Texas 2010: Logistics and Lists

Flights were on American (several airlines were all at the same rate, picked based on time and connecting city) and we had no real issues. Car rental was through Hertz. Mazda 3, which was much less comfortable than the 6 I had last year. We’re pretty sure we got screwed a bit on the cost there and have no interest in dealing with Hertz again any time son. Hotels and food are all mentioned in the daily reports.

I brought my own GPS. It worked fine for the most part, but had occasional issues with new construction and road names. The construction wasn’t a problem as it was obvious where to go but the names did cause some problems. We had to refer to the paper directions for several places as I couldn’t find them in the attraction list and the route number in the address wasn’t accepted (for some reason it wanted the local name).

Here’s everything seen on our trip:

Birds (156)

At most places with water
American Wigeon
various watery spots
A few in the Riverwalk in San Antonio and a couple in Rockport
Mottled Duck
2-4 each at Santa Ana, Llano Grande, and South Padre
Blue-winged Teal
Couple each at various water spots
Cinnamon Teal
Four from the deck at Llano Grande
Northern Shoveler
Big numbers at Llano Grande and Laguna Atascosa
Northern Pintail
Huge numbers at Laguna Atascosa and Goose Island
Green-winged Teal
Couple at Llano Grande and Choke Canyon
Many in the bay at South Padre and Laguna Atascosa
Ring-necked Duck
1 at Santa Ana, handful at Llano Grande
Lesser Scaup
2 at Llano Grande
Few each at Aransas, Goose Island, and Choke Canyon
Common Goldeneye
Couple while driving over the causeway between Rockport and Aransas
Red-breasted Merganser
Few at most coastal stops
Ruddy Duck
15 at Llano Grande
Plain Chachalaca
Flocks of 5-10 at most valley sites (Santa Ana to Laguna Atascosa)
Common Loon
5 at Goose Island
Least Grebe
Few at Santa Ana and Llano Grande, single at Laguna Atascosa
Pied-billed Grebe
At sites all over from Zacata Creek to Goose Island
Eared Grebe
Few way out at Goose Island
American White Pelican
Few at Falcon and Zapata, about 100 at Llano Grande, couple elsewhere
Brown Pelican
All over the coast
Neotropic Cormorant
Few from Zacate Creek to South Padre
Double-crested Cormorant
from Laguna Atascosa to Goose Island (probably lots should have been cormorant sp)
4 at Llano Grande, 2 at Frontera
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
1-3 at Llano Grande, South Padre, and Laguna Atascosa
Tricolored Heron
Singles at Llano Grande and South Padre, 6 at Aransas
Reddish Egret
1 at South Padre, 2 at Aransas
Cattle Egret
3 at Zacate Creek
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Single at Llano Grande (the bird walk also had a Green Heron that I missed)
White Ibis
few from South Padre to Aransas
White-faced Ibis
Single at Zacate Creek
Roseate Spoonbill
Singles at Llano Grande and South Padre, about 10 at Aransas on the boardwalk by the tower
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Few near Falcon, along coast, and at Choke Canyon
White-tailed Kite
Pair at Llano Grande
Northern Harrier
Singles at Falcon, South Padre, and Laguna Atascosa
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Singles at Zacate Creek and Bentsen
Cooper’s Hawk
Singles at Santa Ana, Quinta Mazatlan, and Llano Grande
Harris’s Hawk
Single at Falcon and Santa Ana
Red-shouldered Hawk
Small numbers from Frio County to Llano Grande
White-tailed Hawk
several along the roads in Cameron County and up to Aransas (one perched in front of the cranes)
Red-tailed Hawk
Numerous along the highways (likely some other hawks mixed in but it was hard to stop)
Crested Caracara
Numerous, especially near Zapata and along the coast
American Kestrel
Abundant along the highways (I could have used a hand clicker to keep track of numbers)
Peregrine Falcon
One over the parking lot at the Best Western in Weslaco
Aplomado Falcon
A distant bird in flight at Laguna Atascosa must have been one of these
One at Llano Grande
Common Moorhen
Few each at Santa Ana, Llano Grande, South Padre, and Laguna Atascosa
American Coot
Everywhere there was water
Sandhill Crane
2 along the road west of Rockport somewhere
Whooping Crane
2 were visible from the tower at Aransas
Black-bellied Plover
Single at South Padre
few all over
Mountain Plover
At least 50 in the field at the intersection of 57 and 140 in Frio County
Black-necked Stilt
6 at Llano Grande
American Avocet
4 at Llano Grande, 1 over the road between Rockport and Beeville
Northern Jacana
the long-staying bird at Choke Canyon was easy to see at the shore of 75-Acre Lake
Spotted Sandpiper
1-2 at many spots
Greater Yellowlegs
Few each at Zacate Creek, South Padre, and Laguna Atascosa
4 at South Padre, 30+ at Laguna Atascosa, 4 at Goose Island, all presumably Western
Long-billed Curlew
2 at South Padre, 5+ at Laguna Atascosa
Marbled Godwit
Single at South Padre, handful at Laguna Atascosa
Ruddy Turnstone
1 at Laguna Atascosa, few at Goose Island
10+ at Laguna Atascosa
Long-billed Dowitcher
40+ at Llano Grande, single dowitcher at South Padre
Laughing Gull
Numerous along the coast
Ring-billed Gull
Few at Goose Island
Herring Gull
Gull-billed Tern
About 10 at Laguna Atascosa
Caspian Tern
4 at South Padre, singles at Laguna Atascosa and Rockport (several tern sp along the coast as well)
Royal Tern
Few at South Padre at least
Black Skimmer
About 50 at South Padre, 3 at Goose Island
Rock Pigeon
Various in cities
Eurasian Collared-Dove
5 at the Best Western in Weslaco, 2 near the Big Oak at Goose Island, 2 in Lamar
White-winged Dove
2-20 at various spots
Mourning Dove
Inca Dove
from Salineno to Frontera, most numerous at Frontera
Common Ground-Dove
Salineno, Bentsen, and Llano Grande
White-tipped Dove
Couple at most valley sites and Laguna Atascosa
Greater Roadrunner
5 at Laguna Atascosa
Common Pauraque
2 staked out at Llano Grande
Buff-bellied Hummingbird
2-3 each at Llano Grande, Valley Nature Center, and Frontera
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Singles at Llano Grande and Frontera
Ringed Kingfisher
2 over Zacate Creek, 1 over Military Highway in Mission
Belted Kingfisher
1 on the highway near Falcon, 1 at Aransas, 1 in Rockport
Green Kingfisher
Singles at Santa Ana and Frontera
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Few from Falcon to Quinta Mazatlan including 8 at Bentsen
Eastern Phoebe
at most sites
Great Kiskadee
Numerous from Zacate Creek to Frontera
Tropical Kingbird
3 (presumed) at Llano Grande
Couch’s Kingbird
Single at South Padre, 4 along the road in at Laguna Atascosa
Rose-throated Becard
The young male coming to the peanut butter feeder at the gatehouse at Bentsen was easy to see as the park opened
Loggerhead Shrike
Single at Falcon, few near Laguna Atascosa, 1 at Goose Island
White-eyed Vireo
Single at Falcon, 3 heard at Laguna Atascosa
Blue-headed Vireo
Single at Bentsen
Blue Jay
3 in San Antonio
Green Jay
Most valley sites, up to Choke Canyon
Chihuahuan Raven
handful along the highway near Zapata
Tree Swallow
Few at Santa Ana
Cave Swallow
Single at Santa Ana
Black-crested Titmouse
At most places in the valley
2 at Falcon
Carolina Wren
One in San Antonio and Santa Ana
Bewick’s Wren
One at Salineno
House Wren
Single at Bentsen
Marsh Wren
Couple calling at South Padre
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
All over the valley
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
At most sites in the valley
Northern Wheatear
Wintering bird was easy to see in Beeville
Clay-colored Thrush
Single at the gatehouse at Bentsen
American Robin
San Antonio and Zacate Creek
Northern Mockingbird
All over but especially abundant at Falcon and Laguna Atascosa
Long-billed Thrasher
At most valley sites, good numbers at Laguna Atascosa
Curve-billed Thrasher
2 at Quinta Mazatlan, single at Laguna Atascosa
European Starling
American Pipit
Few along the roads, single at Llano Grande, and a handful at Choke Canyon
Sprague’s Pipit
Single at Laguna Atascosa near Pelican Lake
Cedar Waxwing
Few in San Antonio, single at Quinta Mazatlan, about 20 at Llano Grande
Orange-crowned Warbler
Tropical Parula
Both staked out birds (Quinta Mazatlan and Frontera) were seen
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Everywhere, all appeared to be Myrtle
Black-and-white Warbler
Single at Valley Nature Center
Single at Frontera
Common Yellowthroat
At most wet spots
Olive Sparrow
From Salineno to Laguna Atascosa
Cassin’s Sparrow
One at the start of the nature trail at Falcon
Chipping Sparrow
Couple in San Antonio and Aransas
Savannah Sparrow
Handful at Llano Grande, Laguna Atascosa, and the wheatear site
Grasshopper Sparrow
One at Llano Grande, 2 (1 incredibly cooperative) at Laguna Atascosa
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Falcon, Bentsen, and Llano Grande
Swamp Sparrow
Single at Aransas
White-crowned Sparrow
1 at Falcon
Crimson-collared Grosbeak
The Quinta Mazatlan bird was fairly easy to see once we got to the right spot
Northern Cardinal
All over
Couple at Zacate Creek, 10+ at Falcon
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
One at Bentsen
Indigo Bunting
Few at Bentsen
Red-winged Blackbird
All over
Eastern Meadowlark
Many singing at Laguna Atascosa
Western Meadowlark
Presuming most of the meadowlarks from San Antonio to Zapata and in Beeville were Western (several heard)
Brewer’s Blackbird
Sarita rest stop and elsewhere along 77
Great-tailed Grackle
Bronzed Cowbird
4+ at the Best Western in Weslaco
Brown-headed Cowbird
Few at Falcon and Sarita
Hooded Oriole
3 at Salineno and 1 likely at Falcon
Altamira Oriole
Falcon, Salineno, and Bentsen
Audubon’s Oriole
1 at Salineno
American Goldfinch
2 at Zacate Creek, 5 at Frontera
House Sparrow

The cool and cloudy weather wasn’t very good for bugs, which were in low numbers after cold weather before we arrived.

Butterflies (6+)

Funeral Duskywing
Presumably the duskywing at Falcon.
Tropical Checkered-Skipper
Several at Valley Nature Center
Skipper sp
Falcon, still working on it
Little Yellow
Reakirt’s Blue
Fritillary sp
Presumably Variegated but very poorly seen at Falcon
American Snout
1 at Santa Ana
1 at Santa Ana

Odes (3)

Familiar Bluet
1 female at Falcon was presumably Familiar
Common Green Darner
Several at Santa Ana
Red Saddlebags
Several at Santa Ana