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Field Guides Tour Report
Texas Coast Migration Spectacle I 2018
Apr 14, 2018 to Apr 20, 2018
John Coons

Always a tough bird to see well, we had extraordinary views of this Swainson’s Warbler near the Big Thicket. Photo by participant Holger Teichmann.

One of my favorite aspects of birding is migration, where you can walk into a woods one day and there is very little to see and return the next day to find birds all over the place. We experienced that on the Upper Texas Coast during our four days of birding there. We had big numbers of Summer Tanagers and Scarlet Tanagers every day along with Orchard and Baltimore orioles and a daily trickling of warblers thrown in to add a lot more color.

Our time in the east Texas piney woods and Big Thicket started well with a Red-cockaded Woodpecker right off the bat followed by Brown-headed Nuthatches and Pine Warblers. It was much cooler than normal, which subdued bird song but we still managed to find Northern Parula, Protonotary, Yellow-throated, Hooded, Prairie, and a great Swainson's Warbler. The morning spent with a singing Bachman's Sparrow was certainly a highlight, as was the evening with a Barred Owl.

Heading to Winnie and High Island, we enjoyed our first dose of migrants with a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black-throated Green and Tennessee warblers, Northern Waterthrush, a few thrushes, and those orioles and tanagers. The next three and a half days we explored the woods, the coastline, the woods, the marshes, the woods, rice fields, and more woods. Highlights here included all those Least Bitterns at Anahuac, the rookery with nesting spoonbills and egrets, Reddish Egrets dancing in the shallows, Upland Sandpipers on a couple of occasions, a field with many Buff-breasted Sandpipers, a good number of shorebirds at Bolivar Flats, two rare Glaucous Gulls on the beach, nine species of terns, a brilliant pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers on our way back to Houston, Crested Caracaras, wonderful views of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, a cooperative Sedge Wren, a close Worm-eating Warbler, Kentucky, Blackpoll, and Magnolia warblers, Nelson's and Seaside sparrows, and a handful of Painted Buntings. And, a few alligators crossed our paths (not close).

We also experienced a good deal of east Texas hospitality, culture, and cuisine including crawfish, po-boys, shrimp, crimp burgers, and gumbo. It was great birding with all of you and I hope we can get together again one of these days. John

One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis) – We had several in flight around Anahuac NWR and the rice fields where the large white wing patch was clearly seen.
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor) – There were a handful of individuals swimming around rather close to us at Anahuac NWR.
WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa) – A single individual that Holger spotted flew past in Jones State Forest while we were looking for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors) – This was the most common duck we saw near the Coast.
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)
GADWALL (Mareca strepera) – There was a pair in Shoveler Pond at Anahuac.
MOTTLED DUCK (Anas fulvigula) – Several were seen, including a pair with ducklings that we saw along the entrance road to Bolivar Flats.
RING-NECKED DUCK (Aythya collaris)

Not a species one associates with the Texas Coast, and a rarity here, we saw two Glaucous Gulls on the beach at Bolivar Flats. Photo by participant Holger Teichmann.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps) – Several were seen at Anahuac.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus) – There were only a couple of sightings of this bird.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – On our final morning we saw a handful at the rookery at the Trinity River.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
LEAST BITTERN (Ixobrychus exilis) – We had great views of several individuals at Anahuac as we cruised around Shoveler Pond.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – At the rookery at Smith Woods we saw many nests with babies being tended to by fully plumed adults.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Some of those we saw at the rookery had intensely bright colors on their feet and bills.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – In full breeding condition this is one of the prettiest of the herons.
REDDISH EGRET (Egretta rufescens) – There were at least four individuals at Bolivar Flats and Rollover Pass. We watched a couple of them dancing in the shallow water to attract small fish.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea) – We had great close views of one methodically hunting in the wooded pond at Boy Scout Woods.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – The colors of these birds in full breeding plumage are amazing. This seems to be the last of the nesters at the rookery to lay eggs.
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
WHITE-TAILED KITE (Elanus leucurus) – Clancy spotted one perched in a field as we cruised down the Bolivar Peninsula.

One of the trip highlights was the time we spent watching a singing Bachman’s Sparrow in the Piney Woods. Photo by participant Holger Teichmann.

NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius) – A few late birds were still hanging around.
BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) – Mary Lou spotted a full adult near Sam Rayburn Dam as we were leaving the piney woods. We stopped for a very nice look.
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK (Buteo lineatus) – We saw two but our first was flying down the road ahead of us in the Big Thicket.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – We had a nice look at one perched on a power line in the piney woods.
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – We saw a handful of these long distance migrants on a couple of our days near the coast.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
CLAPPER RAIL (GULF COAST) (Rallus crepitans saturatus) – After working hard to see our first one at Anahuac we good views of another on the Bolivar Peninsula.
SORA (Porzana carolina) [*]
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica) – There were several seen at Anahuac NWR as they climbed through the reeds and swam at the edges of the marshes.
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)
AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana) – There were a fair number in great light at both Rollover Pass and at Bolivar Flats.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus) – We had nice looks at a pair at Rollover Pass.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis dominica) – Often a scarce species here, we saw these several times. I don't think any of them showed any black on the belly yet.
SNOWY PLOVER (Charadrius nivosus) – On our return to Rollover Pass with a better tide, we had a nice view of one right at the edge of the sandbar.
WILSON'S PLOVER (Charadrius wilsonia) – There were a handful again, at Rollover Pass and Bolivar Flats.
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)
PIPING PLOVER (Charadrius melodus) – We saw a good number, about 80, on the beach at Bolivar Flats. They seemed to be doing quite well this year.
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
UPLAND SANDPIPER (Bartramia longicauda) – We saw our first in a cattle pasture on our way to the Big Thicket on our first morning. Later we saw another five or so in the rice fields.
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – Surprisingly, we only had a few along the Bolivar Peninsula. The big push of them had not happened yet.
LONG-BILLED CURLEW (Numenius americanus) – A couple of these aptly named birds showed well for us on the Bolivar Peninsula.

Although they have declined in numbers over the years, we saw a healthy number of Piping Plovers on the sandbars and beach at Bolivar Flats. Photo by participant Holger Teichmann.

MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa) – There were a fair number of these under the old pier at Rollover Pass.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus)
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – There were certainly a lot of these on the beach at Bolivar Flats. All those we saw were still in winter plumage.
DUNLIN (Calidris alpina) – Many were getting their black bellies.
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii) – We saw two in the wet roadside ponds on the way into Bolivar Flats.
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER (Calidris subruficollis) – We got a tip and walked to the edge of a cattle pasture and found about 100 individuals in the short grass. Always a great bird, this is a much sought after species on the Texas Coast.
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus) – We had a nice comparison between this and the next species in the pond on the Bolivar Peninsula.
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus) – This was the dominant dowitcher in the rice fields.
WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata) – Mary Ellen spotted one along the dike at Anahuac but we could not back up to get a better view of it.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – We finally found this species on our last morning on our way back to Houston.
WILLET (Tringa semipalmata)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla) – This was by far the most common gull we encountered along the coast.
RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis)
HERRING GULL (AMERICAN) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)
GLAUCOUS GULL (Larus hyperboreus) – After getting a tip, we drove down the beach and saw two of these massive gulls about 80 yards apart as they fed on dead fish on the beach at Bolivar Flats. This is a rarity in this part of Texas in April.
LEAST TERN (Sternula antillarum) – There were quite a few of these tiny terns on the beaches.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – We saw a pair in one of the back marshes of the Bolivar Peninsula.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – A single individual was with a large group of Royal Terns on the beach.
BLACK TERN (Chlidonias niger) – We saw a few at Rollover Pass. This species has become more common in recent years along the Upper Texas Coast.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo)

Although they were not vocalizing much, Acadian Flycatchers were just getting back to their breeding grounds in east Texas at the start of our trip. Photo by participant Holger Teichmann.

FORSTER'S TERN (Sterna forsteri) – This was the smaller tern we saw carrying small fish into the marshes to feed their mates on nests.
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – One of the prettier of the terns, we had nice scope views of several at Rollover Pass.
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger) – A great bird, there was a flock of about 100 at Rollover Pass and we saw a few of them doing their distinctive feeding of flying over the water with their bills dragging in the water.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica) – We saw a couple at Sabine Woods after hearing them in High Island.
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus americanus) – We saw a couple at Smith Woods including one on our first afternoon.
Strigidae (Owls)
BARRED OWL (Strix varia) – We had a great experience just after dark in the Big Thicket area as one flew into a large tree above us before moving to a pine.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor)
Apodidae (Swifts)
CHIMNEY SWIFT (Chaetura pelagica)
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris) – We saw a handful of these migrants that had likely flown a long way to get to High Island.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) – One of the great woodpeckers of the world, we had great looks at a pair on our last morning as we headed back to the Houston area.
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes carolinus) – Our best view was of one that seemed to be investigating a hole at Sabine Woods.
DOWNY WOODPECKER (Picoides pubescens)
RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER (Picoides borealis) – At Jones State Forest, this was one of our first birds we saw as we entered the woods. It was chipping away bark on a pine not far from us before flying further away. This is a very special bird in Texas and this is one of the furthest west populations.
PILEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus pileatus) – We had a couple of these large woodpeckers on our day in the Big Thicket.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – We saw a surprising number of these around the rice fields and along the Bolivar Peninsula.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – After a lot of the shorebirds and other waders got up and flew at Rollover Pass, we spotted this falcon perched on a sandbar.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) – We didn't have any until the last couple of days of the week.
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – We saw a couple or three of these as migrants. They did not seem to be back on the potential breeding grounds that we visited.
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) – We had a couple of nice views at Sabine Woods.
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus)

Most of the herons and egrets we encountered were in full breeding regalia, as was this Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at High Island. Photo by participant Holger Teichmann.

SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus forficatus) – We had several great encounters with this fancy flycatcher in the rice fields and cattle pastures.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – There were a few sightings along power lines and fence wires in the open country.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
WHITE-EYED VIREO (Vireo griseus) – A daily voice in thickets, we ended up seeing this species several times at High Island.
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons) – A few popped up as migrants after our first along Turkey Creek in the Big Thicket.
BLUE-HEADED VIREO (Vireo solitarius) – a couple or more showed themselves at Smith Oaks and Sabine Woods.
WARBLING VIREO (Vireo gilvus) – Barbara saw one at Smith Woods one of the afternoons.
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLUE JAY (Cyanocitta cristata)
AMERICAN CROW (Corvus brachyrhynchos)
FISH CROW (Corvus ossifragus) – This bird has moved inland more and more in the last several years. We had a few near Silsbee and again at Cattail Marsh near Beaumont.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis) – Several of these were on the power line at Lake Charlotte that only a few of us saw when bringing the van around.
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis) – These were seen in a few places including several at the martin house at our hotel in Winnie.
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor) – A quite large flock appeared over Smith Woods one afternoon where they were after a hatching of some insect right overhead.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – We saw these around every large bridge and viewed those on nests at Anahuac NWR.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
CAROLINA CHICKADEE (Poecile carolinensis) – A few were seen on our Big Thicket days.
TUFTED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus bicolor) [*]
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH (Sitta pusilla) – We enjoyed great views of this piney woods specialty at Jones State Forest. It popped onto a short stick and stayed there for a nice study.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon) [*]
SEDGE WREN (Cistothorus platensis) – We had nice looks at this skulker in a dense patch of vegetation at the edge of the rice fields.
MARSH WREN (Cistothorus palustris) [*]
CAROLINA WREN (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea)
Regulidae (Kinglets)
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula) – A couple of late individuals were still hanging around from the winter.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EASTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia sialis) – We saw a couple of nice males and a female feeding near a nest box at Jones State Forest.

For a spell, we had a flurry of activity at Sabine Woods, where this Worm-eating Warbler showed well for us. Photo by participant Holger Teichmann.

VEERY (Catharus fuscescens) – We found two of these dainty thrushes at Smith Woods where they stayed put near the base of a sapling for a good 10 minutes.
GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH (Catharus minimus) – We saw a few at the end of the week.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – There were a good number of these in the migrant traps at High Island and Sabine Woods.
WOOD THRUSH (Hylocichla mustelina) – We heard a few giving partial songs in the woods at High Island. I believe our first sighting was of one bathing at the water drip at Boy Scout Woods.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis) – These were in big supply at High Island.
BROWN THRASHER (Toxostoma rufum)
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos) – One was at our motel in Winnie that sang incessantly from the same light post every time we got in the van.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum) – These were heard over the town of High Island but I don't think we ever laid eyes on one. [*]
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapilla) – We had a brief encounter on our last full day but I may have been the only one to get on this bird.
WORM-EATING WARBLER (Helmitheros vermivorum) – We had a nice view of this fabulous species at Sabine Woods but our first one was visiting the water drip at Boy Scout Woods.
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – We saw these most of the days as they worked around the edges of the pools at Boy Scout Woods.
BLUE-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora cyanoptera) – We saw a couple of individuals including a Brewster's hybrid type at Sabine Woods that looked mostly like a Blue-winged but with a white throat and lower belly.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – We encountered several during the week.
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea) – We had a nice experience with this brilliant yellow swamp denizen in the Big Thicket area on our first day.
SWAINSON'S WARBLER (Limnothlypis swainsonii) – Often a quite difficult bird to initially find, then see, we were treated to a great view of one in the Big Thicket area. They were surprisingly quiet on our first day when there was a bit of a chill in the air but we tracked down a singing individual the next morning.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – This was probably the most common warbler we encountered at High Island.
KENTUCKY WARBLER (Geothlypis formosa) – This is another species that showed quite well at the water drip at Boy Scout Woods.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)
HOODED WARBLER (Setophaga citrina) – We really worked to see our first on the breeding grounds in the piney woods, then we ended up seeing several in the woods at High Island.
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – We enjoyed nice views of a male.
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana) – We saw a single migrant at High Island but we also had a nice view of a singing bird on the breeding grounds in the Big Thicket.
MAGNOLIA WARBLER (Setophaga magnolia) – A species that popped up later in the week at Smith Woods.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Setophaga striata) – Usually one of the later warblers to appear, we found an interesting but well-marked female at Boy Scout Woods.

Another of the small plovers that inhabits the Gulf Coast of Texas is the Snowy Plover. We had this little guy on the sandbar at Rollover Pass. Photo by participant Holger Teichmann.

PINE WARBLER (Setophaga pinus) – These were quite common by voice in the piney woods and we had a couple nice looks.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (Setophaga coronata) – There were several about at Jones State Forest with a few singing on our first morning. This species winters in numbers here but most have headed back north by early April. We also saw a dullish female at Sabine Woods on our last full day.
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER (Setophaga dominica) – Usually found in tall trees close to water and that is exactly where we found this beauty in the Big Thicket area.
PRAIRIE WARBLER (Setophaga discolor) – We spotted a singing bird in the top of a small pine and got it in the scope. It eventually came in quite close to us.
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens) – We saw a few at High Island.
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
BACHMAN'S SPARROW (Peucaea aestivalis) – One of the trip highlights was finding this southeastern U.S. specialty in the piney woods near Jasper. It sang and sang from the same perch for quite awhile offering great scope views. We ended up staying right there and were serenaded by it during our picnic breakfast.
NELSON'S SPARROW (Ammodramus nelsoni) – This took some looking but we finally got great looks at this strikingly colorful sparrow in a saltmarsh on the Bolivar Peninsula.
SEASIDE SPARROW (Ammodramus maritimus) – One sat up nicely for us in the coastal prairie at Anahuac NWR.
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (Zonotrichia albicollis) – A late-staying bird, we saw one at the pond at Boy Scout Woods.
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)
SWAMP SPARROW (Melospiza georgiana)
Icteriidae (Yellow-breasted Chat)
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (Icteria virens) – We just couldn't get one into view. I'm sure the nippy weather on our day in the Big Thicket was a factor in this. [*]
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – Wow! We saw a lot of these over our time at High Island. There were probably new arrivals each day that we encountered.
SCARLET TANAGER (Piranga olivacea) – Slightly outnumbered by the previous species but we still saw a good number at High Island. This is one of the dazzling eastern birds.
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis)
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – Amazingly few of these were encountered at High Island.
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea) – Our best view was a male in the Big Thicket area near where we saw the Prairie Warbler.
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) – These were in good numbers on a few of the days at High Island.
PAINTED BUNTING (Passerina ciris) – After a few glimpses we had a nice look on one of the afternoons where at least four of these colorful birds were seen.
DICKCISSEL (Spiza americana) – Our first popped up just as we had to drive off where the road construction was going on, but we ended up seeing a few on our last morning as we headed to Houston.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna)
ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurius) – Both orioles were seen in big numbers at High Island. We hit the peak of migrations for these and we saw more females and first year males than we did adult males.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – There were plenty of these at both woods at High Island.
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)

On our final morning of birding, we had great views of Red-headed Woodpecker, one of the best looking of the woodpeckers anywhere in the world. Photo by participant Holger Teichmann.

BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD (Molothrus ater) – Never a crowd favorite.
COMMON GRACKLE (Quiscalus quiscula)
BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus major) – We had a good comparison with the next species at the marsh at Anahuac NWR.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

SWAMP RABBIT (Sylvilagus aquaticus) – This was the larger rabbit that we saw most days in the woods at High Island.
EASTERN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus carolinensis) – These were quite common in all the woodlots.
FOX SQUIRREL (Sciurus niger) – Tyrrell Park near Beaumont is the only spot we saw these.


Totals for the tour: 185 bird taxa and 3 mammal taxa