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Field Guides Tour Report
Spring in South Texas 2017
Mar 11, 2017 to Mar 19, 2017
Chris Benesh

At Estero Llano Grande celebrating the amazing sighting of a Rose-throated Becard moments earlier. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

This year’s Spring in South Texas tour got off to a bit of a rocky start due to some cold, windy weather for the first couple of days. Despite that, we had a great time on our boat trip with Tommy Moore to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge where we enjoyed our first Whooping Cranes and saw a handful of other marsh specialties. We spent part of the next morning birding at Lion/Shelly Park where the big highlight was a close look at Barred Owl and a female Green Kingfisher. We next ventured south to the Texas ranch county and paid a visit to the mighty King Ranch where Jim Sinclair took good care of us, showing us a couple of Tropical Parulas, Sprague’s Pipits, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Audubon’s Oriole, and a crowd-pleasing Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl. Not to mention a bunch of strange Nilgai. We were then off to the lower valley where we spent the next few days taking in a number of sites and their specialties. Highlights included a couple of spectacular parrot roosts, Aplomado Falcon, an amazing view of the stakeout Rose-throated Becard, and so much more. Further upriver in Salineno, we were able to track down our first White-collared Seedeaters and some Red-billed Pigeons, but it was the appearance of a male Muscovy Duck right as we arrived that was the real thrill for me, being my first sighting of this species in Texas in several years. We were able to sneak fairly close to it before it caught on to our presence. That left some time to look for some desert birds and pay one last visit to Laredo before heading back to Corpus Christi to say our goodbyes. This was a really fun trip with some great folks. Thanks to all of you for making this trip so much fun to guide. I hope to see you all again on another trip soon. Good Birding! — Chris

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

A pair of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks going sailing past us at Santa Ana. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
FULVOUS WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna bicolor) – Our visit to Tiocano Lake was a big success including about 32 of these handsome ducks. We also saw one in flight from the Skimmer on our boat trip.
MUSCOVY DUCK (Cairina moschata) – This turned out to be the highlight for me. We had really great looks at a wild bird at Salineno, the first of this species that I have seen in Texas since 2009.
GADWALL (Anas strepera)
AMERICAN WIGEON (Anas americana)
MALLARD (MEXICAN) (Anas platyrhynchos diazi) – A couple of these seen in Salineno and Laredo. Still a candidate to be split from Mallard in the future.
MOTTLED DUCK (Anas fulvigula)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Anas discors) – Of note was a male hybrid Blue-winged X Cinnamon Teal at Tiocano Lake.

The star of the show at Estero Llano Grande, this male Rose-throated Becard. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

CINNAMON TEAL (Anas cyanoptera)
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (AMERICAN) (Anas crecca carolinensis)
REDHEAD (Aythya americana)
LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis)
BUFFLEHEAD (Bucephala albeola)

Another star, this spectacular Muscovy Duck showed off at Salineno. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Cracidae (Guans, Chachalacas, and Curassows)
PLAIN CHACHALACA (Ortalis vetula) – One of the iconic sights and sounds of Spring in south Texas.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo) – Quite a few displaying at the King Ranch.
Gaviidae (Loons)
COMMON LOON (Gavia immer) – A small number seen on the boat trip.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
LEAST GREBE (Tachybaptus dominicus)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
EARED GREBE (Podiceps nigricollis)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)

Two adult Whooping Cranes hanging out at Goose Island. Still one of the rarest birds in North America. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax auritus)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
ANHINGA (Anhinga anhinga) – We eventually spotted this species at the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
BROWN PELICAN (Pelecanus occidentalis)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
LEAST BITTERN (Ixobrychus exilis)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)

A striking Tricolored Heron. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

LITTLE BLUE HERON (Egretta caerulea)
TRICOLORED HERON (Egretta tricolor) – This species was well seen at Indian Point and again at Port Aransas.
REDDISH EGRET (Egretta rufescens)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens) – Amazing looks at the poser at the Turnbull Birding Center.
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE IBIS (Eudocimus albus)

A handsome male Tropical Parula seen at the King Ranch. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)
ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja)
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)
HOOK-BILLED KITE (HOOK-BILLED) (Chondrohierax uncinatus uncinatus) – Scott's impressive spotting on this female at Santa Ana NWR was a real highlight of the trip, despite the distance.
NORTHERN HARRIER (AMERICAN) (Circus cyaneus hudsonius) – This species is likely to be split this summer from the Eurasian subspecies (Hen Harrier).

One of the several great looks we had of White-collared Seedeater. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (Accipiter striatus)
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus) – South Texas is the best place in North America to see this species in good numbers.
WHITE-TAILED HAWK (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) – An elegant species generally considered a valley specialty though it ranges south to Argentina.
GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus) – Best looks were of the pair of birds seen in Salineno. What a sharp look species!
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK (Buteo lineatus)
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus) – On the early side of migration, we did have a couple of single birds.
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni) – We had a total of three.

An obliging Sprague's Pipit at the King Ranch. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
CLAPPER RAIL (GULF COAST) (Rallus crepitans saturatus) – Thanks to a tip from Ann and Barb, some of us glimpsed and all heard a pair of these near Corpus Christi.
SORA (Porzana carolina)
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
Gruidae (Cranes)
SANDHILL CRANE (Antigone canadensis) – A lingering family group at Goose Island was a real treat in direct comparison with the Whooping Crane family.
WHOOPING CRANE (Grus americana) – A wonderful time with this species on our boat trip despite the weather and again observing the family at Goose Island.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)

The cryptic Common Pauraque put on quite a show for us. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana)
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus palliatus)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis dominica)
SNOWY PLOVER (Charadrius nivosus) – Good views of this species on our first afternoon visit to Sunset Lake.
WILSON'S PLOVER (Charadrius wilsonia) – We also had a single of this species at Sunset Lake.
SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (Charadrius semipalmatus)
PIPING PLOVER (Charadrius melodus) – A total of eight were at Sunset Lake on the first afternoon.

One of the several Red-billed Pigeons seen so well at Salineno. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
LONG-BILLED CURLEW (Numenius americanus)
MARBLED GODWIT (Limosa fedoa)
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – A bunch of these were at Indian Point and at the harbor in Rockport.
STILT SANDPIPER (Calidris himantopus) – Seen at Port Aransas and again at Tiocano Lake.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba)
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos) – A couple of these were at Tiocano Lake.

One of the Green Parakeets in the impressive McAllen roost. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri)
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus)
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
GREATER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa melanoleuca)
WILLET (Tringa semipalmata) – We saw a few Western Willets, and the Easterns had not yet returned. Though we discussed these during the tour, early exit polling suggests that the split will not happen.
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)
RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis)

A Ringed Kingfisher showing off nicely in Laredo. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

HERRING GULL (AMERICAN) (Larus argentatus smithsonianus)
LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (Larus fuscus) – We had a single bird on the boat trip in Aransas Bay. This species has increased dramatically in recent years.
LEAST TERN (Sternula antillarum) – We saw the first ones of the year at Indian Point where two were present on the first afternoon.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – A couple of these were well seen on our boat trip.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia)
FORSTER'S TERN (Sterna forsteri)
ROYAL TERN (Thalasseus maximus)
SANDWICH TERN (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – Great views of pinkish birds at the jetty at Port Aransas.

A male Green Kingfisher at the mouth of Zacate Creek in Laredo. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BLACK SKIMMER (Rynchops niger) – Similarly fine views of this species at the jetty.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
RED-BILLED PIGEON (Patagioenas flavirostris) – It was a great year for this species and we had some good views both perched and in flight in Salineno.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca)
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (Leptotila verreauxi) – Seen at several sites beginning at Estero Llano Grande.
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)

The gaudy colored Green Jay, so much more than just green. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
GREATER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx californianus) – As many as ten of these were on the King Ranch. A few more seen upriver.
Strigidae (Owls)
EASTERN SCREECH-OWL (MCCALL'S) (Megascops asio mccallii) – An eleventh hour save in Salineno!
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus)
FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL (Glaucidium brasilianum) – A fine study of one at the King Ranch, perhaps the easiest place to see this species in the US.
BARRED OWL (Strix varia) – Nice views of this species at Lions/Shelly Park which was dining on a Collared Dove.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
COMMON PAURAQUE (Nyctidromus albicollis) – One of the trip favorites was this cryptic species seen at ELG.
Trochilidae (Hummingbirds)
BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri) – A male seen in Laredo.

A glowing Altamira Oriole at the headquarters at Bentsen. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BUFF-BELLIED HUMMINGBIRD (Amazilia yucatanensis) – We had a single bird at ELG near the main building.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
RINGED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle torquata) – Well seen in Salineno and again in Laredo. An impressively large species.
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)
GREEN KINGFISHER (Chloroceryle americana) – We had nice views of a female at Lions/Shelly Park and three more in Laredo.
Picidae (Woodpeckers)
GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes aurifrons) – Seen daily once we got to the valley.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway) – Seen nearly every day of the tour. South Texas has to be the easiest spot in the US for this species.

This male American Kestrel was a bit of eye candy at Lion/Shelly Park in Refugio. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
MERLIN (Falco columbarius) – One blew past us on our boat trip, and another was seen from the Bentsen hawk watch.
APLOMADO FALCON (Falco femoralis) – We eventually tracked down this species along Hwy 100.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
Psittacidae (New World and African Parrots)
MONK PARAKEET (Myiopsitta monachus) – Great views of this species near Hidalgo. [I]
RED-CROWNED PARROT (Amazona viridigenalis) – An amazing spectacle watching this species coming to roost in Brownsville.
RED-LORED PARROT (YELLOW-CHEEKED) (Amazona autumnalis autumnalis) – A small number of these were seen at Oliveira Park in Brownsville. [I]
YELLOW-HEADED PARROT (Amazona oratrix) – At least two of these were with the parrots in Brownsville. [I]

One of the two Peregrine Falcons hunting at Santa Ana NWR. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

WHITE-FRONTED PARROT (Amazona albifrons) – About eight of these were in Brownsville. [I]
GREEN PARAKEET (Psittacara holochlorus) – A great show of several hundred in McAllen.
MITRED PARAKEET (Psittacara mitratus) – A single bird was mixed in with the big Green Parakeet flock. [I]
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
NORTHERN BEARDLESS-TYRANNULET (Camptostoma imberbe) – Terrific views of one on the King Ranch. Also heard at a couple of sites in the valley.
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans) – We didn't bump into this species until the last morning at Zacate Creek in Laredo.
EASTERN PHOEBE (Sayornis phoebe)
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus) – Always a crowd pleaser.

The trip favorite of several was this wonderful Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl seen at the King Ranch. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens)
GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus crinitus) [*]
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus) – Almost daily, this is one of the most iconic birds of the valley.
TROPICAL KINGBIRD (Tyrannus melancholicus) – First seen in Hidalgo while we were enjoying the Monk Parakeets.
COUCH'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus couchii) – Almost daily. Best told from Tropicals by their distinctive voices.
SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus forficatus) – Nancy and Ann spotted our first one near Falcon, and trip favorite for some!
Tityridae (Tityras and Allies)
ROSE-THROATED BECARD (Pachyramphus aglaiae) – Super views of the stakeout male at ELG thanks to Alec and his birding family we bumped into as we arrived. Turns out we were the last ones to see this species before it departed.
Laniidae (Shrikes)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus) – All of the birds wintering in the area give a false impression of this species doing well.

A Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet poses for us on the King Ranch. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
WHITE-EYED VIREO (Vireo griseus) – Many more heard than seen.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
GREEN JAY (Cyanocorax yncas) – The ultimate iconic valley bird!
CHIHUAHUAN RAVEN (Corvus cryptoleucus) – A fair number were in Zapata and Laredo.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis)
TREE SWALLOW (Tachycineta bicolor)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CAVE SWALLOW (TEXAS) (Petrochelidon fulva pallida) – Our best views were of those flying around overhead at Estero.

A couple of lookalikes. Here a Couch's Kingbird with a stouter bill and less deeply notched tail. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
CAROLINA CHICKADEE (Poecile carolinensis) – Right at the edge of their range in Refugio where we had a few of them.
BLACK-CRESTED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus atricristatus)
Remizidae (Penduline-Tits)
VERDIN (Auriparus flaviceps)
Troglodytidae (Wrens)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
SEDGE WREN (Cistothorus platensis) – Good looks at one at Santa Ana NWR.
MARSH WREN (Cistothorus palustris) [*]
CAROLINA WREN (Thryothorus ludovicianus) [*]
BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii)

While this Tropical Kingbird is slightly longer billed and with a more deeply notched tail. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

CACTUS WREN (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) – The only ones we saw were at the gnatcatcher spot.
Polioptilidae (Gnatcatchers)
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea)
BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila melanura) – Good looks at one along Hwy 83 north of Zapata.
Regulidae (Kinglets)
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EASTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia sialis) – Good views of a male perched on a snag at Anzalduas Park.
HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus)
CLAY-COLORED THRUSH (Turdus grayi) – A small number seen at several locations.
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
GRAY CATBIRD (Dumetella carolinensis) – One was at Blucher Park in Corpus Christi.

A lingering Western Willet seen at Indian Point. While a potential split of Willets was discussed on the tour, early feedback suggest that the split will not happen. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma curvirostre)
LONG-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma longirostre)
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
SPRAGUE'S PIPIT (Anthus spragueii) – Great looks at four birds on the King Ranch.
Bombycillidae (Waxwings)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum) – Good numbers around this year.
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla) – One seen briefly at the King Ranch.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia) – Great looks at this species, especially at Blucher Park.

A couple of Chihuahuan Ravens interacting with one another. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Oreothlypis celata) – Super common in the valley.
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas)
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana) – We had one at the Turnbull Birding Center that showed nicely.
TROPICAL PARULA (Setophaga pitiayumi) – A great experience with this species at the King Ranch. We had a few including one that appeared to be a hybrid.
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (MYRTLE) (Setophaga coronata coronata)
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni) – We had one of these Yellow-throated birds at the Zapata Library. Early exit poll results suggest that the imminent Myrtle-Audubon's split might not happen.
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER (Setophaga dominica) – A couple of these handsome birds seen early on in the trip.
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla) – A couple of these were at Blucher Park.

A Rose-bellied Lizard, one of the common lizards in the Rio Grande Valley. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (Sporophila torqueola) – Amazingly, we saw this species at three separate locations along the Rio Grande: Salineno, Zapata, and Laredo.
Emberizidae (Buntings and New World Sparrows)
CASSIN'S SPARROW (Peucaea cassinii) – We managed to track down a single bird near Falcon.
SEASIDE SPARROW (Ammodramus maritimus) – Great views from the boat despite the high winds.
OLIVE SPARROW (Arremonops rufivirgatus) – We heard several but got our best looks at Salineno.
BLACK-THROATED SPARROW (Amphispiza bilineata) – One sharp looking sparrow.
LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus)
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)
LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii)

One of the more common butterflies in the valley is the Empress Leilia. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

SWAMP SPARROW (Melospiza georgiana) – Good views of one along the boardwalk at the Turnbull Birding Center.
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis)
PYRRHULOXIA (Cardinalis sinuatus)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
WESTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella neglecta)
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna)
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) – Seen near Progresso.
BREWER'S BLACKBIRD (Euphagus cyanocephalus)

The strange Nilgai, introduced from India and Pakistan, and roaming free over a large area of south Texas. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

BOAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus major) – A few were seen on our boat trip in Aransas Bay.
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus)
HOODED ORIOLE (Icterus cucullatus) – Nice looks at Falcon State Park and the following day at Zacate Creek in Laredo.
ALTAMIRA ORIOLE (Icterus gularis) – Seen on several days. What a colorful bird!
AUDUBON'S ORIOLE (Icterus graduacauda) – Seen in Salineno and again much better in Laredo along Zacate Creek.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus) – Scarce in the valley, we saw some at the Hidalgo Pumphouse and upriver.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)

Another sight to see are the impressive Texas Longhorns. These were at the King Ranch. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

AMERICAN GOLDFINCH (Spinus tristis) – We had a single bird at Lion/Shelly Park.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]

EASTERN COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus floridanus)
MEXICAN GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus mexicanus) – Great looks at this species in the ball field in Hidalgo along with the Monk Parakeets.
FOX SQUIRREL (Sciurus niger) – Common in wooded areas.
NUTRIA (Myocastor coypus) – At the Turnbull Birding Center. [I]
BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (Tursiops truncatus) – Well seen on the boat trip.
COYOTE (Canis latrans) – Heard on three different days. [*]
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu) – Well seen at Falcon State Park.
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)
NILGAI (Boselaphus tragocamelus) – We saw lots of these at the King Ranch. Introduced from India, there are estimated to be as many as 15,000 living in Texas. [I]


Other Critters:

Scimitar-horned Oryx (Oryx dammah) - Quite a few in Texas though not considered established.

Impala (Aepyceros melampus) - at the King Ranch. Not considered established elsewhere in Texas.

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) - well seen at Estero Llano Grande.

Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Lithobates berlandieri) - some of these were at Blucher Park.

Pond Slider (Trachemys scripta) - lots at Estero Llano Grande.

Diamond-backed Watersnake (Nerodia rhombifer) - Another great Scott spot at Estero.

Blue Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus cyanogenys) - On the walls at the entrance to Bentsen.

Rose-bellied Lizard (Sceloporus variabilis) - scattered locations.

Common Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis gularis) - At Santa Ana NWR.

Totals for the tour: 209 bird taxa and 9 mammal taxa