Late Migration Workshop Trip Report

A fantastic Saturday to be out birding and it was difficult to pin down the highlight. It was a great group, sunny warm weather, a bit windy and birds were moving en masse. Albeit songbird migration at High Island was slow, the diversity and sheer number of shorebirds compensated more than enough. I can honestly say without the slightest exaggeration that I saw more shorebirds between Anahuac and High Island than I have ever seen in 10 years of birding the upper Texas Coast.

In flooded rice fields loaded with Stilt, White-rumped, Pectoral Sandpipers, plover, and dowitchers, we were able to study at least 60 Hudsonian Godwits, some of them quite close and a few flying back and forth across the road, allowing for great flight views. The shorebird extravaganza had started promising in the morning with views of the long staying Ruff at less than ten feet, plus close study of spinning Wilson’s Phalaropes.

Around Shoveler Pond we found Least Bittern and had a few flight views of Seaside Sparrows. Soras strolled in the open and flyover Bobolinks were seen briefly and we wanted better views, we shouldn’t have worried. At High Island we stopped for lunch and afterward wandered through the mostly quiet woods with the best warbler being a Bay-breasted. A quick stop by the beach revealed a single Franklin’s Gull among a plethora of terns and gulls.

The final highlight of the day was 30-40 Bobolinks, many of the males in full song, on the return trip for great photographic opportunities. The day ended all too quickly and I hope to see you all on future trips, you were a great group.

Species List

  1. Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis)  X
  2. Fulvous Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna bicolor)  X
  3. Gadwall (Anas strepera)  X
  4. Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula)  X
  5. Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors)  X
  6. Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)  X
  7. Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)  X
  8. Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus)  X
  9. Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps)  X
  10. Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)  X
  11. Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)  X
  12. American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)  X
  13. Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis)  X
  14. Great Egret (Ardea alba)  X
  15. Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)  X
  16. Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea)  X
  17. Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)  X
  18. Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)  X
  19. Green Heron (Butorides virescens)  X
  20. Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)  X
  21. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)  X
  22. White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)  X
  23. White-faced Ibis (Plegadis chihi)  X
  24. Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja)  X
  25. Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus)  X
  26. Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)  X
  27. Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)  X
  28. Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus)  X
  29. Swainson’s Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)  X
  30. King Rail (Rallus elegans)  X
  31. Sora (Porzana carolina)  X
  32. Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus)  X
  33. Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata)  X
  34. American Coot (Fulica americana)  X
  35. Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus)  X
  36. Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)  X
  37. American Golden-Plover (Pluvialis dominica)  X
  38. Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus)  X
  39. Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)  X
  40. Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca)  X
  41. Willet (Tringa semipalmata)  X
  42. Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)  X
  43. Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda)  X
  44. Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)  X
  45. Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica)  X 50-60 birds in flooded rice fields
  46. Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)  X
  47. Stilt Sandpiper (Calidris himantopus)  X
  48. Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) X fantastci views of the long staying bird at Anahuac NWR
  49. Sanderling (Calidris alba)  X
  50. Dunlin (Calidris alpina)  X
  51. Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla)  X
  52. White-rumped Sandpiper (Calidris fuscicollis)  X
  53. Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)  X
  54. Semipalmated Sandpiper (Calidris pusilla)  X
  55. Short-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus)  X
  56. Long-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus)  X
  57. Wilson’s Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor)  X
  58. Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla)  X
  59. Franklin’s Gull (Leucophaeus pipixcan)  X
  60. Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  X
  61. Herring Gull (Larus argentatus)  X
  62. Least Tern (Sternula antillarum)  X
  63. Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica)  X
  64. Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)  X
  65. Royal Tern (Thalasseus maximus)  X
  66. Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)  X
  67. Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  X
  68. Inca Dove (Columbina inca)  X
  69. Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus)  X
  70. Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minor)  X
  71. Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica)  X
  72. Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris)  X
  73. Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)  X
  74. Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus)  X
  75. Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)  X
  76. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (Tyrannus forficatus)  X
  77. Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)  X
  78. Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)  X
  79. American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  X
  80. Purple Martin (Progne subis)  X
  81. Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)  X
  82. Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)  X
  83. Cave Swallow (Petrochelidon fulva)  X
  84. Marsh Wren (Cistothorus palustris)  X
  85. Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)  X
  86. Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)  X
  87. Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)  X
  88. European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  X
  89. Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  X
  90. Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina)  X
  91. Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  X
  92. American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)  X
  93. Northern Parula (Setophaga americana)  X
  94. Bay-breasted Warbler (Setophaga castanea)  X
  95. Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia)  X
  96. Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica)  X
  97. Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)  X
  98. Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis)  X
  99. Seaside Sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus)  X
  100. White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys)  X
  101. Summer Tanager (Piranga rubra)  X
  102. Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea)  X
  103. Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  X
  104. Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus)  X
  105. Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)  X
  106. Dickcissel (Spiza americana)  X
  107. Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus)  X
  108. Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)  X
  109. Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna)  X
  110. Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  X
  111. Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major)  X
  112. Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus)  X
  113. Bronzed Cowbird (Molothrus aeneus)  X
  114. Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  X
  115. Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius)  X
  116. Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)  X
  117. House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  X

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Orion Weldon on May 3, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Sounds like an amazing day!! I’m super jealous!


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