Bird (and nature) News Archive # 6
July 1 - December 31, 2006
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

2006 - July 1 - December 31 reverse chronological order, unless you scroll to end and read from the bottom up.
Dec. 31 ~ Today Kathy and I had the great fortune to visit
Roy Heideman's place on Fisher Rd.. Roy had his Red-headed Woodpecker
"staked out" in its favorite tree for us when we got there. A beautiful
immature it is, and hopefully will stay long enough to see its head turn red.
They also have a nice adult male Pine Warbler feeding in their oaks.
Thanks Roy !!

Dec. 30 ~ In 30 minutes at SR in the yard this morning I saw
the two hummers still about of course, the Fox Sparrow,
the Hutton's Vireo came by, plus an Audubon's Oriole spent
20 minutes at the sunflower tube, cracking and eating sunflowers
like a goldfinch !! We took a cruise around to see what was new
and on W. Sabinal Rd. just west of 187 we found MOUNTAIN BLUEBIIRDS !!
There were probably 6, loosely associated with 6 Easterns.
First time we have had them in the valley.

Dec. 29 ~ The Allen's and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds continue
at SR, as does the Fox Sparrow which bathed this morning.
An adult male Northern Harrier flew over SR and landed on the hill!
Then a sub-adult male was in town. The highlight of the day though
was the RUSTY BLACKBIRD at UP, first on the dam harassing a
Black Phoebe, and then in more typical fashion tossing leaves
at waters edge, and wading into the shallows foraging.

Dec. 25 ~ Merry Christmas was blown in with the post frontal
passage "blow" which was 20-30 MPH with gusts to 40+ ! Kept
the hummingbirds at the feeders here much of the day anyway!

Dec. 24 ~ The amazing news of the day was Roy Heideman finding
an immature RED-HEADED WOODPECKER at his place !! He saw it
gathering nuts, so it may be "in for the winter." Thanks and
congratulations on a great find and "yard bird" ! WOW !
I saw an adult female Red-naped Sapsucker in my SR yard today.
And the cold wet weather drove the TWO hummingbirds back to the
feeders: the immature male BROAD-TAILED (which I hadn't seen
recently), and the adult female Allen's (which I'm sure it is now).

Dec. 22 ~ Only thing different was a single Pine Siskin at UP.

Dec. 21 ~ Always odd to see ducks over the hovel, so 8 Gadwall
were neat this a.m. at SR. AT UP there was Ringed Kingfisher,
Couch's Kingbird, Pine and Yellow-throated Warbler and 90+
Sandhill Crane (also still arriving from the north). There
are 3 Pied-billed Grebes there for a couple months now,
and "in for the winter."

Dec. 19 ~ 2 Audubon's Orioles and the Hutton's Vireo at SR
again. The Chipping Sparrow flock here is about 175 now.

Dec. 18 ~ The Fox Sparrow continues at SR as does the adult
female Allen's Hummingbird (the ad. fem. Selasphorus often cited).

Dec. 17 ~ On a whim we snuck out for a couple hours looking at
bleak barren birdless "ag" fields between Sabinal and Knippa.
There are avian prizes hidden out there, if you don't fall asleep
from boredom first. We found one very productive area over
a couple hours of searching, E. of Knippa. There was a big
beautiful adult female Harlan's Hawk, Horned Larks, a single
fly-over calling Chestnut-collared Longspur, and 250 Mountain
Plover. Also about 8 Say's Phoebe were scattered everywhere,
and large numbers of Vesper Sparrows. A tardy Scissor-tailed
Flycatcher was just south of Knippa. Hutton's Vireo still at SR.

Dec. 16 ~ Heard Audubon's Oriole outside in the afternoon at SR.
A flock of 26 White-fronted Geese passed over SR - so there are still
some "just arriving" from up north.

Dec. 14 ~ I was shocked to see an immature GOSHAWK from the porch
this afternoon circling up and soaring down/over Seco Ridge. WOW !!
There were 3 (THREE!) Ringed Kingfishers at UP this afternoon!

Sylvia Hilbig reports over the weekend, an Audubon's Oriole and an
even rarer PLUMBEOUS VIREO nearby in Bandera Co., NW of town.
Mike Overton reported Cackling and Canada Geese near Hwy.90 in the E.
part of Uvalde Co. last week. Also of interest is a couple more
Selasphorus Hummingbirds (Rufous/Allen's types) wintering in the
Reagan Wells area. Note only adult males can be identified unless
you capture the bird to measure it, or video tape it and get the tail
spread which won't always guarantee and ID, but may clinch one.

Dec. 11 ~ The immature male Broad-tailed Hummingbird is still
here at SR, as is of course the adult female Rufous/Allen's.
We made a supply run to Uvalde. There were hundreds of ducks
at Cook's Slough or Uvalde Nature Park, or whatever it is ....
Great to see some nice flocks of waterfowl besides geese in a field!!
We found a HORNED GREBE there, which is a very good bird hereabouts.

Dec. 10 ~ The Hutton's Vireo here at SR actually SANG today !!
I had a flyover calling Rusty Blackbird here early in the a.m..
Along the river at the 1050 crossing there was Couch's Kingbird,
Pine and Yellow-throated Warblers, plus Orange-crowned, Myrtle
and Audubon's, and 2 Blue-headed Vireos. Nice winter flock,
the Yellow-throated being my first sighting here between Nov.
and late Feb.. Out at the W.Sabinal cutoff just west of 187
there were 400 Robins and a couple hundred Cedar Waxwings
eating Hackberries. A female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was at
Cypress Hollow. A big flock of Chipping Sparrows has been
ranging from the feed store at the north end of town to the
P.O.. There are 150 Chippies, 5+ Fields, some Vesper and
Savannahs, and 1 Lesser Goldfinch.

Dec. 9 ~ The Merlin continues up here on SR. Down in town,
besides the great Lions Club Brisket, was an immature
Zone-tailed Hawk circling low over town. There was also
a male Red-naped Sapsucker in town, and a male Yellow-bellied
Sapsucker at UP. Also there were the regular 3 species of Kingfishers,
6 Golden-crowned Kinglets and a Brown Creeper. At the curve
a half-mile down 354 was a good sparrow flock with 30 each of
Lark, Vesper, and White-crowned, plus 10 Chippies, and some Savannahs.
In a thicket there was a White-throated, and a Long-billed Thrasher.

Dec. 8 ~ Amazingly when I was outside watching the adult female
Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird, a SECOND hummingbird showed up!
I was astounded to see it was an immature male BROAD-TAILED Hummer.
Fortunately I got identifiable photos to prove it, at this late date.
As amazing as that was, there was ice pellets at noon, and for
a good solid 15 minutes moderate SNOW here on SR !! All 3 regular
Kingfisher species were at UP; funny to see Ringed in this weather!
The bird of the day always gets away came true when twice I
flushed a bright orange sparrow in the sparrow flock outside
and never could find the bird otherwise. Surely it was a Le Conte's Sparrow.

Dec. 6 ~ Got to study the Fox Sparrow in binocs for a good time today.
A "Western Red" type or somesuch. Also present is a very Oregonish
Junco, and a Savannah Sparrow bathed and then ate alot. The
Hutton's Vireo was calling in the yard and a fair numbers of
butterflies were out after the hard freeze.

Dec. 5 ~ At UP there were 6 Blue Jay and a Couch's Kingbird.

Dec. 4 ~ About 20 F in the a.m. after the front passed yesterday!
The Fox Sparrow was still here as well as the Lesser Goldfinch,
the Merlin, 160 Robin and a Monarch.

Dec. 3 ~ Bird of the day was a FOX SPARROW at the seed pile here at
SR, my first in Uvalde Co., in 3 years now. It is not a typical
"Eastern Red" Fox Sparrow, but of the Red complex. There were also
Field Sparrow and 3 American Goldfinch here in the cold and wind.

Dec. 2 ~ Audubon's Oriole calling again at SR in the a.m..
Kathy spotted a male Northern Harrier and 2 American Goldfinches
at SR.

I received a report from Le Ann Sharp of White-tailed Kite at her
place near Blanket Creek.

Dec. 1 ~ A chilly post-frontal low 20's F this a.m.! WOW !!
At UP there were Green Kingfisher and the Ringed I hadn't seen
in a couple few weeks. Also there were a couple (Aut.) Meadowhawks
(dragonflies) there. A late Lesser Goldfinch at SR was the
I've seen here in a few weeks. Canyon Towhee was at the dump.

Nov. 30 ~ a strong front hit before dawn with 30 MPH winds
and "near-sleet" at dawn. Blew hard all day.

Nov. 29 ~ A Great Horned Owl was being dive bombed by a Cooper's
Hawk at dusk as it sat on a old broken deer stand, at SR.

Nov. 28 ~ 2 American Goldfinch flew over SR calling this a.m..
At the south edge of town (Utopia) a flock of 12 Chihuahuan Ravens
flew by in the afternoon going towards the dump maybe.

Recent reports on Texbirds told of a Red-naped Sapsucker at Garner SP,
and an Olive Sparrow near Blanket Creek (on 1050) about 10 mi.
west of Utopia. Mike Overton reported a Cassin's Vireo in
this area during fall Nature Quest earlier in Nov..

Nov. 24 ~ Rarer than the Audubon's Oriole in the yard was an...
House (English) Sparrow ! At the pond on 1050 about 6 mi. West of
town (Utopia) just after the pass there were about 50 Ring-necked Ducks.

Nov. 23 ~ Todays FOS was a Pine Warbler at the beautiful grounds of
Utopia on the River. There was a Pine Siskin at Cypress Hollow.
At SR a hundred Robin and 30 White-winged Dove were flushed from
their roosting area in the draw by the immature Merlin, near sundown.

Nov. 22 ~ How dry is it? It is so dry that after watering around
outside a Great Spreadwing (damselfly) showed up in response to moisture!
And Kathy found the first White Peacock in the yard here at SR (ph.).

Nov. 20 ~ I saw my FOS American Goldfinch at SR today, a calling fly-by.
A Merlin flew over at sundown too.

Nov. 19 ~ At SR continuing are the pair of Audubon's Orioles and the
adult female Selasphorus Hummingbird (probably Allen's). At UP we
refound the Winter Wren for more studies - it is dull rufous chin to tail.
A Tropical Leafwing butterfly was on a hummer feeder at SR (ph.).

Nov. 18 ~ Went to UP with the audio recording and camera gear to
document the unusual Winter Wren. Alas, it was not to be found, darn it.
It is most unlikely a record of such import of a subspecies will
be accepted by the authorities without irrefutable proof. Shucks.
There was a new bird for the park list there though, an immature
Audubon's Oriole! Excellante ! Also a Blue-headed Vireo was seen.
A Mexican Fritillary butterfly was at the Library Garden (ph.).

Nov. 17 ~ The pair of Audubon's Orioles was in the yard again this a.m.
calling. The adult female Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird continues as well.
A supply run was made to Uvalde which means a birding stop for a break
during errands. At the Fish Hatchery we saw the American Bittern again,
and amongst the 8 species of ducks there was a female Bufflehead,
2 Ruddy Ducks, and best of all, the first Canvasback (female) I've
found in 3 years of looking in Uvalde Co.

Nov. 16 ~ An odd combo of bird species was in our SR yard in the a.m.:
2 Audubon's Orioles and 4 Golden-crowned Kinglets. North meets south.
The big bird of the day was one of America's tiniest, down at UP,
a Winter Wren which looked and sounded to be the WESTERN type.
It was dull rufous from chin to belly, and gave a "chit" note
like a Wilson's Warbler, not a "jimp" like a Song Sparrow.
I am not sure there are records in TX of the western subspecies,
which may indeed be a full species, making this significant.

Nov. 15 ~ Well the forecasters got it right with winds starting about
3 a.m., and blowing till sundown. Sustained at 25-30 MPH with gusts
up to 50 MPH !! Not much to see but dust out there today.
The adult female Rufous/Allen's Hummer continues at SR.

Nov. 14 ~ We took a quick run through Lost Maples to see the leaves
since howling winds are forecast for tomorrow. Some decent color there,
but if you lived anywhere "back east" you would not likely be overly
impressed. Lots of people there too, so many on the "Maples" trail,
I didn't see a single bird in a mile. There were far fewer people on
the Can Creek trail, and lo and behold, there were some birds there.
Interestingly perhaps the most numerous species was Golden-crowned Kinglet,
with about 10 heard or seen, 2 Brown Creepers, and 1 Hutton's Vireo.
There were just three individual dragonflies seen, onesies of 3 different
species. They are about done for the year now folks. It will be March or April
before we see much more diversity or numbers.

Nov. 13 ~ A small flock of birds flying over at SR going south fast
consisted of 3 Robin and 2 Cedar Waxwing (2nd Waxwings this fall).

Nov. 11 ~ The Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird (adult female) continues,
seemingly liking the 40F morning as it keeps the bees off the feeders!
There were 2 Audubon's Orioles calling here at SR again, early.
UP had Ringed and Green Kingfisher, and Couch's Kingbird.
There were again 40+ species of butterflies at the Library garden.
Two Common Grackles flew over there as well.

Nov. 10 ~ A near record 90 degrees F in the afternoon! There were
still 3+ Orange-stripe Threadtail (damselfly) at UP and hopefully a
photo I took will turn out for a new late date. A front blew in at
dusk and it howled 20 MPH with gusts to 35 all night.

Nov. 8 ~ Cooper's and Sharp-shinned Hawks were at SR, as were
two Spotted Towhee. Hermit Thrushes are in good now too.
I checked the flower patches at Clayton Grade (Eupatorum), and
the flats along and near the MR gate (Fleabane and Turk's Cap)
for an hour in the afternoon and saw 45 species of butterflies
including another Zebra Longwing amongst 2000+ individual butterflies.

Nov. 7 ~ Today the FOS was a PINE SISKIN (loner) that flew over
SR calling. There were 2 Theona Checkerspot (butterflies) at the
Library Garden, and 8 Great-tailed Grackles flew over there too.

Nov. 6 ~ The adult female Selasphorus Hummingbird continues at SR.
Rufous or Allen's? About 6 Myrtles and 8 Robins went over SR early
in the a.m.. Also the FOS CEDAR WAXWING (since last May) went over!

Nov. 5 ~ At SR there were at least 20 Eurasian Collared-Dove. We better
start shooting these folks, or we'll be sorry one day. At UP we finally
saw the BROWN CREEPER I'd been hearing the last couple visits. Also
there were still Orange-striped Threadtails (damselfly) flying there (ph.).
I guess they didn't read the official website with their "flight dates"
which show it not to be on the wing after Oct. 15, almost 3 weeks ago!
The bird of the day was a BALD EAGLE along the Sabinal River in a Cypress
right about where B & R hits 187 just above Cypress Hollow. It was an
immature or juvenile bird with a dark head still, but a HUMONGOUS beast!
Most interesting was that today was the first day with LOTS of Myrtle
(Yellow-rumped) Warblers of the fall. They hit. There were 20 at UP,
20 at Cypress Hollow, 10 at Cornielius crossing, etc., etc.. FINALLY !!

Nov. 4 ~ Supply run to Uvalde. A female Hooded Merganser at the Hatchery
was the bird of the day. Lots of sparrows showing up, and another late
Nashville Warbler was there too.

Nov. 3 ~ An adult male BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER was at UP. Also there
was an Audubon's, and a Myrtle Warbler, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and
I heard Sandhill Cranes and Chihuahuan Raven there too. At the
Library there was a Crimson Patch, a Nashville, 3 Orange-crowned, and
an Audubon's Warbler.

Nov. 1 ~ At SR there were adult and immature White-crowned Sparrows,
the adult with an orange bill. Also there a N. Harrier flew over,
a Lincoln's Sparrow and 2 Slate-colored Junco were in the seed ,
and a PEREGRINE FALCON took a long shallow dive and swiped a Monarch
which it killed and quickly dropped. The FOS today was a WINTER WREN at UP.

Oct. 31 ~ Two AUDUBON'S ORIOLES were calling out back this a.m., and a
Spotted Towhee. The FOS bird today was Robin ! Heard one, and saw two,
early this a.m. at SR. A kettle of 10 Chihuahuan Ravens were at SR.
At UP there were all 3 U.S. species of Kingfishers, and unfortunately
the first Nutria I've seen there. Surely someone has dumped this beast
in the river to "get rid of aquatic vegetation." News Flash: That would be
habitat for all the aquatic insects (that eat mosquitoes and their larvae),
and habitat for all the baby fish, because someone doesn't like having to
"clean their swimming hole". How come everyone is a biologist allowed
to introduce foreign exotic species to natural ecosystems? It should
be highly illegal. The dragonfly and damselflys that are native here
have a right to live in the aquatic vegetation they always have, that
is part of the grand plan we are too stupid to understand. Why must
egotistical humans always muck with it? Someone shoot that beast!
Another one hour stop at the Utopia Library Butterfly Garden produced
another amazing 45 species total, and included a ZEBRA Longwing (Heliconid)
and a Crimson Patch, two of North America's and Texas' most stunning butterflies.
A Laviana White-Skipper was out front of UP.

Oct. 30 ~ Heard Audubon's Oriole and Hutton's Vireos this a.m. at SR.
At UP there were at least a couple Golden-crowned Kinglets, and I thought
I heard a Brown Creeper. One Protoneura cara Orange-striped Threadtail
damselfly was seen.

Oct. 29 ~ At Concan we saw Mexican Fritillary and Zebra Longwing
(butterflies). Also there were the FOS White-crowned and White-throated
Sparrows. And I heard a Ringed Kingfisher, and saw Chihuahuan Raven
and 2 Audubon's Warbler. At Garner St.Pk. we saw a rare
Dragonfly, the GIANT Darner, but no pictures. It is our 2nd October
sighting of the species locally.

Oct. 28 ~ A cool low 40's F in the a.m. felt nice. The Rufous Hummer
is still here but the Ruby is clearly gone. The Junco was heard again.
Did Bfly garden again today, still lots of stuff, but nothing different.

Oct. 27 ~ Frontal passage again, with 20-30 MPH winds from midnight
to 6 p.m., and some gusts to 40 MPH ! Had The Rufous Hummer but
not the Ruby-throat! I think it finally left yesterday. Bon voyage!
The FOS of the day was a JUNCO, but heard only, I presume Slate-colored.
The highlight of the day was an hour stop at the Utopia Library Butterfly
Garden. There were several hundreds of butterflies there and when I got home
and made the list up was astounded to find 46 species were seen, in an hour!
Highlights were the stunning Crimson Patch, Western Pygmy Blue (the smallest
U.S. butterfly), 150 Sleepy Orange, 10 Mestra and 6 Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak.
At UP there was a Double-crested Cormorant, and some Neotropical Bluets,
and one Orange-striped Threadtail still flying. 16 Cranes at dusk at SR.

Oct. 26 ~ Rufous and Ruby-throated Hummers both still here at SR,
as is the Hutton's Vireo. A pair of Variegated Meadowhawks were
in tandem (mating) at SR.

Oct. 25 ~ FOS Golden-crowned Kinglet at SR. 50 Chipping Sparrows now.

Oct. 24 ~ Rufous and Ruby (Hummers) still here at SR. Saw
3 each Caracara and Chihuahuan Raven there too.

Oct. 23 ~ Two FOS winter birds arrived at SR this morning:
Hermit Thrush and Spotted Towhee. Also a Savannah Sparrow
was eating seed with all the Chippys.

Oct. 22 ~ Frontal passage overnight and 20 MPH winds from the north
with gusts to 30 ! At SR the 2 hummers continue: imm. male Ruby-throat
and ad.female Rufous/Allen's, that is possibly a returning winterer
from last year? The Hutton's Vireo also is still about, and the
Chipping Sparrow flock now numbers about 40 birds.

Oct. 21 ~ Uvalde supply run. A few good birds there as always.
We got our earliest date for returning winterer GREEN JAY at Ft. Inge
with a single pair seen. Also a pair of Anhinga continues there.
At the Fish Hatchery there was FOS Sedge Wren, and the first
American Bittern I have ever seen in UvCo (and not on the official
hatchery list either!). Always some good birding down there!
13 Cranes flew over SR at Dusk. Couple Scissor-tails still around.
Saw FOS returning winterer Western Meadowlarks along the roads.

Oct. 20 ~ The imm.male Ruby, and ad. female Selasphorus continue.
Heard Barn Owl again.

Oct. 19 ~ The one immature male Ruby-throat continues, however, in the
AMAZING department, is the apparent return of an adult female Selasphorus
(Rufous/Allen's) that wintered here at SR last year! She's back !
Also today there were 2 Couch's Kingbirds at UP, and a FOS Swamp Sparrow.
Dragonglfies there included 5 Orange-striped Threadtail, and Autumnal Meadowhawk.
Barn Owl again after dark calling... that real drawn out raspy thing you hear.

Oct. 18 ~ One imm. male Ruby-throaated and 1 ad. male Black-chinned continue
at SR. Two Barn Swallows flew over. A front arrived at 9 p.m., and in
the dark riding the air wave were calling cranes again, as last night.
Was the last day the oddly late adult male Black-chinned Hummer was present.

Oct. 17 ~ The FOS Yellow-rumped Warbler flew off at 8 a.m. or so at SR,
the call (chip) was Audubon's type. There were 2 or 3 Ruby-throateds (all
imm. males) and the adult male Black-chinned only today. Rest seems to
have left yesterday. Wow, first time less hummers than feeders since
mid March !! Out front of UP at the frogfruit (flowers) there was a
"Texas" Tailed Blue (butterfly). At dark at SR I heard the FOS
SANDHILL CRANES calling as they flew south. It's really fall now!

Oct. 16 ~ The same 3 species and 8+ Hummingbirds remain at our SR feeders
in the morning, but didn't see any in the late p.m. as usual.
Turned out it was the last day for the imm. male probable Allen's Hummer.
A "fresh out of the box" Red-spotted Purple (butterfly) was the highlight
of the day, and an American Lady was also a fresh emergent. Barn Owl at SR.

Oct. 15 ~ The immature male Selasphorus Hummingbird continues, and seems
more like an Allen's every day. The adult male Black-chinned also still
continues, as do at least 8 imm. male Ruby-throateds. A Red Satyr was at
SR. We made quick check of the Library garden for butterflies and saw
was the FOS Brazillian Skipper, a Mexican Yellow, a Celia's Roadside-Skipper,
a White Peacock, 6 Soldiers, 6 Texas Wasp Moth, 60 Noctuid (False Underwing),
and 3 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds including one adult male. A Firefly was
still out at SR.

Oct. 14 ~ A flock of Bushtits was at SR, several Ruby-crowned Kinglets,
an Orange-crowned Warbler, and a Hutton's Vireo. At UP there were
3 species of Kingfishers: Green, Belted, and the Ringed continues.
A couple Black Phoebes were there too. A few Scissor-tailed Flycatchers
are still around town.... but not for too much longer.

Oct. 13 ~ With the passage of the front came a tremedous wave of
Monarchs over SR, tens of thousands were going south down the ridge
9 a.m. to 2 p.m. or so. Hundreds of Turkey Vultures were migrating
south also. 5 Swainson's Hawks were amongst them, and a few
Chihuahuan Ravens too. There are still 8+ Ruby-throated Hummingbirds
at the feeders here, plus the immature Selasphorus, and amazingly an
adult male Black-chinned defended a feeder for hours in the a.m..
The White-winged Dove flock numbers about a 100 at SR still.

Oct. 12 ~ Today's FOS was a Flicker at SR. There were still at least
half a dozen Ruby-throats at our feeders, and the immature Rufous
Hummingbird which is a male, that made several dive displays.
But, multiple displays reminded me more of Allen's in that they
repeatedly began from the same exact spot in the sky.
A front is bearing down on us and just after dark the winds turned
around to the north, but light. Supposed to be cool tonight!

Oct. 11 ~ With a front approaching we can expect some FOS fall birds.
Today I had 3 FOS's locally. Two Brewer's Blackbirds at SR. A Water
(American) Pipit over the library, and 2 Orange-crowned Warblers at UP.
Also at UP were 5 Orange-striped Threadtail damselflies.

Oct. 10 ~ An amazing yard bird at SR was 2 White-faced Ibis that
flew over heading towards Bear Creek Pond. I had to run to
Kerrville. Interesing was a small number of Chihuahuan Ravens,
mostly singles along the road both going and coming (different
routes). At the Love Creek Pond on 337 10 miles east of
Vanderpool there were Ring-necked Ducks (FOS), and a single
one was at the 1st Sabinal River crossing 2+ miles north of Utopia.
A Barn Owl flew over SR calling at 10:30 p.m..

Oct. 9 ~ The imm. Selasphorus (Rufous/Allen's) Hummingbird continues
as do at least 7 Ruby-throateds, all immature males.

Oct. 8 ~ The Snout fog won't let up, still at 100/second passing!
There are at least 6 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds still at our feeders,
and the immature Selasphorus (Rufous/Allen's) continues.

Oct. 7 ~ At SR there was a Tawny Emperor butterfly in the yard, a bit
out of habitat, but there are a large number around town: we saw over
a dozen at a couple patches of Lantana and such around Utopia. At the
Library there were 2 Couch's Kingbirds, a Common Yellowthroat, and a
Wilson's Warbler. There were at least 7 Ruby-throats and the Rufous
Hummer still at SR. Also Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Northern Cloudywing
were at SR

Oct. 6 ~ 6+ Ruby-throated Hummingbirds continue as does the Rufous/Allen's
Hummingbird. The fog of Snout butterflies continues at 100/second
passing a given line of sight. Our supply run to Uvalde netted a
Blue Jay in Uvalde (very few are there), but little otherwise.

Oct. 5 ~ The Snout fog continues. A Roseate Skimmer (dragonfly) was
in the garden. The Rufous/Allen's Hummer continues as do 10 Ruby-throats.

Oct. 3 ~ The immature Rufous/Allen's Hummer continues with about ten
Ruby-throats, and briefly an imm. male or ad. female Broad-tailed
Hummingbird showed up. Besides the 20 Monarchs at the Utopia Library
Garden there were 2 Soldiers (Eresimus), and an Orange Sulphur. The
highlight of the day was a MALACHITE butterfly, and very rare stray from
Mexico! Luckily I got a documentation photo to prove it.

October 2 ~ The Selasphorus Hummingbird is an immature Rufous/Allen's
and continues. At least 10 Ruby-throats left are all immature
males. The fog of Snouts continues. The highlight of the day was a
12-spotted Skimmer (dragonfly) perching for photos in the garden.

October 1 ~ A sprinkling of migrants were around: singles of Nashville
and Wilson's Warbler, House Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher & Dickcissel.
A dozen Ruby-throated Hummingbirds continue, with only 1 adult male left.
One Selasphorus (Rufous/Allen's) Hummingbird showed up late in the day.
Well the Snouts are back thick, a 100/second crossing an imaginary line
in my line of sight. Millions again!

September is one of the greatest months for birding in the U.S.,
because no matter where you are, things are moving. All you need is
a little weather to knock them down, and you'll see what otherwise
goes over undetected in good weather. This September was exceptionally
cool and wet, and a steady stream of migrants were knocked down, in
contrast to dry times. It was also the best month of the year for
butterfly diversity, as I saw about 75 species in my little bit of
wandering around! As you read below, you'll see I was overworked,
just trying to keep track of it a little bit.... :):)

Sept 30 ~ Around 60 White-winged Doves still in the flock here at SR.,
Was about 150 a month ago. It seems for the hundreds of pounds of white
millet I put in them makin' so tasty I'm sure, I ought to get a couple
donated each season! :):) Still Blue-gray Gnatcatchers passing, and
the Hutton's Vireo "whinnys" like a horse, plus a Sharpy (Sharp-shinned Hawk)
at SR. I'd call it a dozen to 16 Ruby-throats over the day, but I didn't
see any at sundown when there is normally a rush. They'll all be gone
in no time.... probably just strays now... good time for western stuff.

Sept 29 ~ Coyote Cloudywing (Bfly) was the highlight for me ....,
The Hutton's Vireo continues. An Indigo Bunting was out back.
About 2 dozen Ruby-throated Hummingbirds left seems to be about it.

Sept 28 ~ At UP there was a group of: 3 Pied-billed Grebe, 1 Coot, and
one Blue-winged Teal which eventually left, apparently not wanting
to be seen in such company. There was a Mexican Yellow (Bfly) that flew
across the yard here, and even better a Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Dragonfly)
that cruised the yard for a bit! Didn't have any last year, but the
year prior (wet) there were bunches in the valley.

Sept 27 ~ Dang it after missing it yesterday the imm. male Allen's
was showing his tail to me this morning out front. And calling.,
A beautiful probable Tundrius Peregrine Falcon flew low over SR,
showing its pale gray back, it was probably a male. The Hutton's
Vireo still is showing up. About 40 ruby-throats, and at least 2
Black-chins still here.

Sept 26 ~ A Calliope Hummingbird (imm.) was at a feeder chasing everything
else away for at least an hour in the moring. A Canyon Towhee stopped for
seed as did a juvenile Dickcissel. Still Blue-gray Gnatcatchers daily.
Nysa Roadside-Skipper out back.

Sept 25 ~ An amazing low in the 50's this morning was a welcome change!
First there was an immature male Allen's Hummingbird at the feeders.
The hummers were tanking and going, with about 50 Ruby-throats, and at
least 1 Black-chin still here. An Accipiter sps. went over. At the
now blooming Lantana at the Sabinal Canyon Museum was a very rare
Yellow Angled-Sulphur (Anteos maerula) that circled me closely but did
not stop to nectar (for pictures). Then there was a House Wren at SR.

Sept 24 ~ Frontal passage in progress, 20+ MPH northerlies and cool. WOW !
Migrants at SR included Nashville Warbler, juvenile Blue Grosbeak, a few
Red-tailed Hawks, lots of Turkey Vultures, a Mississippi Kite, and a
Broad-winged Hawk. A Chestnut-collared Longspur flew over SR calling, and
a Broad-tailed Hummingfbird was 3' from me sitting on a feeder. Another
Dickcissel at the seed, an adult male Rufous Hummingbird, 150+ Ruby-throats,
(& still 5 Black-chinned), Upland Sandpiper calling at dusk.... what a
day of movement! Also amazing was a black Merlin that attempted to roost
in a tree 100 meters from my porch, but was ejected (like so many other
raptors) by a troop of Scrub Jays. And not without protest, for besides
calls, it made several "fake departures," only to turn around at high speed
and strafe the tree. 5 Scrub Jays would drop to the ground like over-ripe
Papayas when he turned around and acellerated..... 3 times he tried this and
returned to perch only to be tail-pecked by the Scrub-Jays into leaving. The
extended views I had at close range lead me to believe the bird was a Suckleyi
Black Merlin from the Pacific NW, where the front that just passed came from.
I have seen a number of them.... charcol black beauties they are.
There was a Couch's Kingbird at UP. Bad weather knocks down good birds.

Sept 23 ~ Uvalde errand run. FOS Merlin N. of Sabinal on way down 187.
In Uvalde there was a male Anhinga still at Ft. Inge, a male Yellow-headed
Blackbird at the hatchery. As a front nears, there were 300 Turkey Vulture
on the outflow boundry here at SR and one adult Harris's Hawk. A Barn Owl
flew over calling at 10 p.m.. About 1.5" of rain at SR in the early evening.

Sept 22 ~ The FOS Lincoln's Sparrow was at the seed this morning.
Unusual was a Golden-fronted Woodpecker that flew over SR in the p.m..
Butterflying dead. The first 4 days after the storm from Mexico passed
were fantastic with Gold-spotted and Tailed Aguna, Zilpa Longtail,
White-patched Skipper, multiple Systasea and lots more Orange-BAR Sulphs,
(neither of which are the norm here) and now the last 2 days have been
terrible dead.... but it sure was nice while it lasted.

Sept 21 ~ the Scott's came by the sugar water again. At the Library I saw
two Eresimus (Soldier) butterflies, and an Orange-barred Sulphur was at the
museum. A large invasion of them this year....

Sept 20 ~ The male and sub-adult male Scott's Orioles came by to the
hummer feeder they use all summer. The adult briefly sang a few bars.
It was a remarkable 4 Hummingbird species day at he feeders here at SR.
Besides the mostly Ruby-throats (but less than a hundred now), a few Black-
chinned remain, the immature male Rufous/Allen's continues, and the fourth
species of the day was an immature Broad-tailed Hummingbird in the late p.m..
The highlight of the day though got away: it was a TAILED AGUNA (Aguna metophis)
that I had full frame in the camera lens whilst the camera misfired 3 times,
and then it flew off. It would have been the first record north of the
lower Rio Grande valley had the camera not malfunctioned! I went back the next
two days and checked every flower patch in town 4 times and never saw it again!

Sept 19 ~ Hummers are tanking up and leaving with the passage of the front,
taking advantage of northerly winds to migrate. An immature male
Rufous/Allen's tdype continues. Some migrant Chipping Sparrows are
showing up with 15 counted today, an increase over the local residents.
Also a group of 10 Clay-colored Sparrows came in with the front.
They were gone the next day. A couple local Field Sparrows continue
at the seed as well. Boy did it feel good this morning !!

Sept 18 ~ I heard a FOS Ruby-crowned Kinglet outside at SR this a.m..
Rained a little more overnight as the frontal boundry passed, but
most of the rest of Lane soaked south TX, where they needed it more
than us now anyway. There was a flock of at least 6 Clay-colored
Sparrows outside at the seed, the first at SR since spring.
I caught a big yellow moth (I'll get you a name of shortly) outside.
There was a male and female Painted Bunting at UP
I rechecked the dump patch on the way back from town and though
the activity level was high as the heat and humidity at 3 p.m.,
there was no Aguna to be found, however a Zilpa Longtail was a
fair consolation prize. Monarchs going south. The most amazing
thing of the day was an APLOMADO FALCON over SR that was eating on
the wing near dusk. There is a good chance due to the recent system
from Mexico that this could be a legitimate wild bird, as opposed to
the re-introduced birds of coastal south Texas, however there was no way
to assess if there were bands of not. Front is passing, clear all day,
supposed to be in mid-50's here tonight !!

Sept 17 ~ Hurricane Lane was pounding Sinaloa, western Mexico Saturday
the 16th. A rain band broke off as it lost central circulation (gravity).
This major band hit Monterey Mexico the evening of the 16th, and
arrived in Uvalde Co. about 2 a.m. on the 17th. Here at SR we saw
about 5+" of rain in 4 hours. The 1050 bridge was underwater !!
The water was 2" from the top of the spillway at UP, all the way across
hours later after it had gone down! At SR about 9 a.m. I had a
small group of 3 Gray-breasted Martins directly overhead in my binocs!
Nearly a minute they tarried as they drifted south. At least I had
my bins on! They look like ginormus Rough-winged Swallows more than
Purple Martins. But they are clearly robust compact small Martins.
Now I am glad I saved the sequence of satellite shots showing this
wall of water coming across Mexico to us. We received over another
inch of rain here late in the p.m. for a 6+" total for the day !!

We went to see what the rain did and had Ringed and Green Kingfisher
at UP, but it was washed out to put it mildly. So, we stopped at
the "dump patch" of flowers, which turned out to be a highlight of
the day. As it warmed up the insect activity kept increasing to the
point of "boiling." Whilst it was mostly regular common stuff the level
of activity alone is astounding, combined with pretty good diversity.
Kathy found something odd looking that turned out to be a very rare
here Gold-spotted Aguna (a large tropical skipper)! Then we also
had a White-patched Skipper, that we've only seen a couple of in 3 years.
Two excellent butterflies! And about 15 other species just for fun!

Sept 16 ~ Dickcissel eating seed with Chippies and Lark Sparrows.

Sept 15 ~ A Belted Kingfisher called as it went over SR early in the
a.m.. Far more amazing was a small group of PIED-BILLED GREBE that
flew over at dusk going south !! Otherwise in the day there was a
RAWSON'S Metalmark at the "dump patch" of flowers (that sweet legume
that is blooming now across the street from the dump) which is an
incredible insect place the twice a year it blooms. At the north end
of town I collected a 4-5" Imperial Moth, a spectacular yellow and
pinkish beauty (It had been hit by a car and was flopping about ~
soon to be eaten by a bird, but instead will contribute to science).

Sept 14 ~ An immature male Scott's Oriole came by, and going for the
same feeder they used all summer, probably was one of them stopping
back by one last time before leaving the country. It sang a few bars,
also indicating a bird in its territory, not a migrant. More of the
regulars: Orchard Oriole, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Dickcissel, and Upland
Sandpiper calling overhead at dusk.

Sept 13 ~ A Hutton's Vireo in the yard at SR was the first in months.
Other things there were an Orchard Oriole and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher,
a juvenile Painted Bunting, Chihuahuan Raven and a probable
Calliope Hummingbird. Plus a thermalling Monarch.

Sept 12 ~ a few migrants at SR included single male Bullock's Oriole,
Orchard Oriole, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow and Nashville Warblers.
Near the dump I had a BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO fly across the road in front
of me, land, and let me binoc it from 20' for a minute! At UP was
the FOS Pied-billed Grebe, a Solitary Sandpiper and a Mourning Warbler,
plus an male Orange-barred Sulphur. Amazing was at 7 p.m. when a JAEGER
flew by over SR, going southwest. It was long and thin winged,
light bodied, no white flashes, small and dark and surely was a
Long-tailed, but best just to say "Jaeger species."

Sept 10 ~ The Ringed Kingfisher at UP continues. Kathy found a
Streaky Skipper at the "Cornielius frogfruit patch," which I photo'd
for a NCR (new county record) in Bandera. We had at least 5 White
Peacock in Bandera Co. at stops along the river ~ more than all prior
known county records combined. At Lost Maples HQ feeder was an immature
Calliope Hummingbird. Also there was a Systasea (Powdered) Skipper
I photo'd. At Cypress Hollow there was a good flock of migrant
landbirds including Mourning Warbler and 2-3 Warbling Vireo.

Sept 9 ~ Errand run to Uvalde. Leaving we had a Polyphemus type moth
(or something near that) at the 187 & 1050 intersection at 8 a.m.
under drizzly skies. At Uvalde we had a male Anhinga grunting at
Ft. Inge, and at the Hatchery the White Ibis continues, plus an
Alder Flycatcher (calling), a Sora, a few migrant landbirds, including
a FOS Common Yellowthroat. Couple Monarchs.

Sept 8 ~ I shouldn't say anything but I had spectacular views for a
brief period at very close range of a Gray-breasted Martin at UP.
Unfortunately when I came out of shock it was too late to get a photo,
and I could ot refind it. It was with a flock of swallows (mostly Caves)
bathing at the pond above the spillway, which I was standing on
(but water is just barely trickling over). Ringed and Green Kingfisher
were there too, as well as Blue Jays, Black Phoebe, a male Painted Bunting,
2 Mourning Warbler, and 10 White Peacock butterflies continue. Monarch.

Sept. 6 ~ Well it was amazingly in the 60's this morning for the
first time in four months ! Who cares what was out there ! I'm sure
there was some jmajor movement as there always is the day behind the frontal
passage, but I couldn't get out to look around. Caracara & Monarch soared over SR.

Sept. 5 ~ We finally got the much advertised rain for the last
4 days that had missed us. Probably about an 1.25-.33" on SR. WATER !
An actual cool front bearing down on the moisture from Hurrican John
that fell apart over Baja CA, and as NOAA said "good riddance summer!"
There were lots of swallows on the wires around town, lots of Cave,
some Cliff, lots of Barn, one Bank, few N.Rough-winged. Dozen Chimney
Swifts soaked still flying around in the rain. Best bird was finally
seeing well a RINGED KINGFISHER at UP !! Was an imm. female I think.
Soon as the crowds are done/gone, the rare birds are back! Was nice and
peaceful and quiet. The usual Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Orchard Oriole,
Yellow Warbler, Dickcissel, and Upland Sandpipers at dusk were at SR.

Sept. 4 ~ At Utopia on the River's beautiful grounds there were a
few landbirds: Yellow-throated Vireo (which was still singing!),
Red-eyed & White-eyed Vireos, Indigo Bunting male, and a couple
Yellow-throated Warblers. All these species nest there and are
likely those summer residents still finishing pre-basic molt and
fattening up prior to migration. The only sure migrant was a single
Yellow Warbler. At the 360 River crossing there at the Frogfruit and
Snow-on-the-Mountain were some insects, inculding at least TEN
White Peacock butterflies, a rarity up in the hills/on the plateau.
While taping a Poor-will after dark, I was surprised to pick up in
the distance (thanks to the magnification of the Orbitor microphone
I use) a Chuck-wills-Widow calling. I had not detected one since they
quit calling in late July! I can't believe how brown/dry it is!
There were 3 Dickcissel at our seed late in the p.m..

Sept. 3 ~ At least 200 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds here at SR now.
Could be as many as 300. 40-50 in view/hearing at once. Few Black-
chinneds still. Red Satyr was a good butterfly out front.
A Great Egret flew over late in the evening, rare at SR.

Sept. 2 ~ At least 150 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, at minimum, at
the feeders here at SR. About a half-dozen immature Black-chinned
are still present.

September 1 ~ (!) - There had to be over 100 Ruby-throated Hummers
at the feeders, at minimum. Did not see the Broad-tailed so it must
have left early since it was here till dark last night (they are only
diurnal-daytime migrants.) The usual couple few Blue-gray Gnatcatchers
passed, an Orchard Oriole, the Chihuahuan Ravens, a Dickcissel and a
few Upland Sandpipers at dusk. NO green buntings.

Aug. 31 ~ The Broad-tailed Hummingbird here at SR for the 4th day
even did a bit of dive display! One green bunting still here.

Aug. 30 ~ At SR was the first Monarch since May, going south too!
We did a Uvalde errand run and stopped at the hatchery for an hour.
Kathy spotted an imm. WHITE IBIS, a rarity in the county, which I think
I should have some ID picture of. There was also a Stilt Sandpiper there,
and the first two Shovellers of the fall. We also had great looks at a
Mourning Warbler. A couple Chihuahuan Ravens were at SR early.

Aug. 29 ~ The outflow boundry that passed yesterday turned the winds
to NE for the first time in months, and the hummers took off en masse
after morning tank-ups. We even got a half-inch of rain in the p.m.!
One green Bunting remains (imm. Painted) and an immature Cooper's Hawk
dove on the White-winged Doves at SR. The Rufous/Allen's left.

Will the HEAT ever end? Been about 95-100F every day since mid-May!

Aug. 28 ~ An immature male BROAD-TAILED Hummingbird showed up and took
over a feeder at SR. A few Black-chinneds are still around, and two Rufous/Allen's,
but Ruby-throats are far and away the most numerous now, dozens present.

Aug. 27 ~ Still at least two Selasphorus (Rufous/Allen's) Hummingbirds at
SR. A typical fall migrant for the date was a Least Flycatcher in the yard
popping off Snout butterflies. The FOS local Belted Kingfisher was at UP.
A Couch's KIngbird was behind the library (nice Sphinx moth there too).
Barn Swallows are still attending nests at the Sr.Ctr, and the Water Co.
bldg. at UP. Three Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at SR in the a.m.

Aug. 25 ~ All three Selasphorus were seen in the a.m. again: 2 imm females,
and one imm. male, it being positively a Rufous. One of the imm. females
having an abnormal for Rufous gravelly grating voice. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

Aug. 24 ~ Interesting were some new fresly fledged fledgling Lesser Goldfinch
and House Finch. Probably third broods for both. One green bunting still.
Amazing was ANOTHER immature female Selasphorus (Rufous/Allen's type) Hummingbird
showing up, and then ANOTHER, but an immature male and absolutely a Rufous.
juvenile Hooded Orioles following an adult female near the dump on lower SR
where an adult male was earlier in the summer. The likely nested nearby.
At the Library was a Yellow-billed Cuckoo eating web worms (tent caterpillars),
and two Bell's Vireos were singing out back. Late in the afternoon at SR there
was a Goatweed Leafwing butterfly, and even better and truly amazing, a
Hyacinth Glider dragonfly cruised around the "yard" and me for a couple
minutes!! They are very rare up on the plateau, I know of only two records,
both by dragonfly man extraordinaire, Tony Gallucci of Ingram.

Aug. 23 ~ The imm. female Rufous/Allen's from Sunday the 20th continues
and has defended a feeder now for 4 days. Voice sure is gravelly for Rufous.
Black-chinneds are departing quickly, and Ruby-throateds arriving. There
were at least 6 adult male Ruby-throats at our feeders today. There were
2 juvenile Common Nighthawks at dusk. 6 species of Doves in Yard today.

Aug. 22 ~ Amazing was a Yellow-throated Warbler in our yard at SR, way
up in the juniper on a ridge, for the second fall in a row! One green bunting
continues. Again I saw a flock of House Sparrow in long-distance direct
glight, this time 8 of them coming from the goat ranch toward town at dusk!
I watched them fly nearly a mile and surely they were going another.
At dusk a flock of 5 Orchard Orioles was outside. More fall migrants moving.
Dickcissels are nearly nightly at dusk also.

Aug. 20 ~ Here at SR was a Rufous/Allen's Hummingbird when we got back
in the afternoon. Also a flock of migrant Swallows passed over southbound,
50 Cliff and 3 Purple Martin. At dusk many Upland Sandpipers were calling,
probably a hundred, I spotted two groups up at 1000' altitude totalling
28 birds.They'll be in Mexico when the sun comes up.

We were fortunate to be invited into some private property near the Frio River
headwaters to help with a "bio-blitz" where a group of expert naturalists try to
identify everything they can: fish, birds, every insect, you name it.
We saw among many amazing things and some of the most beautiful scenery
in all the hill country of Texas, a Ringed Kingfisher, and 9 Spotted Sandpipers,
including one juvenile plumaged bird. Do they nest there?

Aug. 19 ~ While 3 local nester Barn Swallows are still hanging out (daily)
a flock of 10 were southbound migrants at SR. A Couch's Kingbird was
on the wire outside. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers daily.

Aug. 18 ~ The adult female and the juvenile Scott's Oriole came through
the yard at SR, maybe the last time? There are still 3 green buntings
present (immature Painteds). Weird was a flock of 4 House Sparrow
heading west towards the goat ranch in sustained distance flight.
The bird of the day was a FOS (first of season) fall migrant
PEREGRINE FALCON ! Always spectacular to see, it was going low and
fast heading toward town from SR.

Aug. 17 ~ counted 220 White-winged Doves going over before dusk at SR.
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers daily last week plus.

Aug. 16 ~ 6 immature Painted Buntings still out back at SR.
Dickcissel and Upland Sandpipers again calling at dark heading south.

Aug. 15 ~ A biz and supply run to Uvalde so we stopped at Concan
on the way. The Rufous-capped Warbler continues at Cabin 61.
Some brief audio tape of song was obtained. At Cook's Slough
were 4 migrant Orchard Orioles, but best were the butterflies,
6 White Peacocks and 1 Soldier (Eresimus). A Zone-tailed Hawk
was seen for the 2nd day in 3 at Leona River crossing / Hwy. 90.
Dickcissel and Upland Sandpipers calling at dark heading south.
We passed through a wave of a half a million Snouts coming back
going up 83 to Garner from Uvalde, and east on 1050. It was amazing.
Motor running 40 degrees hotter due to complete clogging of grill.

Aug. 14 ~ Zone-tailed Hawk over house and in town. They are very
obvious this time of year. A fly-by (moving) Black Phoebe at SR
was only the second seen there. The Scott's Oriole sang a bit,
and a firefly was out at 10:00 p.m.

Aug. 13 ~ Went to Uvalde and met Mike Overton for a few hours birding.
At Ft. Inge we saw the 2nd Anhinga (a female this time) of the summer.
Also a couple Groove-billed Ani were there as often is the case.
At the UvCo 202 dead end at the Nueces River we were able to
refind, confirm and photograph (therby adding it officially to the list)
the first REDDISH EGRET ever in Uvalde Co.. Then we found the first
COMMON BLACK-HAWK ever in Uvalde Co.! Got distant photos of both.
Heard an Audubon's Oriole, and Mike ID'd a neat Flea Beetle I spotted.
Had a couple Yellow Warblers at various stops, and 2 Uplands at hatchery.
UvCo is lucky to have a guy sharp as Mike Overton move into the 'hood.

Aug. 11 ~ A Hooded Oriole was out front at dusk. The Scott's Oriole
male still singing a little. A pair of Chihuahuan Ravens were calling
(got a little audio tape), hummingbirds still departing with fewer
still around. The Adult male hummer count is at 2 Black-chinned
and one Ruby-throated. About 3 Common Mestra (Bfly) out front.

Aug. 10 ~ An oriole flock passed by near dusk. It contained
3 Orchard, 4 Baltimore/Bullock's types and one bird that
bare eyed looked like (and called like) a Western Tanager.
An unusual caprimulgid call was also heard "cowlp" (loud).

Aug 9 ~ A Desert Checkered Skipper, 2 Ceraunus Blue, and a
Texan Crescent were the (butterfly) highlights today at SR.

Aug. 8 ~ 2 Audubon's Orioles out back, taped a couple arnk notes.
One adult male Ruby-throated Hummingbird amongst the rest,
but there seems to be a major departure underway presently.
An adult male Broad-billed Hummingbird was reported from Bandera.

Aug. 7 ~ 1 imm. female Rufous Hummingbird showed up late
after the 1" or so of rain we got in the afternoon.
The Poorwill was so excited about it, that it gave a
very rarely heard loud "shout" call, with the timbre and
as loud as a Chuck-wills-Widow or Whip-poor-will.

Aug. 6 ~ NO male Painted Buntings. They left last night.
See ya next April ! Lark Sparrow flock now 18 with juvies.

Aug. 5 ~ Still 2 ad. male Painted Buntings, a male Blue Grosbeak,
both Audubon's and Scott's Orioles singing, and Zone-tailed Hawk
at our SR "yard" if you can call it that.

Aug. 4 ~ There have been 2 adult male, a female or two, an
immature male, and at least 4 juvenile Painted Buntings
fattening up on the seed for a couple weeks now, and I expect
the adult males will be gone in a few days, till next April.
The juveniles will stay through August. 10 Mockingbirds flew by
going south in single file in less than a minute at SR. Migration.
Still 6 adult male Black-chins and 0 male Ruby-throats.
Audubon's and Scott's Oroles both still singing.

August 2 ~ The Rufous Hummer left sometime between 11 and noon.
5 days was enough fat buildup I guess. It is safe to say not
all the hummers here were as sad to see him go as I was.
Amazing was a Filigree Skimmer dragonfly on the backporch at SR,
a couple miles from the river. Common Nighthawks still booming.

July 31 ~ The adult male Rufous Hummingbird continues (day 3).
Audubon's and Scott's Orioles both still singing. Chihuahuan
Raven still calling. A few imm. mlale Ruby-throats, and a few
females and imm. females too, but no adult males yet, while,
there are still at least 6 adult male Black-chins present.
Overall numbers down (lull) now with most local breeders gone,
not too many migrants yet. Good break in sugar usage !

July 30 ~ Hiked 4 miles at Lost Maples' Can Creek trail.
Nothing rare, just the regulars, and my legs are sore.
The ad./juv. pair of Chihuahuan Ravens flew by calling again
at SR. There were 3 Mestra (butterfly) and Red-spotted Purple
there too.

July 29 ~ An adult male RUFOUS Hummingbird has taken over a feeder
out back (photos and audio tape of calls and wing whistle). Got
some good Audubon's Oriole singing on tape too today. Thankfully
only a half a million snouts today ! GADZOOKS ! Clean the radiator
grills !! I heard a Chuck-wills-Widow growl or bark a couple times
after dark. They haven't sung in over a week, and a soon departing.

July 28 ~ A pleasant surprise on SR was about 3/4 to 1" of rain
just before dawn. At 7:15 a.m. the only singing bird in the drizzle
was Audubon's Oriole. We had to make a Uvalde supply run. But first,
when we got back in the afternoon a few more things were at SR.
The first Common Mestra (a semi-tropical butterfly) of the year
(and in over a year) was here! Something besides a SNOUT !
Also there was a red-throated adult male hummingbird that
surely was a BROAD-TAILED. I did not see yesterdays Rufous again.
Well there had to be a over a million SNOUT butterflies
passing SR in the p.m.. It was like leaves blowing, with counts of
100-500 per second, and 5000 in 10 seconds, for a couple hours.
I don't know how wide the wave was, that was just a point count!

Uvalde and the brush country is always a pleasant change,
especially the ponds where one may see waterbirds like
ducks, herons, and sandpipers. At the Fish Hatchery we saw
9 species of sandpipers at once, and 5 Black Terns.
Near Cook's Slough we saw the FOS Upland Sandpiper.

July 27 ~ Audubon's and Scott's Orioles singing simultaneously at SR.
At 6 p.m., the first RUFOUS Hummingbird migrant of the fall showed up!
It was an immature male. In 04 the first was July 26, and
in 05 the FOS was Aug. 2 locally here.

July 26 ~ Audubon's Oriole again at SR all day. Audio taped a little
call and song this a.m., and watched it bathe at 6:30 p.m..
Snout numbers still astounding - 10's of thousands around town.
Good numbers of Large Orange Sulphur also.

July 25 ~ A couple late-ish nearby nests of Barn Swallows fledged today.
Common Nighthawk still booming.

July 22 ~ The Snout parade continues, with building numbers of
Large Orange Sulphur (at least 50 today). Some of the local singers
at SR are just barely still doing so: Scott's Oriole, Blue Grosbeak,
Painted Bunting, Chuck-wills-Widow; all will stop and head south soon.

July 21 ~ Northern Cloudywing at UP, plus a nice Water Snake of some sort,
(perhaps Diamond-backed?) were neat. Couch's Kingbirds still around.
Tens of Thousands of Snout butterflies again passing through. Amongst them
a couple dozen Large Orange Sulphur and almost as many Lyside Sulphur

July 18 ~ A real true certain fall migrant was at UP today,
a Spotted Sandpiper on the spillway. Tens of thousands of Snouts.
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are moving too, near daily anywhere now.

July 16 ~ Still 100 degress or so daily for a week now...too hot!
At Lost Maples in the afternoon it was clear things are slowing down.
Birds are really getting thin, and even dragonfly numbers are way down.
Dragons will pick back up after another emergence event.
Only the regular common birds were seen, and most have nearly quit
singing except the persistent few. Hutton's Vireo was seen and
in such heavy molt (missing wingbars) easily mis-identified now.

July 15 ~ Hundreds of Spot-winged Glider dragonflies going south.
Hundreds of Black-chinned Hummingbirds at the feeders here too.

July 14 ~ A Giant White was at SR, probably blown in on those
southerlies coming out of Mexico. Thousands of Snout butterflies
are passing through today. Zone-tailed Hawks were at SR and downtown.

July 13 ~ female pale morph Orange-barred Sulphur passed by SR.

July 12 ~ Hundreds of Snout butterflies are passing, mostly northward.
it seems, but some going south. The juvenile Scott's Oriole is still
at SR. 3 Caracara flew by, 2 juveniles trailing an adult which made a
kleptoparasitic dive on a Turkey Vulture. Why I call 'em Land Skuas.
Amazing was an Eastern Amberwing dragonfly at my porch here on SR,
where it is very seco.

July 9 - Two Black-and-White Warblers were in the liveoak out the
back window at SR, again both females, one ad. and one juvenile.

July 8 - We did a supply run to Uvalde, but stopped briefly at
Ft. Inge and got docu photos of a male Anhinga, very rare here.
Then at the Fish Hatchery we saw two adult Little Blue Heron,
a pair of Mexican Ducks (formerly a seperate species from Mallard)
and a rare Cassin's Kingbird. Loads of dragonflies down there!

July 6 - In case you are wondering the large numbers of dragonflies
headed due south are mostly Spot-winged Glider (Pantala hymenaea).
There are some Wandering Glider (the yellow ones) mixed in, and
very small numbers of a few other things.

July 5 - A pair of Audubon's Orioles bathed today at the drip/bath.
But one was a sub-adult, the other a full adult. The pair I have been
seeing is two full adults. This leads me to believe there is more than
one pair present in the area. I got photos of both birds today.
Zone-tailed Hawks are very evident as usual at this time of year,
with one here at SR and another over Main St. in town as usual.
The Couch's Kingbirds are still around town too.

July 4 - Happy Independence Day ! At SR there were two birds that
could just about be called fall migrants: Bell's Vireo and Orchard Oriole.
They were both juveniles, and probably wanderers from fairly close nestings.
It is the first Bell's Vireo I've seen on SR. Landbirds are moving.
There was a great fireworks show at Utopia Park (each year) at dark.
If you want to census the area, this is the event at which to do it.

July 3 - Immature male Green Kingfisher at UP. At 11:30 a.m. under
overcast skies there was a male Poorwill on the dirt road at the end
of 357 on SR. First I've seen here in the day. They were calling this
evening too for the first time in a while - must have liked the rain too.
A Caracara flew by SR late in the day.

July 2 - Holy drought busting gully washers, between 5-8 a.m., up on west
SR we saw over 5" of rain and another 1"+ from 8-10. Over 6"+ total!!
Boy it sure knows how to rain here ! A real wet cell hung over 1050
for quite some time ... up to 10" was reported west of town 10 miles.
It was sure enough to get the Rio Grande Leopard Frogs roaring!
Over at Little Creek there was a Great Egret, and a pair of Chihuahuan Raven.
I heard the pair of Audubon's Orioles at SR again today.
Nice to see some water coming over the spillway at the park!

July 1 - FOS juvenile Painted Bunting at the seed right on schedule.
Also juvenile Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Vermilion Flycatcher at SR.
The Zone-tail was overhead again.... you can tell him by the purple
on his back. The Purple Martins !! They know better than to dive bomb
Turkey Vultures, and don't seem to have any trouble telling them apart.
The bird of the day though was a SY (second-year) male Hooded Oriole
briefly on one of the hummer feeders. Little bit or rain in p.m..
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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