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Field Guides Tour Report
Texas Coast Migration Spectacle I 2019
Apr 13, 2019 to Apr 19, 2019
John Coons

It took some looking, but we finally got great views of a Swainson’s Warbler in the Big Thicket area. This is one of the specialties of the southeast U.S. Photo by participant Eric Gustafson.

We enjoyed a wonderful week of birding in East Texas and the Upper Texas Coast. Weather was almost too good on our first days on the coast, but a storm that came through Wednesday night and Thursday morning caused a lot of birds to drop in that afternoon. We encountered several new species of warblers with this fallout including a gorgeous male Cerulean Warbler, Chestnut-sided, Blue-winged, and Kentucky.

Our trip started with a couple of chilly mornings in the Big Thicket and Piney Woods which made for pleasant conditions after the sun warmed us a bit. Red-cockaded Woodpecker was the star of a big woodpecker morning at Jones State Forest that also afforded us good views of Red-headed and Pileated. We got into breeding habitat for several of the area warblers in the morning and afternoon, where we saw Prothonotary, Hooded, Northern Parula, Pine, Yellow-throated, Prairie, and had a great look at a close singing Swainson's Warbler. A Greater Roadrunner right next to the road was a surprise. The next morning found us further north where we were serenaded by a few Bachman's Sparrows during breakfast and a Brown-headed Nuthatch made an appearance. We headed to the coast that afternoon with a detour to see a pair of Whooping Cranes that had been hanging around for a few days.

Along the coast for 3 1/2 days, we had big numbers of migrants on a few days, though warblers were mostly passing over. Numerous Orchard and Baltimore orioles, Summer and Scarlet tanagers and Eastern Kingbirds were gorging themselves on the mulberries. We chipped away at the warbler migrants before having our fallout on Thursday.

We enjoyed spending time with shorebirds and other water birds near the coast, at nearby rice fields, and at Anahuac NWR. In these habitats, we saw Black-bellied and Fulvous whistling-ducks, Clapper Rail, Purple Gallinule, Snowy, Wilson's, and Piping plovers, Upland Sandpipers, Hudsonian Godwits, Red Knot in near breeding plumage, and eight species of terns. Other highlights included a Swallow-tailed Kite circling over us at High Island, all those close nesting egrets and spoonbills at the rookery, our Barred Owl evening, the Merlin having breakfast in the rain, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Seaside and Nelson's sparrows, and the Yellow-headed Blackbirds with the Dickcissels on our last morning.

This part of Texas is quite different from the rest of it, and I liked Laura's observation that it seemed like we were in another country. It was great birding with all of you and I look forward to the next time. 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 saw these most of the days we were on the coast.
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor) – There were a good number of these at Anahuac NWR.
WOOD DUCK (Aix sponsa) – A pair was seen flying over us near the Trinity River on our last day.
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)
GADWALL (Mareca strepera) – About three individuals were seen at Anahuac.
MOTTLED DUCK (Anas fulvigula) – A southeast US specially; we saw a handful in scattered locations.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (AMERICAN) (Anas crecca carolinensis) – Eric spotted a pair near Beaumont.
LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis) – We saw three in a pond along the Bolivar Peninsula after one near the rookery at Smith Woods.
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (Mergus serrator) – A fly-by individual was seen near Anahuac.

With bright orange feet, glowing red lores and fine breeding plumes, this Snowy Egret was putting on a show at the rookery at Smith Woods. Photo by participant Mona Gardner.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica) – Most of those we saw and heard were at Sabine Woods.
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx californianus) – We had great views of one that was right next to the road in the Piney Woods. This is a quite uncommon species in this area.
YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO (Coccyzus americanus) – Laura spotted our first in Smith Woods, then we had another one or two, as well as a few others that were vocalizing.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles minor) – We heard and saw a couple at dusk but also had a nice look at one on a day perch at Smith Woods.
Apodidae (Swifts)
CHIMNEY SWIFT (Chaetura pelagica) – These must have been very late in arriving. We only encountered them a couple of times where they should have been a daily sighting.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris) – Only a couple of these were seen.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
CLAPPER RAIL (GULF COAST) (Rallus crepitans saturatus) – We had great views of one along the roadside on the Bolivar Peninsula.
SORA (Porzana carolina) [*]
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
PURPLE GALLINULE (Porphyrio martinica) – We saw a few while driving around the marshes at Anahuac NWR.
Gruidae (Cranes)
WHOOPING CRANE (Grus americana) – We saw two individuals in an unplowed rice field that had been present in the area for a week. It has been determined that these birds are from the free flying population from Louisiana. This is quite a rare sighting here.

We had great views of this male Cerulean Warbler at High Island; this is one of the more sought after warblers that comes through the Upper Texas Coast. Photo by participant Eric Gustafson.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus) – We saw at least a few of these each day along the coast.
AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana) – We only saw these in coastal locations and there were a lot of them at Bolivar Flats.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus) – There were a couple of pairs seen along the Coast.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – A fair number were along the Bolivar Peninsula, with some starting to show the black underparts of breeding plumage.
SNOWY PLOVER (Charadrius nivosus) – Two individuals were seen at Bolivar Flats where it is a quite uncommon shorebird.
WILSON'S PLOVER (Charadrius wilsonia) – Our first was at Rollover Pass then we saw a few more at Bolivar Flats.
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus) – These were quite numerous in some locations.
PIPING PLOVER (Charadrius melodus) – A quite threatened bird through its range, we saw a few on the beach at Bolivar Flats where they nest.
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
UPLAND SANDPIPER (Bartramia longicauda) – We saw three individuals on the turf farm on our last morning.
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – Seen most days of the trip while we were near the Coast, the big numbers of them had not quite arrived yet.
HUDSONIAN GODWIT (Limosa haemastica) – We had nice views of about six individuals at a flooded field that we got to just after dinner, after getting a message from a friend that they were there. This is a rather uncommon but much sought after species here.
MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa) – Unlike the above species, all of our sightings were in coastal areas of the Bolivar Peninsula.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Several, including many in colorful breeding plumage, were seen on the beaches.
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus) – Two individuals, with one showing quite a bit of rufous on its back, were seen soon after we drove on to the beach at Bolivar Flats.
STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus) – We saw a handful in the flooded field on our last morning before heading to the airport.

It was a real surprise to see a pair of Whooping Cranes in the rice fields. These birds are from the free-flying Louisiana population that has been around for about three generations. Photo by participant Mona Gardner.

SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – Big groups of these entertaining little shorebirds were seen at Bolivar Flats.
DUNLIN (Calidris alpina) – These were not abundant, but we had several encounters with this bird, including some that showed quite a bit of black on the belly.
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii) – There were at least two individuals in the wet field on the way in to Anahuac NWR.
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos) – A few were in the flooded field on our last morning.
SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER (Calidris pusilla) – There were not many, but we saw at least a couple on our last morning.
WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri)
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus) – We heard and saw several; these were mostly in the coastal areas....
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus) – ...while this species seemed to be most frequently seen in the muddy rice fields.
WILSON'S SNIPE (Gallinago delicata) – We flushed a single individual from the edge of the pond at Anahuac NWR.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria) – We saw one at Anahuac, then had a better view of one standing in the road near Sabine Pass.
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca) – We only saw a few; they were far outnumbered by Lesser Yellowlegs.
WILLET (Tringa semipalmata) – One of the most widespread of the shorebirds we encountered. We saw them in most places we visited along the Coast and nearby inland areas.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla) – This was the common gull we encountered.

After much looking in the marsh, we came upon a Least Bittern that was actively hunting small fish at Anahuac NWR. Photo by participant Eric Gustafson.

RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis) – A few were seen along the Coast and at Rollover Pass but they are not all that common here.
HERRING GULL (AMERICAN) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus) – There were a few more of these, all in immature plumage, along the Coast.
LEAST TERN (Sternula antillarum) – Lots of these were on the beach at Bolivar Flats and gave us good views.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – Our only sighting of this marsh tern was on the freshwater ponds near Port Bolivar.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – Only a couple were seen.
BLACK TERN (Chlidonias niger) – A pretty good number of these handsome terns were seen, especially at Rollover Pass. These used to be a fairly rare bird here but they have increased in numbers in recent years.
COMMON TERN (Sterna hirundo) – There were lots of these wintering and migrating birds on the sandbar at Rollover Pass.
FORSTER'S TERN (Sterna forsteri) – This is the relatively common, smallish, nesting tern here. They did not seem to have nests going yet as we did not see them carrying fish to their mates in the marsh.
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus) – Good numbers of these large orange-billed terns were seen along the Coast.
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – One of the more handsome of the terns, these sleek looking birds with the long thin black bills all seemed to be paired up on the sandbar at Rollover and the beach at Bolivar Flats.
BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger) – Rollover Pass had a good number of these unusual birds that we saw loafing on the sandbar and feeding in the water.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – We saw several along the Trinity River wetlands on our last morning on the way to the airport.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus) – This was the widespread cormorant we encountered.
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) – There were more of these on the beach at Bolivar Flats and the sandbars at Rollover Pass than I ever remember seeing before.
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis) – Good numbers were seen and we were rarely out of sight of at least one along the Coast.

We found two male Yellow-headed Blackbirds, a rather rare bird in the area, with a flock of Red-winged Blackbirds and cowbirds near a rice field. Photo by participant Mona Gardner.

Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
LEAST BITTERN (Ixobrychus exilis) – It took some looking but we finally spotted one in the marsh at Anahuac and it gave us a great view.
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Many of those we saw at the rookery had magnificent plumes, as well as being the first of the herons there with young.
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula) – Several at the rookery had bright orange feet and bright red lores, the color of intense breeding plumage.
LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor)
REDDISH EGRET (Egretta rufescens) – A colorful individual was on the tidal flats at Bolivar.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax) – We only saw a couple of fly-bys at Anahuac.
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea) – Our best sightings were at Tyrrell Park near Beaumont.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus) – We saw a few fairly large flocks along with singles scattered here and there.
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja) – Who doesn't like a big pink bird with a funny shaped bill and orange on the tail?
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)

We saw good numbers of Black Skimmers at Rollover Pass on the Bolivar Peninsula. Here, one sails over at least four species of terns. Photo by participant Eric Gustafson.

Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – We saw a couple along the coast after our first near Lake Sam Rayburn.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
SWALLOW-TAILED KITE (Elanoides forficatus) – It was a real surprise to see this beautiful species sailing around over Smith Woods. This is another uncommon species here.
NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius) – A good number of these were still hanging around this year.
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)
BALD EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) – An adult flew across the highway in front of us in Houston on our way to the airport.
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK (Buteo lineatus) – We saw one on a powerline near Fred before it flew into the woods.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – We had a few, including a briefly perched one in the Piney Woods.
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – There were a scattering of these around the rice fields as they migrated north. We saw a field with about ten individuals perched on the ground on our way to Anahuac.
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis) – These are not common but we saw a few in the Piney Woods and at least one in the rice fields.
Strigidae (Owls)
BARRED OWL (Strix varia) – We had a great show, with one showing very well near Silsbee before another flew in and they started calling back and forth. This is one of the great bird calls of North America.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) – We had a nice scope view of this great bird on our first morning at Jones State Forest.
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes carolinus) – We heard several but our best views were at Sabine Woods.
DOWNY WOODPECKER (Dryobates pubescens) – We finally tracked these down at Sabine Woods.
RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER (Dryobates borealis) – We had nice views of at least three individuals at Jones State Forest on our first morning. A pair seemed to be hanging around a nest hole, then we found a single bird quite close to the trail. This is one of the least numerous birds in the U.S.
PILEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus pileatus) – One showed well at Jones State Forest. It flew and landed on a large dead tree.

We heard a few Prairie Warblers, and had a nice look at this one in the regenerating pines that are scattered through the Piney Woods of east Texas. Photo by participant Eric Gustafson.

NORTHERN FLICKER (YELLOW-SHAFTED) (Colaptes auratus auratus) – We had at least one north of Jasper as we were looking for the Bachman's Sparrow.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – This is about the northeast edge of the range of this species. We saw a few in the rice fields and along the Bolivar Peninsula.
MERLIN (Falco columbarius) – Two were perched in a couple of dead trees at Sabine Pass as we waited out the rain. One was eating a bird but it was already too far gone to identify the prey.
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens) – We saw a few the last couple of days along the Coast.
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens) – There at least two individuals at High Island on our last afternoon.
EASTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus tyrannus) – These were in pretty good numbers on a couple of days at the migration sites on the Coast.
SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus forficatus) – This great looking species gave us good views a few times. They were cooperative and perched on fence wires for us.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – Our first was perched on the antenna at Silsbee, then we saw a few more on power lines in the rice fields.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
WHITE-EYED VIREO (Vireo griseus) – One of the common bird songs of the Piney Woods; we saw a few here and there.
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons)
BLUE-HEADED VIREO (Vireo solitarius) – This was one of our first birds on our first morning at Jones State Forest. We saw a couple more as migrants on the Coast.
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
BLUE JAY (Cyanocitta cristata)
AMERICAN CROW (Corvus brachyrhynchos)

We had wonderful views of Red-cockaded Woodpecker, one of the rarest birds in North America, on our first morning in the field. Photo by participant Eric Gustafson.

FISH CROW (Corvus ossifragus) – We heard and saw a few around Silsbee and Beaumont.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis) – There were a few around High Island but the numbers seemed much reduced.
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor) – We saw an impressive number of these on the fence wires and in the road at Anahuac NWR. There were easily 1000+ birds present.
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) – There were lots of these under the big bridges in the Piney Woods and a few places along the Coast.
CAVE SWALLOW (Petrochelidon fulva) – We saw a few flying about the bridge on the Bolivar Peninsula.
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
CAROLINA CHICKADEE (Poecile carolinensis) – This dainty little chickadee gave us nice views on our first morning.
TUFTED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus bicolor)
Sittidae (Nuthatches)
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis) – We saw about three at our pit stop during our trip north into the Piney Woods. They are usually gone by this time of year.
BROWN-HEADED NUTHATCH (Sitta pusilla) – A real specialty of the southeast. We had one on our first morning, but the best views were at breakfast with the nearby singing Bachman's Sparrow the next morning.
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
SEDGE WREN (Cistothorus platensis) – One showed very well along the roadside in the rice fields.
MARSH WREN (Cistothorus palustris) – We heard more than we saw but one popped out for us at Anahuac.
CAROLINA WREN (Thryothorus ludovicianus)
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea) – Several were whining away in the Piney Woods and we saw a couple of them.
Regulidae (Kinglets)
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula) – A few of these late wintering birds were still hanging around.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EASTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia sialis) – A male or two and females were seen at Jones State Forest on our first morning.
VEERY (Catharus fuscescens) – Our only one was a cooperative bird near where we parked the van at High Island.
GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH (Catharus minimus) – I may have been the only one to see this bird at Sabine Woods.
SWAINSON'S THRUSH (Catharus ustulatus) – These seemed to be late in arriving but we had pretty good views at Boy Scout Woods.
WOOD THRUSH (Hylocichla mustelina) – Our first was a heard only singing bird on territory near Jasper, then we saw a few at High Island and Sabine Woods.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis)
BROWN THRASHER (Toxostoma rufum) – Seemingly absent from the High Island area, we saw about four individuals at Sabine Woods.
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum) – There was a flock at Jones State Forest on our first morning and they were heard and seen flying over at High Island.

Roseate Spoonbills were still constructing their nests at the rookery at Smith Woods at High Island. Photo by participant Eric Gustafson.

Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus) – There were a good number at Jones State Forest on our first morning. This is a species that is usually gone by early April.
Passerellidae (New World Sparrows)
BACHMAN'S SPARROW (Peucaea aestivalis) – We had great scope views of a singing bird in very nice habitat near Lake Sam Rayburn. A specialty of the southeast US, this bird has a lovely song that echos through the pinewoods.
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina) – A few late-wintering birds were on the ground at Jones State Forest.
SEASIDE SPARROW (Ammospiza maritima) – We had nice views of a rather close individual singing from the marsh vegetation on the Bolivar Peninsula.
NELSON'S SPARROW (Ammospiza nelsoni) – A rather uncommon bird this late in the spring, Laura spotted one in the marsh that gave us nice views.
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)
SWAMP SPARROW (Melospiza georgiana) – We saw one at Anahuac and another at Sabine Woods. These were individuals that had not yet headed north.
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) – Laura spotted two in a tree in the rice fields that also contained a large number of Dickcissels.
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna)
ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurius) – We had big numbers of these on a few days at High Island.
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Icterus galbula) – A brilliantly colored bird, there were large numbers of individuals that had just arrived from flying over the Gulf on one of the afternoons at High Island.
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
COMMON GRACKLE (Quiscalus quiscula)
BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus major) – These were essentially only seen in this bird's true habitat, the coastal prairies and marshes near the Coast. You would not see one in town or hanging around feeders like the Great-tailed Grackle.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)

Dickcissels arrive in flocks around the rice fields just inland from the coast, and we found a large flock with some Red-winged Blackbirds on our final morning. Photo by participant Mona Gardner.

Parulidae (New World Warblers)
OVENBIRD (Seiurus aurocapilla) – On our last afternoon we found one walking about on the ground under some shrubs near Hook's Woods.
WORM-EATING WARBLER (Helmitheros vermivorum) – We saw a couple of individuals on the last two days of our trip.
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla) – One bird, a late one hanging around, showed briefly at the pond at Sabine Woods.
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia noveboracensis) – We saw several during the week as they patrolled the edges of the ponds in the woodlots. On our last full day, we ended up seeing or hearing at least six individuals.
BLUE-WINGED WARBLER (Vermivora cyanoptera) – We had nice looks at Boy Scout Woods.
PROTHONOTARY WARBLER (Protonotaria citrea) – This is one of the breeding warblers in the Big Thicket area, and we had a couple on our first day, including one that perched in a bald cypress for us. On our last full day on the coast we saw a late migrant that was still heading north.
SWAINSON'S WARBLER (Limnothlypis swainsonii) – We had a great experience with this wonderful specialty of the southeast. Often a tough one to see as it can be a skulker, we had great looks at one along the roadside in the Big Thicket.
TENNESSEE WARBLER (Oreothlypis peregrina) – Often the most common migrating warbler at High Island, we saw several on a couple of the days on the Coast.
KENTUCKY WARBLER (Geothlypis formosa) – This was another warbler species that we caught up with at Hook's Woods during the fallout. We were not able to find one on the breeding grounds in the Big Thicket a few days earlier.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) – We ended up seeing a handful with good looks at those bathing in the water drip at High Island.
HOODED WARBLER (Setophaga citrina) – After good views on the breeding grounds in the Big Thicket, we saw a couple as migrants along the Coast as well.
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla) – This is another species that dropped in with the fallout we witnessed at Hook's Woods.
CERULEAN WARBLER (Setophaga cerulea) – Always one of the more sought after and uncommon warblers at High Island; we had great looks at a male at Hook's Woods.
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana) – This is another warbler that we had good views of on the breeding grounds and saw a few more as migrants.
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)

We saw a good number of Whimbrel, which are on their way to breed in the wet tundra of northern Canada. Photo by participant Eric Gustafson.

CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Setophaga pensylvanica) – Laura spotted a brilliantly colored male along the road outside Hook's Woods during the fallout.
PALM WARBLER (Setophaga palmarum) – This is an early migrant and most have moved through by the first week of April, but we found two at the woodlot at Anahuac NWR. One of them was even in full song.
PINE WARBLER (Setophaga pinus) – A quite common bird by voice in the piney woods. We saw a handful our morning there.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (Setophaga coronata) – These are usually gone by early April as well, but often a few linger. We heard a couple of them singing at Jones State Forest on our first morning but we were more interested in seeing the woodpeckers and other specialties so we never got a look at them. [*]
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER (Setophaga dominica) – We located a singing individual on territory near a creek in the Big Thicket and had another migrant later in the week.
PRAIRIE WARBLER (Setophaga discolor) – This species can be fairly common in the regenerating pine plantations in the piney woods area. We had nice looks at a singing bird just along the edge of the dirt road.
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER (Setophaga virens) – These were late arriving this year, but we saw several at the woodlots at High Island on our fallout day.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra) – A big number appeared on our next to last day on the Coast. There were males, females, and blotched molting males.
SCARLET TANAGER (Piranga olivacea) – A very sharp looking species and always a favorite; we saw a good many during the week.
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis)
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus) – These were making good work of the mulberries.
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea)
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea) – Several small groups were encountered during the week. Most were fully molted males with only a few female plumaged birds.
PAINTED BUNTING (Passerina ciris) – A couple of individuals showed on our last full day.
DICKCISSEL (Spiza americana) – After seeing a small group fly over at Sabine Woods, we had great looks at a flock of about 50 individuals in a tree at the edge of one of the rice fields.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

EASTERN COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus floridanus) – One was seen in the Piney Woods.
SWAMP RABBIT (Sylvilagus aquaticus) – This is the rabbit that was seen on a couple of days at High Island.
EASTERN GRAY SQUIRREL (Sciurus carolinensis)
FOX SQUIRREL (Sciurus niger) – One or two were seen in the Piney Woods.
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus) – About three were seen at Jones State Forest on our first morning.


Totals for the tour: 193 bird taxa and 5 mammal taxa