Bird (and nature) News Archive # 4
July 1 - December 31, 2005
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

2005 - July 1 - Dec. 31 reverse chronological order, unless you scroll to end and read from the bottom up.
Bird News Archive IV

Dec. 31 - Went to UP - no Woodcock again, guess it was another
one hour wonder! The pictures will be on the bird photos page
by the time you read this ... :) :) Then we went to
look for the Hammond's again for a rear view (primary projection)
photo but there was not a bird around, the flock elsewhere in
the heat of the day I guess. The dragonflies still around
were an Autumnal (ph.) and Variegated Meadowhawk at UP.

Dec. 30 - Went to Uvalde for biz, so gone most of the day....
Only thing different was at dusk 14 Sandhill Cranes
soaring and calling over SR, heading toward Bear Creek Pond maybe?

Dec. 29 - I again checked UP for the Timberdoodle of two days ago,
to no avail. But the two COUCH'S KINGBIRDS were there late in the
afternoon (5 p.m.) returning to roost. I don't know where they
spend the days, but this is the THIRD winter consecutive that they
have wintered here, with NO PRIOR known wintering records for the
plateau. The Selasphorus Hummer and White-crowned Sparrow continue
at SR, where there was a first Common Ground-Dove in a couple months,
and there were about 30 White-wings still around town.

Dec. 28 - Kathy and I looked at UP for the Woodcock of yesterday,
but alas, we did not refind it. There was a surprise in town on
Cypress St., a Curve-billed Thrasher in a yard! Very rare IN town.
Interesting were a couple butterflies fooled by the record heat (80° F.),
an Olive Juniper Hairstreak, and a Ceraunus Blue at SR. Also there
was a pair of Variegated Meadowhawk dragonflies in tandem (mating).

Dec. 27 - Today's highlight was the TIMBERDOODLE at UP !! For you that
don't know great old hunter's names, that is an AMERICAN WOODCOCK !!
Fortunately, it stayed put while I went back to car for camera, and let
me get a couple shots of its back before it flew! It was at the bank of
the river at first, in the Maxmilian sunflower debris, just like Snipe a
month ago. Then it flew and landed variously in the grass lawn, and over
under the liveoaks in the leaf litter. What a spectacular bird this is!!
Hopefully a picture will come out enough for you to see it....check the
bird photos page in a week or so. There was also an explosion of
butterflies in the record-breaking 80 degree heat today. A little after
11 a.m., they exploded in the yard, nearly at once when the key temperature
was surpassed. The Cloudless Sulphur was back at the hummer feeder again!
A dozen species were seen in 5-10 minutes as they appeared out of nowhere.
Bird-wise at SR there was a pair of Common Raven both of which took turns
turning upside down in flight. Then there was the Hutton's Vireo again, as
well as the Selasphorus Hummingbird.

Dec. 26 - The Red-naped Sapsucker continues here at SR, as does the
Selasphorus Hummingbird, 2 dozen Pine Siskin, and 6+ American Goldfinch.
A Spotted Towhee was new and different at SR.
Near the park in town was a small flock with 12 Brewer's Blackbirds, and
4 Brown-headed Cowbird (1 male) - unusual in winter. There are also at least
10 Starlings still present around town. There was a Pyrrhuloxia in the
Mesquite and Prickly Pear at the begining of 356. The highlight of the day
however was a BAND-CELLED SISTER that flew right past me, 4' away, but
didn't stop for photos..... too bad, would have been a new county record.
The Robin flock flew southwest over SR again at dusk - 150+ birds.

Dec. 25 - We took advantage of the low 70's temps and took a couple hour
bird outing around town, mid-day. At Bear Creek pond there were a couple
American Wigeon, and 2 (a pair) REDHEAD! Very good duck in these parts.
On Jones Cmty Rd., a kilometer south of West Sabinal, there was a male
Lark Bunting. A Chihuahuan Raven was at the north end of town. A few
Robins were out 356 along the river. A couple miles north of town, in
Bandera Co., was a great bit of activity. Finally the FOS White-THROATED
Sparrows! A couple Spotted Towhees. Bluebirds and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers
eating hackberries at 25'. Lots of Ruby-crowned Kinglets. And amazingly
the apparently FIRST EVER Edwards Plateau record of HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER !!
We had crippling point blank views, and it was photographed. Outstanding!
In the late afternoon I heard and saw bare-eyed what I was sure was a
BROWN Thrasher out back. I could not refind it with bins on. It was
obviously not a Long-billed, which so far for over 2 years all rufous
Thrashers in the SRV have been. I also had a look at a flyby Mexican
Silverspot butterfly. Very rare here. The Selasphorus Hummer continues at SR.
I'm reasonably certain I had 3 Black Phoebe at UP (saw 2 and heard another at once).
The three Pied-billed Grebes there since Oct. or Nov. continue as well.

Dec. 24 - A Turkey Vulture flew over SR, and 99.9%+ of Vultures in the SRV
from Dec. to Feb. are Blacks. Turkey Vulture are rare here in winter,
though common enough off the plateau in the brush country. A few degrees F.

Dec. 23 - The Selasphorus made its last visit at 5:45 p.m. - after sundown
and the latest I've seen it here. 5 White-winged Doves were unusual here.
The highlight was a SILVER-SPOTTED SKIPPER that flew right around me.

Dec. 22 - At SR, Selasphorus Hummer continues, as does White-crowned Sparrow,
a Chihuahuan Raven, a pair of Common Raven, and the Autumnal and Variegated
Meadowhawks continue from yesterday. 6 species of butterflies, including
at least 10 Snout, and a Queen.

Dec. 21 - Warming up after the big chill. About 66F today; 5 species of
butterflies about and 2 sps. of Dragonflies: Autumnal (in yard!) and
Variegated (which has been regular still).

Dec. 20 - RED-NAPED Sapsucker IN YARD at SR!! The rest was about the same,
except a Field Sparrow was at the bath for water.

Dec. 19 - At SR were 2 Chihuahuan Raven, and a Junco Kathy first saw
a couple days ago. It is probably a cismontanus (Northern Rockies breeders)
Slate-colored Junco, but a female Oregon is hard to rule out. Hermit
Thrush drank at bath. Hummer and White-crowned Sparrow continue.

Dec. 18 - Selasphorus Hummer and White-crowned Sparrow continue at SR.
Heard Hutton's Vireo again. Same or another???

Dec. 17 - Worked inside all day... saw the White-crowned Sparrow again.
A flock of bushtits moved through SR, with one nice BLACK-EARED beauty.
At least 6 American Goldfinches, and 30+ Pine Skiskin at sunflower seed.

Dec. 16 - A most unusual mix of precipitation fell mid-morning around
Utopia... rain, frozen rain, sleet, frozen slush, and several
absolutley positively identified SNOW flakes amongst the snow pellets!
Very cold obviously, and winter can be said to have arrived, for sure,
when snowflakes are spotted around Utopia! Saw a Clay-colored Sparrow
amongst the 150+ Chipping Sparrows outside. The White-crowned Sparrow
continues, as does the Selasphorus hummer. Dozen White-winged Dove in town.

Dec. 15 - The Scott's Oriole was heard a few times, but not seen.
The immature White-crowned Sparrow, and the Selasphorus Hummingbird
both continue at SR as well. Also heard Chihuahuan Raven again.

Dec. 14 - Astounding was a SCOTT'S ORIOLE that came in to the yard
just before sundown! They are not supposed to be here in mid-Dec.!
Another adult PINE Warbler was seen, at Uvalde at the City Park on Hwy 90.

Dec. 13 - Our Chipping sparrow flock at SR is now 150+ birds. There was
one immature White-crowned Sparrow amongst them today - a new arrival.
A couple American Goldfinch were at the sunflower seed tube. In town
there are still some White-winged Doves (dozen+-), and out 356 I saw
the FOS CEDAR WAXWINGS, about 9-10 of them. My favorite bird of the day
was the adult PINE WARBLER in the front yard! 2 Black Phoebe are at UP.

Dec. 12 - Well the Selasphorus Hummingbird continues at SR, with its
green mottling on its sides amongst the rufous, whatever it is...
But I have not seen the Anna's since Friday the 9th, a 7 day wonder.

Dec. 11 - Twas the day of the RED-NAPED Sapsucker! The HY (hatch year -
or immature) female on the grounds at Utopia on the River continues.
This bird first found Nov. 6. Then, the HY female at UP first found Nov. 24
is also still present, PLUS we found a HY male at UP too! Three
Red-napes in a day in these parts is unheard of. Especially within a
couple miles of river. How many are around really? Of course there has
been no constant thorough winter coverage is these SW plateau canyons ever.
But, the first winter here (03-04) I saw many Yellow-bellied only. The
second winter (04-05) many Yellow-bellied only, except a spring migrant
ad.male Red-Nape in Feb. at UP. This fall I have seen few Yellow-bellied,
and now 3 Red-napes. The only thing the same is change. Dynamics.
It is OK not to know what it means, yet critical to record what it is.
What is going on will become evident over time, from good record keeping.
The other big event of the day was the FOS PURPLE FINCH finally, at SR!
Other things around included Black Phoebe, Green Kingfisher, Blue Jay,
Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Pyrrhuloxia (down 354), and 30 Pine Siskin.
Yesterday's male Cinnamon Teal at UP was gone - a one day wonder.

Dec. 10 - What a difference a day makes: it warmed up to about 70F today!
This caused me to venture out and see what has changed since the
freeze. Waterfowl were the big news of the day. I guess the open
water to the north is freezing. From the porch at SR I saw 4 Mallard,
and 4 Gadwall. Later, over at Bear Creek Pond there were 4 Gadwall
(maybe the same ones), and 6 American Wigeon. At UP there was a lone
male CINNAMON Teal in the water lillies. Finally, up 356 near the
Utopia Hill Ranch, I flushed a pair of Wood Ducks off the river.
5 species of ducks is a good day locally! The rest was the normal
suspects for the most part, except the RED-NAPED Sapsucker continues at UP.
Other things there were a Green Kingfisher, 4-5 Blue Jay, a couple
American Goldfinch, and the normal passerine flock. I heard a PINE Warbler
across the river, but couldn't see it. 6 Lark Sparrow were at the pecan
patch a couple miles+ north of town. A Chihuahuan Raven was in town.
Tallied 4 Yellow-shafted Flicker and 15+ Eastern Bluebird.
Along the river, especially at UP were lots of Meadowhawks (dragonflies):
Well over a dozen Variegated and at least 6 Autumnal.

Dec. 4-9 was a very cold period, with a major front passing on 7-8th, and
a hard freeze, with temps below 25F. Chill factors were in the low teens!
There were pretty much the same 2 continuing noteworthy birds at SR all week:
The imm. female Anna's, and ad. female Selasphorus (Rufous/Allen's) Hummingbirds.
A Common Raven flew over on Dec. 5. A very rare bird from Mexico flew
right past me in the front yard on Dec. 6, but I could not relocate it.
Without evidence (photos) it would not be believed, so I don't say nuthin'.
30 Pine Siskins were the high count at our sunflower seed tube at SR.

Dec. 3 - At SR 2 Chihuahuan Raven, still regular/near daily here.
The daily passerine flock here has, besides the Titmice and Chickadees,
a couple each of Ruby and Golden-crowned Kinglet, a Myrtle and an
Orange-crowned Warbler, and again today the (same again?) Hutton's Vireo.
The Selasphorus Hummingbird is still here. Astounding was the arrival of
a NEW Hummingbird today in the afternoon. An imm. female ANNA'S !!
Hopefully it will stay for photos. Each passerine flock along the river
has a Golden-crowned Kinglet in it. A pure Yellow-shafted Flicker was at
the Cypress St. Hackberries. Female Green Kingfisher at the 360 X-ing.
Highs about 80F, at or near record heat, but that is to change tomorrow.

Dec. 2 - a Common Raven flew over SR. Far outnumbered lately by Chihuas.

Dec. 1 - 2 dozen Pine Siskin at sunflower tube and a Caracara at SR.

Nov. 30 - Going S. over SR near dusk were at least 200 Robin.
The Selasphorus continues as do a dozen+ Siskin and 2+ Golden-crowned Kinglet.

Nov. 29 - Supply run to Uvalde, which of course entails a break from
errands for birds. A quick check of the Fish Hatchery yielded a
Solitary Sandpiper, and we heard the SEDGE WREN - still present!
The main pond is now dry, so action is currently much reduced.
In town was a flock of 8 probable Cedar Waxwings, would be FOS.
So, over to Cook's Slough for a quick check. There were 2 Solitary
Sandpipers there, quite a few of the regular expected waterfowl,
a Swamp Sparrow, 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets, and a White-eyed Vireo.
A Mexican Yellow was a good butterfly, but paled by comparison to
"point blank" looks at a BADGER !! What an awesome beast they are!
That was nearly paled by twice seeing closely and well a
Turquoise-tipped Darner (Dragonfly)! What a great place Cook's is!
On the way back on Hwy 90 just West of Knippa there were at least
30 MOUNTAIN PLOVER behind a tractor/plow on the S. side of 90.
The Selasphorus Hummingbird continues at SR (27° F. this morning).
About 20 White-winged Dove continue in town. None up here on SR.

Nov. 27 - Went down to Sabinal area for a change of scenery, and birdlife.
The brushlands are a completely different world than the plateau.
We had Cactus Wren, Curve-billed Thrasher, lots of Verdin, 4 Harris's
Hawks and 10+ Caracara. Best though was watching flocks of White-fronted
Geese go over for over a half-hour, over TEN THOUSAND of them! They were
going SE about 4 mi. SW of Sabinal. Also out there over the mesquite was
an Osprey! Nearer Sabinal along the river north of town, we had a little
flock with single Brown Creeper, Blue-headed Vireo, and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.
Our search of many barren fields for Longspurs or Mountain Plover came up
empty, but we did tally 6 each Say's Phoebe and Lark Bunting.

Nov. 26 - We finally got some much needed rain, about 1.5" I think.
I poked around some of the spots around town.... there were 3 Pyrrhuloxia
on Waresville Rd.. Quite a few Meadowlarks and sparrows out 354. There
were 3 Golden-crowned Kinglets here at SR, and the continuing Selasphorus
Hummer. The highlight of the day however was at 8:45 p.m. when I heard
a couple (at least) ROSS'S GOOSE flying overhead! A first for the valley.
The FOS local American Goldfinch were a dozen along Little Creek.

Nov. 25 - A couple Song Sparrows were at the 1050 bridge along the Sabinal.
Any passerine flock you find now, especially along the river corridor, seems
to have Pine Siskin and Golden-crowned Kinglet amongst the regulars:
Black-crested Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee and Wren, and many Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
Still a very few Lesser Goldfinch about, and NO Americans around here yet.
6 White-crowned Sparrow (all leucophrys ssp.) were down 354 by the Pecan grove.
The first large flock of Robins passed SR at 5 p.m. or so, 125 birds going SW.
A Barn Owl called at about 7 p.m.

Nov. 24 - Mostly the regular expected suspects. A female Spotted Towhee
was new at SR. Best bird was (another!) a RED-NAPED Sapsucker at UP.
The second one around right now! This also a HY bird but clearly a
different individual. At Bear Creek Pond (on 1050) were 3 American Wigeon.
In the butterfly department, an Orange-barred Sulphur was the SR highlight.
Unfortunately there was no sign of yesterday's Audubon's Oriole today.

Nov. 23 - The SOS (same old stuff) at SR: a Selasphorus & 8 Siskins.
Until 4 p.m. when outside an AUDUBON'S ORIOLE appeared 5' from me!
It seemed to be coming into the hummer feeder, but I think it
scared off. Last December besides two I found on the Uvalde CBC,
I had one at TC (4 mi. NW of town) in late Dec., so this is the
second one, second winter in a row in the Sabinal River Valley.
Prior plateau records are from spring, so this is significant.
Hutton's Vireo at SR again: been 3 weeks since one last seen (new one?).

Nov. 21 - I heard my FOS Sandhill Cranes locally this fall at SR today.
We had seen them south of Uvalde Nov. 12 though. The rest was the
regulars of late: 8 Pine Siskin, the Selasphorus Hummingbird, and
heard Chihuahuan Raven and Hermit Thrush.

Nov. 20. - Made a few stops around town. Besides the 8 Pine Siskin
at SR, there were a dozen at the Spring Branch X-ing of W.Sabinal River.
On W.Sabinal Rd. there was a White-crowned Sparrow in a mixed sps. flock,
and a calling pair of Chihuahuan Raven. Two more Chihuahuan Raven
were in town proper. All four were hunting Pecans. A couple miles
south of town I refound the RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER first seen two weeks ago,
on Nov. 6 at the same site (so possibly wintering). Also there were a
few Golden-crowned Kinglets around. A Green Kingfisher was at the
UvCo 360 river xing. The bird of the day was the WINTER WREN at UP,
the first one I've seen locally. The usual Black Phoebe was also there.
4 female Red-winged Blackbirds were on the other side of the rodeo fields,
the first around in a while. A late nearly full breeding plumaged
Lesser (Black-backed) Goldfinch was at our sunflower tube, and the
Selasphorus Hummingbird continues at SR. About 45 species were seen today,
lazily birding without major effort, in about 3-4 hours of looking
around the vicinity.

Nov. 18 - The Selasphorus hummer continues at SR. On the 13th I watched
it fly over the hill 1/3 mi East of us. Today I found it at the
Thurgoods place in their beautiful lush garden. This is a half-mile
East of our place. The green mottling on the sides and otherwise beat
up dingy appearance clearly indicated it was the same bird (plus it
is exactly where it was headed when it left here). I'd been wondering
where it was going since it only spent half of its time here at our place.
It is remarkable to find the other site the bird is hanging out at.
It's been here since mid-October so far! Biology in action folks!
Otherwise the Junco flock here is now up to 7 Slate-colored Junco with
the 80 or so Chipping Sparrows. Just at the edge of town was a Say's Phoebe,
and 12+ Vesper Sparrrow.

Nov. 17 - 8 Pine Siskin were at SR on a chilly 28+-F morning.

Nov. 16 - Woke up to 35F this a.m., finally! Four Robins stopped at SR
briefly. Also there was Pine Siskin, and even better another PINE Warbler.
The Selasphorus Hummingbird continues at SR too.

Nov. 15 - A Robin was singing early in the a.m. at SR. The Selasphorus
Hummer continues also. A Crimson Patch was also present at SR.
After most of the month 10+ degrees above normal, a major cold front
arrived in the afternoon with 30 mph winds, and a major cool down.

Nov. 14 - The ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD was last seen mid-day, on its fourth
day here! The Selasphorus Hummer continues also. Interesting was
a Killdeer calling as it flew over in the dark at 9: p.m..

Nov. 13 - A Lark Bunting was at the Sr.Ctr. in Utopia again, but I think
it different than the ones last weekend. At the Sab.River crossing on
360 there was an interesting small passerine flock that contained
the first RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH I've seen locally, a BROWN CREEPER,
and a couple Golden-crowned Kinglets amongst the Chickadees, Titmice,
and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Another Golden-crowned Kinglet was at SR.
2 White Peacock (Butterflies) were at Utopia Pk. below the spillway.
Our yard (SR) Chippy flock now has 5 Slate-colored Juncos in it.

Nov. 12 - To Uvalde for errands but a couple bird stops tossed in...
Good finds were a flock of 6 GREEN JAY at Ft. Inge, for the 3rd 'winter'
in a row. Also there were 3 Rock Wren. At the Fish Hatchery was a SEDGE WREN.
A Say's Phoebe was near Sabinal. Lots of Meadowlarks are in now.

Nov. 11 - Interesting was 5 White-fronted Goose flying over northbound
early in the a.m.. Early in the afternoon we were shocked to see a
hatch-year male ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD at our feeders. We managed a poor
digi-scoped picture of it. It fought with the Selasphorus Hummer here!
Then an hour later I saw a strikingly small Sister (butterfly). In binocs
I saw it was NOT an AZ Sister, and had striped (banded) wings. I got
a couple photos before it flew off, and later was confirmed from my photos
as a SPOT-CELLED SISTER, an "extreme So. TX only" specialty, with only
about 5 U.S. records, and obviously a new Uvalde Co. record! This is the
first one found north of the Lower Rio Grande Valley ever.

Nov. 10 - The FOS Common Grackles flew over SR - 15 in a flock fast
flying south on tailwinds with the frontal passage. A Crimson Patch
circled the house a couple times. The Hummer continues....
Seperate pairs of both Common and Chihuahuan Ravens called over SR.

Nov. 9 - The Selasphorus Hummer continues at SR. After dark a Barn Owl
called, first I've heard in months. Perhaps up on the ridge we don't
have them like down in the valley floor - they were far more regular
at TC than here at SR.

Nov. 7 - An adult Harris's Hawk soared north over SR moving up the valley.
A lone late Firefly was out after dark, fooled by the near record heat,
as are many plants and trees with flowers or leaves "re-blooming/budding".
There were 20 Starlings at UP - yech! 3 Pied-billed Grebes continue there.

Nov. 6 - Out UvCo 354 were some sparrows along the hedgerows, including
White-crowneds, Vesper, and Fields. The "ag" fields had scattered
Water Pipits, and over 130 Meadowlarks, but I dont know which type.
A couple miles south of town was a Blue-headed Vireo, and a first
winter RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER - a rare bird in these parts. A late
(adult male) Ivory-striped Sylph dragonfly was along the river.
The Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird continues at SR. About 8 Myrtle Warblers were
about at various stops today. Yesterday's Bufflehead and Lark Buntings
were gone - one day wonders - as they call them. One good butterfly
was seen: a Laviana White-Skipper at the Waresville Cemetery.
Kathy spotted the Thrasher of yesterday in town: It is a LONG-BILLED.

Nov. 5 - The Selasphorus Hummer continues at SR. It was great down in town,
where a few interesting things were seen. First, yesterday I thought I saw
a rufous Thrasher at a corner in town. Today as I drove by the same corner,
there it was again, either a Brown or a Long-billed Thrasher!
There were also still 6 White-winged Doves there at the
same corner (Jackson & Cypress) Then after we checked the Lantana patch behind
the Senior Center at the north end of town, as we pulled out a larger chunky
sparrowish thing ran around under their Yucca type plants - LARK BUNTING !!
A beautiful molting male. We left and a half-hour later came back and
found a female with it - TWO Lark Buntings! Then over at UP besides
the 3 Pied-billed Grebes and continuing White Peacock butterfly, was a
flock of 4 BUFFLEHEAD - one male and 3 female. A beautiful little
duck, male a gorgeous black and white, and the first we've seen in
the SRV. Not bad for just around town we thought. There's always
something interesting to see, if ya just get out and look.

Nov. 4 - The Selasphorus Hummingbird and single White-winged Dove are still
at SR. One Clay-colored Sparrow was in with the 60+ Chipping Sparrows and
3 Slate-colored Junco. A Yellow-shafted Flicker was in town.
Best though was the FOS White-fronted Goose over SR early in
the morning, first a flock of 120, then 50 more. Winter is coming!
Calling flocks of geese moving south is one of the "calls of the wild" to me!

Nov. 3 - Selasphorus Hummer and a White-wing Dove still at SR.

Nov. 2 - The Selasphorus Hummingbird continues at SR, along with a
Hermit Thrush, a White-winged Dove and Chihuahuan Raven. I heard the
Couch's Kingbird at UP, but best there was refinding and photographing
the White Peacock butterfly at the sunflowers below the spillway.

Nov. 1 - The FOS Hermit Thrush was at SR, along with the continuing
Hutton's Vireo and a single White-winged Dove. It was a chilly 37F in a.m..

Oct. 31 - At SR was the continuing Selasphorus Hummingbird, 2 White-winged
Dove, 4 Chihuahuan and 2 Common Raven, a Pine Siskin and a Caracara.
The best bird of the day was a butterfly, a White Peacock at UP.
It was the first I've seen sitting to study here in the SRV.
It was the 61st species of butterfly locally for the month of Oct..

Oct. 30 - Well I spoke to soon on yesterday's note, because the
Selasphorus Hummingbird is still here today - must have missed it yesterday
And now we are back up to 4 White-winged Doves here at SR this a.m..
A drive around town and a few miles north produced none though.
The bird of the day was a PINE WARBLER in the yard this morning!
Also a flock of 25 Bushtits contained 1 fully Black-eared individual.
Then at UP there was a stunning adult male Black-throated Green Warbler!
Also there was the FOS American Robin, and Kathy had a quick look
at a Vireo that got away. Here at SR the Hutton's Vireo continues.

Oct. 29 - At UP the 2 COUCH'S Kingbirds continue, which I suspect are the
same two that have spent the last 2 winters here, this being the 3rd!
Also there were a couple good butterflies: TWO Soldiers (Eresimus)
at once on Maxmillian Sunflower, and the FOS Tailed Orange.
The best bird of the day (as of 2:30 p.m.) was a flyover calling
(good thing) CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR at SR, about 9 a.m..
It gave both the finchy je-jive call and a couple kittle-kittle notes.
1-2 White-winged Dove remain at SR. Over 20 Monarchs passed by SR.

Oct. 28 - The Selasphorus Hummer is still here for the a.m., as were
now just 2 White-wings. We had to make a supply run to Uvalde, so
checked out the Fish Hatchery, which always has surprises... and
didn't let us down. The main pond is nearly dry, with lots of
mudflats, and consequently, shorebirds - sandpipers! The best find
was 2 STILT Sandpipers, the first I've seen in Uvalde Co. (photos).
Other things there were 30+ Greater Yellowlegs, 18 Wilson's Snipe,
4 Solitary, 48 Least and 2 Western Sandpipers, Marsh Wren, Song Sparrow,
and Common Yellowthroat. A quick check of Cook's Slough produced a
Pine Siskin, a tardy Indigo Bunting, and the regulars like Least Grebe,
Long-billed Thrasher, Green Kingfisher. Loads of ducks were at both
places including the FOS (8) Ring-necked Ducks at the Hatchery.

Oct. 27 - The FOS Spotted Towhee was here in the yard (SR), a female.
The Allen's continues, as do 3 White-winged Doves. 4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
at once was a wave. Interesting was a northbound flyover of 4 Barn
Swallow, and one N.Rough-winged Swallow.

Oct. 26 - Down to 3 White-wings today here in the SR yard. the Selasphorus
Hummer continues. 8 Pine Siskin were here and a Chihuahuan Raven.
Most exciting though was a PINK-SIDED JUNCO, the first I've seen
in the Utopia area, and surely rare here. It was a one day wonder.
Most claimed out of the normal range are imm. female Oregons, and
it is commonly mis-ID'd.

Oct. 25 - WOW !! A mighty early chill here with about 34 F in the a.m. !!!
The Selasphorus Hummer continues, as does the White-crowned Sparrow. 8 White-
wings left. A Ruby-throated Hummer showed up for a while today.
At the Medical Center Lantana was an Erichson's White Skipper which flew
off before I could get back from car with camera! Western Pyagmy Blue
was at the UP Figfruit. Around town and the house: 28 sps. of butterflies today!

Oct. 24 - The Selasphorus Hummingbird continues at SR. The White-winged Dove flock
there is now down to a dozen (100+ two weeks ago). The HUTTON'S Vireo is still
cruising through the yard occasionally. The FOS White-crowned Sparrow
here was an immature. Other sparrows in the yard were Field, Clay-colored,
Lark, Chipping, Rufous-crowned, plus a Slate-colored Junco. Twas a chilly
43 F in the am after the frontal passage last night.

Oct. 23 - At SR a treat was a male Pyrrhuloxia at the seed fest in the a.m..
The 5 Pine Siskins were on the ground under the sunflower feeders. The
White-winged Dove flock was 14. There was one Ruby-throated and Selasphorus
Hummingbird still in the a.m., only the Allen's in the p.m.. The Chipping
Sparrow flock is now 80+ birds! A couple Myrtle warblers passed over.
We checked Cypress Hollow and there was nice flock of birds there, which
included the FOS Spotted Towhee, a juvenile (1st winter) White-eyed Vireo,
and the highlight of the day, a DUSKY FLYCATCHER! Unfortunately I could not
get a photo of it, but we watched it for at least 5 minutes. The flock there
also had 6+ Ruby-crowned Kinglet, with Chickadees and Titmice. Another front
is passing this afternoon, and this one will bring the first real cold air down,
with temps in the low 40's overnight. At dusk a kettle of 200 Black Vultures
came up SR, and after gaining altitude tacked north west toward roost sites.

Oct. 22 - The Junco continues at SR from yesterday. 3 Myrtle Warblers passed over,
as did a Caracara, and a Golden-fronted Woodpecker, rare on SR. The Selasphorus
Hummingbird continues, and I may have seen the Rufous early in the a.m., but
it was not present in the afternoon. A couple Ruby-throats continue. The
White-wing Doves numbered only 20 this a.m.. Butterfly activity is crashing
fast, but there were TWO Crimson Patch in the yard today. Only a couple
dozen Monarch, 5 Queen, 1 Lg.Org.Sulphur, besides the regulars ....

Oct. 21 - The FOS Junco (Slate-colored) was at SR, and another was near the
dump on 357 (so two total). A Meadowlark sps. was also on 357, that was
probably a Western. The tailless Selasphorus and a RUFOUS Hummingbirds continue
as do 3-4 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. The Chipping Sparrow flock is now 50+, but
the White-winged Dove flock was down to 25. An Audubon's and two Myrtle
Warblers passed SR. Amongst butterflies were 2 dozen Large Orange Sulphur,
8 Cloudless Sulphur, the Mestra was out back again, and a Silver-spotted
Skipper bolted past.

Oct. 20 - Now 5 PINE SISKIN are about here at SR. The RUFOUS and Selasphorus sp.
Hummingbirds continue with 3-4 Ruby-throateds. HUTTON'S Vireo still present.
A homogenous flock of 6 Audubon's Warblers passed through. Chipping Sparrow
flock now 40+, nice with Field and Clay-colored in same binoc field of view.
2 Common Ground-Dove, Lincloln's Sparrow still, and 50 White-wing Doves left.
Arizona Sister and Common Mestra in the yard, and about 50 Monarchs passed.

Oct. 19 - RUFOUS and Selasphorus sps. Hummingbirds continue at SR, as does HUTTON'S Vireo.
Giant White, Orange-barred Sulphur and probable Florida White were at SR.

Oct. 18 - The FOS Pine Siskin flew over SR calling, twice. Audubon's Warbler,
Common Ground-Dopve, Lincoln's Sparrow continue there. A male Scissor-tailed
Flycatcher passed by. Monarch numbers about 6-800.

Oct. 17 - The RUFOUS and Selasphorus sps. Hummingbirds continue at SR, along with
about 5 Ruby-throats left. A group of 3 Pyrrhuloxia was good for the yard
bird list. There were at least 3 Yellow-rumped Warbler, the HUTTON'S Vireo
again, and the first Field Sparrow here in months (though they nest nearby).
Turkey was gobbling in the early morning. Giant White and Orange-barred
Sulphur also continue at SR. Monarch count was about a thousand.

Oct. 16 - The imm. male Selasphorus sps. and RUFOUS Hummingbirds continue at SR.
They have called back and forth to each other and vocal differences are obvious.
Incredible was a flock of 40 Shoveler that bolted south over SR.
The Chipping Sparrow flock is now 30 birds, and amognst them are
a dozen Clay-colored Sparrows. A Lincoln's is in the weed patch I keep.
A kettle of 10 Chihuahuan Raven moved over SR, and a southbound kettle of
10 Turkey Vulture had a Swainson's Hawk with them. White-winged Dove count
down to about 60, from 120 on 10/9. Weird was a single male Bronzed Cowbird
in the "yard". Monarch count was about 2250 with many Queens amongst them.
Also Painted Lady, Buckeye, and Snout are moving south in numbers too.
Then there are butterflies from the south that penetrate north in the fall
and today there were 50 Large Orange Sulphur, 2 dozen Cloudless Sulphur,
another Giant White, and Orange-barred Sulphur at SR.

Oct. 15 - The Monarchs continue, with counts of 100 in 20 seconds, and
roughly per minute at SR again from 9-10 a.m.. Numbers were much lower
after the initial lift off. Surely 10,000++ passed over the day though.
Some serious scince took place at SR also with a Scissor-tailed flycatcher
watched for an hour, during which it caught and ate 20 (TWENTY) wasps!
Mostly Mud Daubers. The sparrow flock at the seed pile today had
10 (TEN) Clay-colored Sparrows, a dozen plus Chipping Sparrows,
and an incredible hybrid WHITE-THROATED X CHIPPING Sparrow !!!!
6+ Ruby-throats continue, as does the tail-less Selasphorus sps. Hummingbird.
A flock of 9 Eastern Bluebird up high going south was migrants.

Oct. 14 - MONARCHS !! From 10 a.m. to noon about 100 per minute were
visible over SR going due south, soaring mostly, many up very high,
and only visible when scanning with my binocs. Probably TEN THOUSAND
passed in that couple hours right here. At 6 p.m. the number was
about one thousand per hour here at SR. In town there was about
1 per minute going down Main St.. Amonst them at SR were many Dragonflies,
and 4 southbound Kestrels, probably picking off dragons whenever
they had the need! One Audubon's Warbler besides a couple warblers
that shot past too fast. Plus 3 Ruby-crown Kinglet, 7 Ruby-throated Hummer
and the continuing tailless Selasphorus sps. Hummingbird.

Oct. 13 - The nearly tail-less Selasphorus Hummer continues at SR, and I
continue to believe more that it is an ALLEN'S Hummingbird based on several
calls I have been able to hear several time now. The tail feathers we would
need to collect to prove it are missing! Isn't that funny !?!
The Chippy flock is now 20 birds - doubled overnight! Here we go with them.
About 7 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds continue at the five feeders up.
A migrant Dickcissel is getting near tardy up here, and a GOLDEN-CROWNED
Kinglet was out back for the second this fall (first 10/10) already.

Oct. 12 - In the a.m. the immature female Rufous Hummingbird continued at SR.
It left and in the p.m., an imm. male Selasphorus Hummer, nearly tailless,
showed up, which sounds like an ALLEN'S to me. Unfortunately no visual
assesement of a key feature, THE TAIL FEATHERS, are present to judge !
Be my luck  :)   :) !
The best stuff of the day was during a supply run to Uvalde, a brief stop
at the fish hatchery there..... We saw and miraculously got a photo of
a very rare locally FORSTER'S TERN in Uvalde County! It flew by once,
for less than 4 seconds, but that was enough for documentation. It is not
on the great Uvalde County list (2000) by Blankenship, Osborne, and Wiedenfeld.
Sometimes ya just get lucky! Funny how it happens more the more you are out there.
Also there was a Ringed Kingfisher juvenile (rarely seen plumage/age class),
and lots of Egrets in the receeding water of the main pond. And the muddy edge
attracted shorebirds! 8 Avocet, 5 juvenile Long-billed Dowitchers,
4 solitary Solitary Sandpipers, 6 Greater Yellowlegs, 20 Least and 4 Western
Sandpipers. Also there was Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler, 2 Indigo Bunting,
3 Nashville Warblers, and 10 Lincloln's and 6 Savannah Sparrows. The usual
Verdin, Cactus Wren, etc.. It is a GREAT birding place folks!!!
And there were 2 Shoveler, 2 Green-winged, 35 Blue-winged and 2 Cinnamon Teal!
Waterfowl! Another much needed sign of fall and winter!
Add Wigeon at Cook's Slough, and a Black-crowned Night-Heron too.
Back at SR after dark there were 2 Poor-will and E.Screech Owls calling.

Forster's Tern
Forster's Tern - near Uvalde (at Fish Hatchery) 10/12/05

Oct. 11 - Another inch of rain we needed badly.   6 Chihuahuan Raven
at SR. Also a Selasphorus Hummingbird arrived, which looked and sounded
like a Rufous, an immature female. The ChippingSparrows are now 10.
At UP were the TWO COUCH'S Kingbirds with 6 Scissor-tails.

Oct. 10 - About an inch of rain, maybe 1.5", at SR anyway, during which
I watched over 150 Barn Swallows flying NE up the valley low and fast.
More major post -frontal movement obvious so we check around town. At SR were
5 Chihuahuan Raven were in a kettle calling, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-crowned
Kinglet, Orange-crown Warbler and 3 Nashville Warbler continue here.
Perhaps 7-8 Ruby-throated Hummers still, all look like immature males.
(Plus their behavior makes you think they must be immature males too ;) )
The House Finch count at the sunflower tube is two dozen (!) and the
number of Lesser Goldfinches is about 18 ! They're killin' me   :)  :) !
The best FOS of the day was a Golden-crowned Kinglet at UvCo 354 Pecan patch.
The biggest flock of migrant warblers found locally was on the grounds
of Utopia on the River. A single fast-moving group of a dozen Nashville,
and one Wilson's Warblers, and 4 Ruby-cronwed Kinglets was interesting.
Elsewhere around town there were House Wren and Lincoln's Sparrows everywhere.
At UP a fall flock of 35 Starling was the biggest I've seen here.
At least they aren't that common in summer! I saw two Kingbirds
fly off, and later one called so was a COUCH'S Kingbird. Also there at UP
were Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, 2 Lincoln's Sparrow, Ruby-crnd Kinglet,
Green Kingfisher, and Black Phoebe. At Bear Creek pond were 7 Blue-winged Teal
male Vermilion Flycatcher and a Belted Kingfisher. There were a total of
3 Flickers seen or heard at the stops, including the first Red-shafted.
IT'S FALL !!!!

Oct. 9 - Post-frontal movement continues (you can hear migrants
outside at night). At SR there was an Orange-crowned Warbler,
2 Nashville Warblers (one had to be western ridgwayi subspecies),
and a Tennessee Warbler. Plus an Indigo Bunting, and then a Northern
Harrier (was aka Marsh Hawk) migrated over going S. Most exciting was
I think finally getting poor flight only shots of an Orange-barred
Sulphur, one of the prettiest (and kinda rare up here) butterflies.
The White-winged Dove flock at our seed and the roost here is still 120+!
Can't afford to feed them much longer, glad they're goin' south soon!
At least the hummers are nearly gone so the sugar bill is down after five
months of it being ridiculous! The Chippys replace the White-wings.

A way down south in the county at Knippa, Bob Rasa reports a
Green Jay in his yard. Of course the last two years they staged
their first-ever mulitple individual winter invasions into the Uvalde
area, and it appears we can expect them again this winter.

Oct. 8 - An awesome cool clear 55 degree a.m. with clearly a
large bird movement with the vacuum "behind the front". Here at SR
was a couple Chihuahuan Raven, a FOS Vesper Sparrow, Ruby-crowned
Kinglet, at least 4 Ruby-throats still, Lincoln's Sparrow,
and an Indigo Bunting. So we made a few stops around Utopia
to see wht kind of post-frontal movement there was. At UP there
was a WILSON'S SNIPE (formerly called Common Snipe) on the far bank.
The couple Pied-billed Grebes continue and may spend the winter.
One Green Heron still in the lilies, and in the oaks, single
Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Nashville and Orange-crowned Warblers.
Along UvCo 356 there were single Ruby-crown Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher,
House Wren, Savannah and 4-5 Clay-colored Sparrows.
On 354 there was a Pyrrhuloxia, around town there were fifteen
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and 4 Chihuahuan Raven. Whilst nothing major,
the movement and change of fall is far more apparent when one
is tuned into the birds. There was no denying it was fall today.

Oct. 7 - The cold air part of the front came through overnight,
giving us the first sub-50 degree temps since April I think!
The low was about 48 and it was cool and drizzling with a
high of only 55 ! It felt sooooo good! You could hear the
whooshing of the collective sighs of relief up and down the valley.
The Kestrel pair that showed up at SR yesterday continues, and
seemingly about half a dozen Ruby-throated Hummers continue too.
Note our Chipping Sparrows flock now numbers 5-6 birds (this will
skyrocket quickly - good thing the white-wings leave as they come in).

Oct. 6 - The first real front of the fall passes this day, with
winds turning to the north and a high temp of 77! Finally!!
There were about 6-8 Ruby-throats around all day. Generally, whatever
migrants that were around left with the front, and just about no
new ones were seen. Two Kestrels & 4 Chipping Sparrows were at SR.
A couple warbler flight and chip notes were heard.

Oct. 5 - An imm. Black-throated Green Warbler spent the whole day
around the yard. A very bright female Indigo Bunting was here as well.
At UP there was 1 Yellow Warbler, 1 Blue Grosbeak, 1 Lincoln's Sparrow,
and on the power lines around the fields outside the park were
42 Scissor-tailed Flycatchers. A fall roosting flock. There were
two good dragonflies at SR today, a male 12-spotted Skimmer, and
a Giant Darner. Many Tramea (Saddlebags) and Green Darners are passing.
About 8 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds continue, probably all imm. males.

Oct. 4 - At SR was a FOS Yellow-shafted Flicker. In the continuing
department was a sub-ad.male Scott's Oriole singing, an imm. male
Calliope Hummingbird (day 2), a juv. Blue Grosbeak, and there were
3 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and a Rufous/Allen's Selasphorus Hummer.
A rufous thrasher (Brown or Long-billed) was on SR a mile+ from here.

Oct. 3 - more migrants today with 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a juvenile
Blue Grosbeak, an imm. male CALLIOPE Hummingbird, and the FOS
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle/Audubon's) of fall (much earlier than
last years FOS here). About 10 Ruby-throats continue, mostly
imm. males. One imm. male Black-chin seen is first in weeks.
A dragonfly flew across the yard that looked exactly like a
Black-winged Dragonlet, at very close range.

Oct. 2 - There were TWO second-year male Scott's Orioles singing a little
here at SR, and 3 or 4 Chipping Sparrows. Still very hot - 94° F.

Oct. 1 - A number of migrants continue to pass at SR amongst which were
Canada Warbler, Nashville Warbler, and an apparent male Virginia's Warbler.
The FOS Ruby-crowned Kinglet was quickly followed by a calling
Hutton's Vireo! One Barn Swallow and about 10 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
continue. Down in town there was a Common Raven, and at 3 crossings
on the Sabinal River were a FOS House Wren, a couple Orange-crowned Warblers,
a FOS Lincoln's Sparrow, and a flock of 4 Nashville and 1 Wilson's Warbler.
But the highlight of the day was early at SR when a RINGED KINGFISHER
flew over about 300' up (so abt. 1800' altitude) going south!

Sept. 30 - The second year Scott's Oriole sings still, and a Dickcissel
were at SR. Also there was the FOS Sharp-shinned Hawk for the year,
and Lee Haile spotted 5 Blue-winged Teal at UP.

Sept. 29 - Overnight about 4 a.m. on the 29th the first front of the fall
finally got this far south. They called it a cold front, dropping the temps
from 104 to 84, for a day. With the passing of a front at this time of
year there are always migrants birds with them. Here at SR today migrants
included Nashville Warbler, MOURNING Warbler, Common Yellowthroat,
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Catbird and a Dickcissel. The imm. male
Scott's Oriole continues singing.

Sept. 28 - The imm. male Rufous Hummer was at SR in the a.m. for day 7
but left about 9-10 a.m.. The imm. male Scott's continues there as well.
Down to about a dozen Ruby-throated Hummers left. Of butterflies at SR
there was Crimson Patch, Giant White, and a rare Mexican Silverspot.

Sept. 27 - Imm. male Rufous Hummer (day 6) and imm. male Scott's Oriole
(day 3) continue at SR. At UP were 2 migrant Pied-billed Grebes, and
two FOS Amercian (Water) Pipit. It is unfortunate to see a run over
Coot on a side street in Utopia, which obviously someone had purposely
hit and killed the obviously grounded migrant. Of butterflies, at SR a
probable Florida White was seen, and a Theona Checkerspot. A probable
Cyna Blue was in town at a Lantana Patch. Record (105F) heat continues!
Some folks around here had 107 to 109 F temps!!

Sept. 26 - The SY Scott's Oriole continues, as does the imm. male
Rufous Hummer (day 5 for him). 5 species of butterflies not seen
yesterday were seen in the yard today, for a two-day total of 40 species!
Orange-barred Sulphur, Mestra, and another Giant White were highlights.
The FOS Variegated Meadowhawk was also seen today. Record heat continues.

Sept. 25 - The SY (second year) Scott's Oriole male dropped by for a
sugar buzz. Another male Rufous Hummingbird briefly came through,
while the imm. male is on day 4 here. Ruby-throat numbers are
down to about 18 birds left. The record heat continues (about 102 at SR)
and the only benefit was 35 species of butterflies in the yard today!

Sept. 24 - The imm. male Rufous Hummer continues, while Ruby-throat
numbers are down to a couple dozen. Today's FOS's were 2 Orange-crowned
and 1 Nashville Warblers.

Sept. 23 - A (the breeder?) male Scott's Oriole was on the TV antenna.
An adult male joined the imm. male Rufous Hummingbird of yesterday,
as many or most of the Ruby-throats depart; about 40 are left today.
One Broad-winged Hawk passed over, and 125 White-winged Doves
roosted in the draw here at SR. Record heat as Rita passes to east.

Sept. 22 - A Zone-tail was at SR. The Ruby-throats are down to about
40-80, and 1 Selasphorus sps., which was photo'd.

Sept. 21 - The male Scott's was still singing, a Yellow Warbler
passed SR, as did Dickcissel. There has been major departure of hummers
the last two days, and today was perhpas only 50-100 Ruby-throats.
A Kingfisher flew up the Sabinal that looked like a Ringed to me.

Sept. 20 - Uvalde run again... At the Fish Hatchery was 8 White-faced Ibis,
and a real sign of fall coming, ducks! 90 Blue-winged, 1 male Cinnamon,
1 Green-winged Teal, 3 Shoveller, and 1 Am. Wigeon. Also there were
8 White-faced Ibis, a Couch's Kingbird, 2 Black Phoebe, 20 C.Moorhen,
2 Harris's Hawk. Probably 50 Scissor-tails on 187 going S. from Utopia
to Knippa on 90. Also 15+ Swainson's Hawks in a field N. of Sabinal.
A dozen Shrikes and a few Meadowlarks on the way also are winterers.

Sept. 19 - Another group of Orioles passed with 2 each Baltimore, Bullock's,
Orchard, and one Scott's. Perhaps the same group for 3rd day now?
200-300 Ruby-throats. Interesting was 2 Pied-billed Grebes at UP.

Sept. 18 - Probably some of the same Orioles were about in the
morning, with a couple each male and female Baltimore, a couple Bullock's,
and 4 Orchards. A male Wilson's and a Yellow Warbler came by again, and the
hummer numbers are at about 200++ Ruby-throat and one Black-chin.

Sept. 17 - At SR was male Scott's Oriole, Dickcissel, Chipping Sparrow
4 Orchard Oriole, 1 Warbler sps., a FOS Kestrel, a White-tailed Kite
(new for yard), 100-150 Ruby-throat Hummer, and late in the evening
at 7:15 a large Oriole flock moved through that had at least a dozen
Baltimore, 8 Orchard, 2 Bullock's, and a Hooded Oriole! Another
GIANT WHITE stopped in the yard long enough to be photographed for the
first Uvalde Co. documented record ever! At the 356 X-ing just N. of town
an Eastern Wood-Pewee sang both its full whistle calls and song.

Sept. 16 - About 4 warblers were about the yard including one Yellow
and one Wilson's and a couple got away. One Calliope Hummer continues
(day 4) with probably 60-100 Ruby-throats and a couple Black-chins.
At UP was a Dickcissel, Indigo Bunting, an American Redstart!
Also, there was a rare WHITE PATCHED Skipper (photos.)

Sept. 15 - One Calliope remains as does the ad. fem. Rufous Hummer.
The male Scott's Oriole continues and a male Summer Tanager stopped in.
A female GIANT WHITE was in the yard, but I missed it with the net.

Sept. 14 - Got photos of one of the TWO Calliope Hummers here at SR.
The ad fem. Rufous came by, as did the male Scott's Oriole.
At least 4 Upland Sandpipers called going south after dark.

Sept. 13 - TWO CALLIOPE Hummingbirds at once at the feeders here!
Also the ad.female Rufous and the possible Allen's continue, with about
50++ Ruby throats and 10 or less Black-chins. The White wing Dove flock
is over 80 birds here. A Caracara flew by, and an imm male Summer Tanager
passed through. At UP there was a White Angled-Sulphur. 2 Poorwill at dark.

Sept. 12 - A male Scott's Oriole came around - was it our breeder
hanging out one last while before leaving the area for the year?
The possible Allen's continues as does the ad. female Rufous.
A Dickcissel also was at SR.

Sept. 11 - A dozen Starling were in town (Utopia), migrants passing
through. A Chihuahuan Raven flew over SR calling. At the hummer
feeders were 2-3 doz. Ruby-throat a dozen Black-chin, an adult female
Rufous Hummingbird, a Selasphorus sps. that seemed Allen's to me,
and there was an imm. or female Broad-tailed Hummingbird!

Sept. 10 - Had to go to Uvalde. At Ft. Inge were 2 Kiskadee, a
Ringed Kingfisher, Couch's Kingbird, Olive Sparrow and Long-billed
Thrasher. Migrants there included 4 Yellow Warbler, and 3 each of
Baltimore and Bullock's Orioles. Then over at the Fish Hatchery,
were 12 White-faced Ibis, 2 Baird's and 3 Solitary Sandpipers,
and Comet Darner again.

Sept. 9 - SR in a.m.: a second year (sub-ad.) male HOODED Oriole
ate at the hummer feeders, chattered a lot, and even sang a little.
Dickcissel, Yellow Warbler, Blue-gray Gnatcat and male Summer Tanager.

Sept. 8 - The SY male Scott's Oriole came by at SR again. Both an
adult male (dull) and imm. Painted Bunting were present. An Upland
Sandpiper flew over calling at dark. Still no longspur return.

Sept. 7 - No longspur today despite extensive looking ... oh well,
another one hour wonder that without photos would be laughed at!
At SR there was my first yard Loggerhead Shrike on the unhooked up
TV antenna; also Dickcissel,imm. Painted Bunting, Summer Tanager.

Sept. 6 - I'll save the best for last, but at SR there was an
imm. Black and White Warbler, and a Yellow Warbler to boot!
The mind-blowing find was at 6:30 while sitting on the porch a
sparrowish seedeater appeared out of nowhere and upon getting it
in my binocs at 30', it was clearly a male SMITH'S LONGSPUR
in nearly full breeding plumage! A bird so far out of its
expected place that no rare bird records committee would ever
accept it without irrefutable photographs. Which I think I got!
I will get them up on the birdphoto page as soon as I get them back!

Sept. 5 - The White-wing Dove flock was 75 strong and a Chipping
Sparrow dropped in. A sub-adult (second year type) male Scott's
Oriole came by. Wonder if it was the one here in summer?

Sept. 4 - I heard a chi-dit, chi-dit call several times at SR.
There are two choices: Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Broad-billed Hummingbird.
It is awfuly early for a Kinglet here, and I could not find one.
It was probably the hummer. I did see an imm. female type Selasphorus
(Rufous/Allen's) but that was not the chi-dit.

Sept. 3 - At SR was a Great-crested Flycatcher, 2 Blue-gray Gnatcats,
a Dickcissel, a Chipping Sparrow, a warbler that was probably a
Mourning, an adult female RUFOUS Hummingbird for day 3, and
a BROAD-TAILED Hummingbird for day 2, besides loads of Ruby-throats
and Black-chins. A Mexican Silverspot was a butterfly highlight here.
I had to go to Uvalde and there at the Fish Hatchery I saw a couple
of WHITE-FACED IBIS, the first Kestrel I've seen this fall, and a
male CINNAMON Teal in eclipse plumage in with 6 Blue-winged Teal.
Comet Darners were at the Hatchery and one was watched ovipositing!
Ft. Inge had lots of Orchard Orioles and Dickcissels, and Bell's Vireo.
The trip down the SRV from Utopia produced several Loggerhead Shrikes
(as did the flatlands near Sabinal), and best, an adult HARRIS'S HAWK
about 5 miles south of Utopia on 187, rare in the valley proper here.

Sept. 2 - The hummer show continues to be fantastic, especially
at the dusk fill-up time. A couple dozen Ruby-throats include
4 adult males at once, about a dozen Black-chins are all
non-adult males (they're gone already). Tonight at the feeder fest
the adult female Rufous Hummingbird was still around, and
there was a female or immature BROAD-TAILED Hummingbird,
the second here this fall. Remember to keep the feeder full
and cleaned every few days, especially if they're in the sun.
Most unusual today was finding at least 2 Comet Darners,
(a spectacular Dragonfly) at UP. I discovered them in
Uvalde a little over a month ago, which was the first ever in
Uvalde Co., and constituted nearly a 200 mile range extension with
the nearest known from Travis Co. (Austin) prior to that.

Sept. 1 - Quite a few migrants passed SR including an adult female
Black and White Warbler, 2 Blue-gray Gnats, a Dickcissel, and a
Chihuahuan Raven. Hummingbirds are thick with nearly two dozen
Ruby- throated, half as many or less Black-chinned, and 2 rarer
species today, an imm. Calliope, and an adult female Rufous for
four species of hummingbirds at our feeders today!

Aug. 31 - An imm. female Vermilion Flycatcher was at SR. A second
White-angled Sulphur (ph.) was in town at the Red Turks's Cap patch
just north of the intersection of 187 and 1050. A dead Imperial Moth
was on Main St. in town. They're yellow and about 5" across!

Aug. 30 - At SR were a few migrants: Painted Bunting, 2 Orchard
Orioles, Summer Tanager and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. At UP I had a
Mexican Fritillary on my finger for a minute (no pix though). A Soldier
(Eresimus) (a butterfly) was also at SR. Anyone notice all the Snout
Butterflies? That's the medium sized ones there're tons of now.

Aug. 29 - At SR The White-tipped Dove stopped in early in a.m.,
(but I haven't seen it since yet). A Cooper's Hawk took a
White-winged Dove out back, and the 75 strong flock has
been mostly elsewhere, or half as big since. A Spicebush Swallowtail
was at UP, and a Zone-tailed Hawk over town as usual.

Aug. 28 - A bit over an inch of rain early in a.m. was not forcast!
Blue-gray Gnatcats, Summer Tanager, and Orchard Oriole were at SR.
At UP was an imm. Painted Bunting & a Summer Tanager pair.
At the 356 X-ing was Yellow-throated Vireo, Summer Tanagers,
Indigo Bunting, Eastern Wood-Pewee, and others. Best there though
was getting photos of a new Bandera Co. butterfly, the Soldier, or
Eresimus, a relative of the Monarch. I reported them in fall
03, but the butterfly record folks won't take a sight record of
them. So I finally got the pictures to prove it !! I wanted that one!
After dark a GREEN HERON flew over SR calling to get on the "yard list".
(They nest at UP). A Lesser Nighthawk went over again at dusk.

Aug. 27 - An adult Swainson's Hawk passed over SR.

Aug. 26 - The best thing today was a very rare (here) White-angled
Sulphur in town, which I caught. This is the more common cousin of
the Yellow-angled I took the dive over a few days ago.

Aug. 25 - Tippy the WHITE-TIPPED DOVE showed again for the first
time in 7 days, and extended its "stay" to nearly 12 weeks!
Migrants passing SR included Orchard Oriole, Dickcissel, Blue-gray
Gnatcatcher, and Blue Grosbeak. There are 75 White-winged Doves
eating seed here !! Mr. BOBCAT strolled by at dusk.

Aug. 24 - Major increase in hummers, from few to many overnight.
A 7"+ GIANT CENTIPEDE on foot was heart starting.

Aug. 23 - I was the guy face down in the P.O. parking lot,
after swinging my net while running full speed and missing a
Yellow-angled Sulphur (big, pretty, rare) butterfly!

Aug. 22 - An immature male Rufous Hummingbird showed up at SR,
which stayed through the 23rd. It was the 3rd Rufous this month (at least).

Aug. 21 - A flock of 4 Scott's Orioles passed by SR.

Aug. 20 - A Double-crested Cormorant was at the pond on 1050
about 4 miles west of 187 (Bear Creek Ranch). A family of
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks raised young there too.

Aug. 20 - IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT UTOPIA PARK - For birding it now
stinks! The 2 acres at the north end where there was understory
along the river is now fenced off and the undergrowth is being
removed. This is where ALL the birds hung out (and me) due to
it being the only public access area with natural riverside undergrowth.
It is being butchered and there is no access now. After spending
hundreds of hours in these 2 acres, being fenced out, and watching
it be destroyed is heartbreaking to say the least. Take this site
off of your "must stop and see list", as you will be disappointed
in the lack of birds now. To the Utopia Park Board: YOU STINK !
You may still be able to see Green Kingfisher in the area, but
it will likely become a fee area, which for typical short birding
"stop and check", will be prohibitive. It's a sad day in Utopia!

Aug. 17 - At SR an adult female Rufous Hummingbird slugged it out
with the Ruby-throats and Black-chins successfully. It stayed
3 days to the 19th. A Poorwill calling at 10 p.m. was the
first whisper out of them in 20 days. The last week almost
every night Upland Sandpiper could be heard after dark.

Aug. 16 - A nice male Orchard Oriole passed by at SR, and an
early Dickcissel too. Down in Uvalde at the Fish Hatchery there
continue to be small numbers of sandpipers stopping at the ponds,
but really exciting was a BLACK TERN that stopped for a couple
of minutes! There are NO gulls OR terns listed on the Uvalde
County checklist (Blakenship 2000).

Aug. 15 - Besides the Lesser Nighthawk going over at dusk at SR again,
the amazing highlight was a flock of 120 WILSON'S PHALAROPE that
blasted over going south at high speed at dusk! Good yard bird!

Aug. 14 - A flock of 20 Bushtits at SR had one fully black eared
individual in it. With all the juveniles the Lark Sparrow flock
at the seed pile is now 20+ birds.

Aug. 13 - Migrants at SR included Orchard Oriole, Chipping Sparrow
and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Also there was a flyover Black-bellied
Whistling Duck, and one each Common and Lesser Nighthawk.

Aug. 12 - Besides a couple calling Cuckoos (Yellow-billed) and
"Tippy", the highlight was an imm. BROAD-TAILED Hummingbird at
a feeder!

Aug. 11 - Besides "Tippy" the White-tipped Dove, at SR we had passage
White-eyed Vireo, Summer Tanager, juv. female HOODED ORIOLE, Blue-gray
Gnatcatcher and Yellow-billed Cuckoo. It's MIGRATION ! One Upland Sandpiper
was heard at dark, going south of course. 6 were heard yesterday, 8/10.

Aug. 7 - Ad.female Black & White Warbler at SR. White-tip Dove again too.
Highlight was an imm. male CALLIOPE Hummingbird that came in a few times!

Aug. 6 - Orchard Oriole at SR, and a male Painted Bunting there too.
Is it the same resident male last seen July 27 or a migrant?

Aug. 5 - An ad.male Painted Bunting at Cypress Hollow. 2 Green ones
here at SR, where the White-tipped Dove showed again.

Aug. 4 - Last day I saw the last Scott's Oriole of the summering
troop here at SR - an imm. (AHY) male.

Aug. 2 - An adult male RUFOUS Hummingbird showed up here at SR, only
to be chased off by both Ruby-throat and Black-chin Hummers!

August 1 - A stunning adult male hybrid Lazuli X Indigo Bunting was at SR!
Along with the green Painted Buntings and Blue Grosbeaks, nice color show!
The nightly nighthawk (Common) show was 6 birds and appeared to be young
chasing adults. There were a couple dozen Black-chinned and at least
4 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at the feeders.

July 30 - White-tipped Dove still (briefly before rain) at seed!
5 Blue Grosbeaks at seed, including two ad.males - WOW !!

July 28 - Bob Rasa went after the sandpipers at the Fish Hatchery
and saw a Black Tern there! Here at SR a mixed up Black & White
Warbler was singing, and flew off gaining altitude, to the NORTH!
A couple Orchard Orioles moved over SR, and there were about
40 Black-chinned and 3+ Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, including
the first ad.male Ruby-throat of the fall.

July 27 - Uvalde Fish Hatchery had 7 species of Shorebirds, a
good total for the wader challenged county. Their fall
migration has begun! There were Upland Sandpipers flying over
SR that evening too. The days highlight though was finding
COMET Darner (Dragonflies) at Cook's Slough. This turned out
the be the last day the male Painted Bunting that had been
fattening up for a month on millet, was seen. Gone till April!

July 25 - Besides the White-tipped Dove again, the main event
was at least a thousand (amaybe 2k) Wandering Glider Dragonflies
passing over SR the last hour or so of light.

July 24 - We missed the Green Jays again.... Yeah Green Jays!
We heard through the grapevine (OK, a little birdie told us)
about a pair of Green Jays in the Sabinal River Valley, north
of Utopia a couple miles in Bandera County. Having talked to
the folks myself, I have little doubt they are seeing a pair
of Green Jays. As soon as I see them and hopefully get a picture
we'll post it here.... Would probably be the furthest north
known pair ever!?! There was an imm. male Ruby-throated
Hummingbird at SR.

July 23 - An imm. male Golden-cheeked Warbler moved through,
along with 3 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers at SR. Many fewer
Black-chinned Hummingbirds.....seems to have been a
post-Emily blowout...

July 22 - 2 Great Blue Heron going south over SR are migrants.
Zone-tailed Hawk and WHITE-TIPPED DOVE continue at SR.
UP is dead quiet, with NO breeders singing anymore !!
One Great-crested Flycatcher was still there, and the
usual Green Kingfisher. At dusk at SR were the "same for the
last 3 months" nightjars calling: Common Nighthawk,
Chuck-will's-widow (only 2), and Poor-will (only 2).
It was the last night I heard the Chucks and Poors.

July 21, 11:30 a.m. A GRAY-BREASTED MARTIN circled over SR
for a minute, just 60' overhead. I got excellent views.
It is less believable (to the "official experts") than the continued
existence of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker! A seperate page
is being built for the description and details that will
be up in the very near future.

July 21 - ANOTHER migrant shorebird! Two days in a row!
Single migrant shorebirds! Nearly constituting a wave!
(Here in the SRV where fall shorebirds are about absent).
This mornings was a calling SOLITARY SANDPIPER flying
south over SR (a great yard list bird!). Between yesterday
and early this a.m., we got about a half inch of Emily rain.
Rufous-crowned Sparrow singing at seed pile.

July 20 - The FOS fall migrant shorebird up here was at UP on the
dam/spillway: Spotted Sandpiper, of course. A Black Phoebe there was
the first in months. They don't nest there, probably due to
people pressure in summer. They do nest at the next crossing
bridge, a half-mile to the north though. A JUVENILE Chipping
Sparrow showed up at the seed today at SR, undoubtedly a
locally bred bird. The WHITE-TIPPED DOVE came in during the rain.
The fourth and fifth juvenile Vermilion Flycatchers to pass by
in the last 5 days came through, all moving South. At dusk I
heard the regulars but in lesser numbers: Two each Chucks and
Poor-wills, a single Common Nighthawk and Eastern Screech-Owl.

July 19 - Adult male Golden-cheeked Warbler in yard, with bold
neon yellow forecrown stripe, about 1 mm x 6 mm.... awesome!

July 18 - Zone-tailed Hawk has been near daily here on SR,
and around town. Must be feeding hungry young. 7 Scott's Orioles
in yard. Chuck-will's-widow flew across yard at dusk.

July 17 - The WHITE-TIPPED DOVE made an appearance late in p.m..

July 16 - An errand run to Uvalde allowed a stop at Cook's Slough
that turned up 2 Neotropic Cormorant and a Peregrine Falcon!
At Ft. Inge were the expecteds: Olive Sparrow, Long-billed Thrasher,
Bell's Vireo, Couch's Kingbird, Bank Swallow, Cave Swallow.

July 14 - another half inch of rain finally!

July 13 - RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD - imm. male, "FIRST of fall"!
Fully two weeks earlier than the first I saw last fall.

July 11 - a Canyon Towhee finally comes into the seed, and
the tyrant Ash-throated Flycatcher chases it off!

July 10 - A Golden-cheeked Warbler landed on our TV antenna! It
looked at the perch as if trying to figure out what it was,
jumped to another "branch", and didn't like it, so flew to a
real tree. A partially albinistic adult male Black-chinned
Hummingbird came to the feeder. Better though was a
female VARIED BUNTING that came to the drip bath!

July 9 - Barn Owl flew over calling headed South at 10:30p.m..
Bushtits now again back into multiple family groups. A quarter inch
of rain was the first in 6 weeks. A White-winged Dove turned up and
opened its wings to it. The end of a long dry spell!

July 7 - Amazingly, I recovered a feather (right flight) from
the juvenile WHITE-TIPPED DOVE, which is now in post-juvenile molt.

July 6 - Three freshly fledged fledgling Scott's Orioles indicate
sucess for the pair nesting here at SR.

July 5 - A stray Chipping Sparrow came through. WHITE-TIP Dove back.

July 4 - Ad. male Golden-cheekd Warbler in pre basic molt at SR.
Ad. male Yellow-throated Warbler also there, 2 miles from river,
in bone-dry Juniper/Scrub-Oak habitat! Most unusual place for it.

July 3 - Ad.female Black & White Warbler at SR.

July 2 - Along Sabinal River just north of Sabinal I heard a Vireo
singing, which I believe was a Yellow-green. Couldn't see it though!
Links to archived bird news pages below, broken into 6 month increments. Odd numbers = first half of year, even numbers second half.

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