably nesting near the park (plus a pair or two in town. Also a few pairs of Common Grackle seem to be nesting around town (just cruise the streets). The White-throated Sparrow was singing at the house.

April 25 - Great-tailed Grackles seem to be all about town, and I had 4 over TC. A Peregrine flew by TC in the afternoon! A male Green Kingfisher was at UP. A Zone-tailed Hawk flew 50' over Main St. in the afternoon. Mariann Golden reported 2 Yellow-headed Blackbirds near the medical clinic, and good birding at La Jita.

April 24 - a pair of Mississippi Kites roosted in the oaks out front, grounded by the storm the night before. In the Lost Maples notebook at the park, someone saw flocks of White Pelican and Franklin's Gull fly over the park this afternoon, which must have passed over Utopia! A pair of FOS Spotted Sandpipers were at the dam at UP!

April 22 - Yellow-throated Warbler at home, plus the first Painted Bunting there - a male bathed! At UP Clay-colored Sparrow bathed. Male Black- throated Green Warbler singing, Common Grackle, and two FOS there (locally): Red-eyed Vireo and Yellow Warbler. 2 Great-crested Flycatcher calling, and a Western Kingbird. Still Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Org-crnd Warblers, etc.

April 21 - highlight was a singing Kentucky Warbler at the house! plus a migrant Hermit Thrush, the first in some time.

April 20 - Besides Blue Grosbeaks at the house, there were 3 FOS's at UP: Common Yellowthroat, Bullock's Oriole, and House Wren. Other migrants there were 25+ Nashville Warbler, 4 Audubon's Warbler, 1 female Black-throated Green Warbler, American and Lesser Goldfinch, Bell's & Blue-headed Vireos, and the Chat continued. SLC pond had a Lesser Yellowlegs and Great-crested Flycatcher and Yellow-breasted Chat.

April 19 - There was a small grounding with over half a dozen Nashville Warblers at TC, and over a dozen at UP. Also at UP were two FOS's: Yellow-breasted Chat and Great-crested Flycatcher. Toss in over a dozen Myrtle and 5 Audubon's Warblers, a couple Blue-headed Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Orange-crowned Warbler, and the summer resident Yellow-throated Warblers singing, and it was a pretty good showing. Also an Osprey flew over TC. Common Grackles are still in town, and a Bronzed (Red-eyed) Cowbird was displaying there too. A couple of female Great-tailed Grackles were also in town.

April 18 - A Red-eyed Vireo was singing at TC. The SLC ponds were outstanding as usual. Though yesterday's Pectorals were gone, there were 48 White-faced Ibis there! Also 4 Snowy & 2 Cattle Egrets, and the usual Blue-winged Teal, pair or Wood Ducks and some Black- bellied Whistling Ducks. Also a Caracara flew over there.

April 17 - Kathy heard Chuck-wills-Widow calling at dawn. At UP she found a very late Swamp Sparrow! It was a first-spring plumaged bird, and might more likely have been the one that wintered there rather than a migrant, since they are so uncommon locally. At least 4 Chimney Swifts were over the P.O. in town. Some male Common Grackles were at the island in the river at the north end of UP. Do they nest here? 5 Pectoral and 1 Solitary Sandpipers were at SLC pond.

April 16 - a couple Poor-will calling at TC at sunup. See the Lost Maples report for this date. SLC pond had the 2 pair Wood Ducks and a pair of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, plus a Lesser Yellowlegs, a Solitary Sandpiper, and three Pectoral Sandpipers. A Green Kingfisher was at UP, the first one seen there in 6 months! Two Common Ground-Dove were at TC. The feeders there probably have about 40-50 Black-chinned and 4-5 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.

April 15 - We had visiting friends from CA, Dave and Carol Roelen, and coming out of the Lost Maples Cafe, Dave spotted the FOS Lesser Nighthawk over Main St. in town at dusk. Blue Jays were calling from near downtown at 5 p.m.

April 14 - Bell's Vireo singing on Main St. in town.

April 13 - Another Eastern Wood Pewee, this at TC. Two Pied-billed Grebes (clearly migrants) at SLC pond. Solitary Sandpiper there also.

April 12 - A Zone-tailed Hawk was at TC, another was over main street in town, and a 3rd was at LM! At UP, Derek Muschalek joined my wife and I for a nice spring showing. He spotted Three FOS's: Bell's Vireo, Lesser (Black-backed) Goldfinch and a singing Northern Parula! Also seen were at least 3 Audubon's Warblers, amongst nearly 20 Myrtles, Yellow-throated and Blue-headed Vireo, Nashville and Orange-crowned Wablers, plus the resident Yellow-throated Warblers (3). There is a Lost Maples report this date too. FOS Eastern Wood Pewee seen there. There were 8 beautiful alternate (breeding) plumage Water (American) Pipit at SLC pond.

April 10 - a female Golden-cheeked Warbler and a Grasshopper Sparrow were at TC.

April 9 - the FOS two Chimney Swifts I've seen locally buzzed TC. In the previous week there have been up to 4 dozen Common Grackle and over 75 Cedar Waxwings around town.

April 7 - FOS Broad-winged Hawk was over TC, as were Swainson's, Harris's, and Zone-tailed Hawks! 3 FOS Chuck-wills-Widows were calling at TC.

April 6 - Zone-tailed Hawk was at TC, and at the SLC pond was an adult Little Blue Heron, 25 Blue-winged Teal, 8 Shoveller, a female Ring-necked Duck, 2 Gadwall, and a remarkable 28 (!) Baird's Sandpiper. There are TWO pairs of Wood Ducks there, probably nesting. There were also 25 Blue-winged Teal and 2 Shoveller at UP.

April 5 - the FOS male Ruby-throated Hummingbird showed at TC, as did Swainson's Hawk. 2 Pectoral Sandpiper were at SLC pond.

April 4 - a sub-adult Harris's Hawk was in the TC area, and 7 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were at the SLC pond.

April 3 - a Baird's and a Solitary Sandpiper were at the SLC pond.

April 2 - a large storm cell grounded some waterbirds at the SLC pond: 60 Shoveller, 20 Blue-winged Teal, 6 each of Green-winged Treal, Am. Wigeon, and Ring-necked Duck. A good duck showing locally! A Cattle Egret was there too. At UP were FOS Summer Tanager, Nashville Warbler and Swainson's Hawk.

April 1 - a male Audubon's Warbler stopped to drink for 5 min. at TC, and took off continuing to the north! Also Zone-tailed Hawk again there too. Solitary Sandpiper at SLC pond.

Early Spring - Mid Feb. to late March '04 Below things are in chronological order before we changed (fixed) the format to make it more user friendly.

Though many wintering birds are still present, the latter part of Feb., lots of the first earliest migrants start showing up. If you saw a species mentioned on an earlier date than shown, I'd appreciate hearing of it.

By Feb. 24 there were 6 Red-winged Blackbirds in town (Utopia). The same day a CAVE Swallow was at the spillway at UP. There were 60+ Cedar Waxwings around the hackberries just outside the park.

Feb. 25 - at the hackberry patch there was a stunning male FOS YELLOW-THROATED Warbler, which was a very early migrant, not present before or after that date.

Feb. 29 - there was a male VERMILION Flycatcher in my yard. Interestingly some others were seen in the Sabinal River Valley (SRV) by myself and others. Over 6 were seen in about a week showing a clear period of movement for this species.

March 2 - I saw my FOS bat of the year locally. Did anyone have one earlier?

March 3 - Barn Swallows returned to town.

March 5 - FOS Black-chinned Hummingbird, a female, with a male the following day.

March 6 - Northern Rough-winged Swallows were along LC.

March 7 - Ash-throated Flycatcher showed up.

March 11 - flock of over a dozen Common Grackle were in town, which grew to over 50 on 3/19.

March 16 - LONG-BILLED Thrasher was singing out here at TC, still present the 22nd. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher showed up that day, as well as my FOS "June Bug". At SLC pond were 3 Great Blue Heron, male Wood Duck, 6 Green-winged Teal, and 3 Black-bellied Whistling Duck.

Sandhill Cranes were passing overhead in flocks much of late Feb. to mid-March. Saw 160 in a flock on 3/19.

March 21 - FOS Clay-colored Sparrow, at TC.

March 22 - there were about 20 CAVE Swallows at UP. The Pied-billed Grebe continues as well.

A couple miles west of town, Leslie Calvert reported Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Blue-winged Teal, and Gadwall on their tank, in early March.

March 25 - At UP there was a fair bit of migrant activity, probably stacked up from a couple days of drizzle. One Yellow-throated Vireo, one Yellow-throated Warbler, 2 male Black-throated Green Warbler, 15-20 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, 20 Cave Swallow overhead, and a Barred Owl at the north end of the park. A couple dozen each Common Grackles and Cedar Waxwing remain around town. SLC pond had one Pectoral Sandpiper.

March 26 - I was shocked to see a small Buteo over the house all white below, dark helmet, barred tail - SHORT-TAILED HAWK! This species has been expanding into TX and in 3 recent springs has been seen over extended periods at Lost Maples. Also a pair of Black & White Warblers bathed at my "seep".

March 27 - FOS male Scott's Oriole was singing outside, and two Scissor-tailed Flycatchers flew over, as well as 6 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks! They go to SLC pond which is excellent for migrant waterbirds passing through.

March 28 - a male Black-throated Green Warbler and Vermilion Flycatcher were at TC. See the Lost Maples report for this date. In the drizzle we heard many Golden- cheeked Warblers and saw 2 well.

March 30 - Zone-tailed Hawk and Indigo Bunting at TC

March 31 - At least 60 Cedar Waxwing and 40 Common Grackle were still around town in Utopia. A Wilson's Snipe was at SLC pond.

We are going to change format now so the most recent reports are at the top, saving you reading through what you may have already seen, to get the latest news.

February Bird News

The first signs of spring are in February when if you are listening, the local resident birds REALLY start singing a lot, early in the month. Surely you hear the Turkey gobbling, eh!?!

Though most of the birds around, besides the residents, are the same wintering individuals that have been around since Nov. or Dec., or longer!

Winter 2003-2004
Dateline mid-February 04, Utopia, TX

Nov-Feb is winter as far as local birds are concerned. Early to mid-Feb. there is a noticeable increase in singing by local resident songbirds, but that is the sole indicator of spring at that point. There were some (3) PURPLE MARTINS back by Feb. 7 at the Stagecoach Inn, on 187 north of Utopia. But there are still no buds to speak of on the trees, and it's still very cold.

Nov-Jan, I saw just over a hundred species of birds locally (in the SRV, centered around Utopia). Surely 12-20 more species are present that I didn't see.

There were several noteworthy and interesting sightings over the winter, which are summarized here. Many wintering birds remain present through Feb, into March, so some of these may well still be present, and are certainly worth looking for if out in the area the next several weeks.

PIED-BILLED GREBE - one wintered on Sabinal River at Utopia Park (UP hereafter) just above the spillway. Present Nov.-Feb.

HARRIS'S HAWK - a sub-adult flew over TC going north on Dec. 26.

ZONE-TAILED HAWK - one was around Utopia (mostly at UP) for 3 weeks in Nov. Seen once over TC in early Nov.

PEREGRINE FALCON - one moving SW high over TC Dec. 26.

CARACARA - a few present moving around Utopia in SRV daily.

CANADA GOOSE - Two (lg. subspecies) on Little Creek Jan. 6 only.

WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE - 200+ flew N. over TC Feb. 15.

SANDHILL CRANE - 30 flew N. over TC Feb. 15.

EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE - Five of these non-native introduced vermin have been seen around town (Utopia). Sometimes at the feed store at the north end of town. In some places they have displaced native doves, and like all non-native introduced animals, have no place in a natural ecosystem.

BARN OWL - heard at least weekly Nov-Feb at TC. Probably resident in the SRV.

LONG-EARED OWL - One was heard several times (4-5) over a week+ period off TC mid-Jan to mid-Feb.. It was never seen.

GREEN KINGFISHER - Two: one heard upstream of UP in early Jan, and one seen on Little Creek in Jan.

LEWIS'S WOODPECKER - One in pecan grove .2 mi west of Sabinal River xing a half mile N. of the 187 X 470 junction. Seen early to mid January, only briefly looked for after that. May still be there.

DOWNY WOODPECKER - One wintered at N. end of UP.

BLACK PHOEBE - one wintered at spillway at UP.

VERMILION FLYCATCHER - One mid-Dec. on Little Creek. (none known wintering in SRV)

COUCH'S KINGBIRD - Two wintered at south end of Utopia, mostly in UP, Dec. to mid-Feb. at least. Seen in the Hackberries near park entrance, often near the spillway, sometimes around 1050 bridge over river. Heard calling and confirmed Couch's. Lockwood (2001) cites no wintering records for the hill country (plateau) proper.

WHITE-EYED VIREO - Three wintering in SRV: One at Lost Maples Jan. 4, One at UP Dec-Jan, and one at TC Nov.-Jan.

BLUE JAY - At least 4 are in Utopia, mostly on the south side of town; in the park or adjacent pecans and hackberries.

CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN - A very few are in the SRV amongst the much more common Common Ravens.

PURPLE MARTIN - The first visual sign of spring - returning migratory nesters - Feb. 7, Old Stagecoach Inn!

CAVE SWALLOW - 1 at the spillway in UP on Feb.24!

GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET - A couple were at Lost Maples in early Jan, and a couple were at TC all winter (Nov.-Feb.) besides others there that just seemed to pass through.

ROBIN & WAXWING - Small numbers of both have been present around Utopia. Particularly at the "hackberry corner" just outside the entrance to Utopia Park. Up to 45 Robins and 75 Cedar Waxwings have been seen here Jan. to Feb.. Both species have been sporadic (weekly) in smaller numbers up at TC, mostly coming into water to drink.

YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER - A male was seen on the trunks of the hackberries in front of UP on Feb. 25. This was certainly a (very early) migrant, since I've checked this site 20+ times this winter, and it was not present prior.

AUDUBON'S WARBLER - One wintered at UP and the hackberries with a handful of MYRTLE (Yellow-rumped Warblers). Another wintered with a few Myrtles at the pecan grove where the Lewis's Woodpecker was.

SWAMP SPARROW - One immature was found in Jan and surely wintering at UP. It was in the weeds along the river between the 1050 bridge and the spillway.

SLATE-COLORED JUNCO - Up to 10 generally nominate appearing birds (though often at the brown end of the curve) wintered at the NTCR seed pile. No others were seen in SRV. A couple probable cismontanus passed through in Dec.. A couple classic "Oregon" types passed through too, but also did not 'stick'. No Gray-headed or Pink-sided types were seen.

HARRIS'S SPARROW - One adult was seen downtown Utopia in a mesquite in the park across from the This was Feb. 13. I have not been able to refind it.

HOODED ORIOLE - A male seen on 470 in late Nov. as it flew across the road, a mile west of the Seco Creek x-ing. A remarkable (first?) hill country winter record.

MEADOWLARKS - I have scrutinized several individuals of them from the common flocks seen around town. Most have been WESTERN, but some have been EASTERN. I can make no guess as to what the large numbers of them are, yet.

COMMON GRACKLE - A number (20+) were present in Nov-Dec. around Utopia, which dwindled to one male by Jan. 1. A few were seen in early Feb. going NE over TC (a proper spring migration time and direction).

RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD - One of the earliest migrants to show up. First one then 3 females in early Jan. were at the hackberry corner in front of UP. Then by mid Feb., there were 5 females and a male present.
Links to archived bird news pages on archives index link below, broken into 6 month increments. Odd numbers = first half of year, even numbers second half.

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