Texas April 4th-14th 2013
Black bellied Whistling Duck
Mottled Duck
Pied billed Grebe
Neotropic Cormorant
Anhinga
American Bittern
Great Egret
Little Blue Heron
Cattle Egret
Yellow crowned Night Heron
Black Vulture
Osprey
Northern Harrier
Sora
American Coot
Snowy Plover
Semipalmated Plover
American Oysetercatcher
American Avocet
Solitary Sandpiper
Willet
Upland Sandpiper
Long billed Curlew
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Hudsonian Dunlin
Buff breasted Sandpiper
Long billed Dowitcher
Ring billed Gull
Least Tern
American Black Tern
Forsters Tern
White winged Dove
Lesser Nighthawk
Yellow bellied Sapsucker
Acadian Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher

Scissor tailed Flycatcher

Blue Headed Vireo

Grey Catbird

Northern Mocking

Orange crowned Warbler

Myrtle Warbler

Cerulean Warbler

Black and White Warbler

Hooded Warbler

Summer Tatanger

White crowned Sparrow

Blue Grosbeak

Eastern Meadowlark

Brewers Blackbird

Red tailed Hawk

Inca Dove

We flew from Dublin to Houston via Atlanta with KLM, collected our rental car and based ourselves in Winnie (Hampton Hotel), Upper Texas Coast, which was a very central location just twenty minutes drive from High Island, with the better wader sites enroute. Areas birded during our ten days were Anahuac National Wildlife Reserve, the woods at High Island, Bolivar Pennsula, the ferry to Galveston. The main aim was to see waders and warblers and take time with them. A Birders Guide to the Texas coast by Mel Cooksey and Ron Weeks was the only guide we needed, local bird lines were easy to use via internet as they are updated quickly. Notice boards in Boy Scout Woods were also updated as news broke even with local rares.

Anahuac National Wildlife reserve was fantastic for waders. We visited the reserve every morning enroute to High Island, several hundred American Golden Plover were present on the early dates, in one count in one field we saw sixty plus Upland Sandpipers, this filtered over the next few days, on two dates hundreds of Buff breasted Sandpipers were present. Most days saw plenty of Long billed Dowitchers, Stilt Sandpipers and smaller numbers of Bairds and Pectoral Sandpipers, only a few Spotted Sandpipers and one Ruff which we found, I mention this because it caused quite a stir as they are a decent rare in the US. Fortunately it lingered for several weeks. We did the Rail Run which consists of several people dragging noisy plastic bottles filled with pebbles in a line to flush Rails, we flushed Sora, Yellow and King Rails, not a bad result. Several American and one Least Bittern were seen with the huge array of Heron's. Both species of Whistling Ducks were easily seen. Every pond had Blue and Green winged Teal. Northern Harriers were at every turn, several stands of trees had American Warblers, Tanager or Flycatcher, The Yellow rail prairie was the only site we saw Nelson's Sharp tailed Sparrow, hundreds in fact. We saw six species of Sparrow overall on this site. Both yellowlegs were always present as were Black necked Stilt.

We also spent every day birding High Island working Smith Oaks, Hooks Woods and Boy Scout Woods. All the warblers listed were seen here, some days were quiet but still held ones interest. Big rain fell overnight later in the week and what a difference that made, the woods were just spilling over with passerines and near passerines. Most of them listed were after this northerly rain storm, just magic birding! High Island (Smith Oaks) also hosts a rather large Heronry, well worth a visit as the views are incredible.

Bolivar Pennusla was visited on two dates, this area is littered in waders, gulls, and Terns. Tidal birds including hundreds of Dunlin, Western and Semipalmated Sandpipers. Always present, Royal, Caspian, Forsters Terns, Skimmers and Least Terns. Long billed Curlew, Whimbrel, American Avocet, Wilsons, Piping, Snowy and Semipalmated Plovers. Both Pelicans and the ever present Laughing and Ring billed Gulls, smaller numbers of Herring and Bonaparte's. Most if not all the Dowitchers seen here were Short billed on call.

Galvaston crossing produced Magnificent Frigatbird but added nothing else of note.

While the list of birds is only around two hundred, it was the sight of pure quantity that was fantastic! All day long no matter were we where there was good numbers of birds migrating north, calling or/and in flocks overhead. We have been to the States on numerous occasions but have never observed so many birds in such a small area. The Upper Texas coast is just busy with birds.

Complete list of birds.
Common (C) Localised (L) Rare (R)
Black bellied Whistling Duck (L) Long billed Curlew (C) Carolina Wren (C)
Fulvous Whistling Duck (L) Marbled Gowit (C) House Wren (C)
Mottled Duck (C) Ruddy Turnstone (L) Sedge Wren (L)
Blue winged Teal (C) Red Knot 3. Marsh Wren 3.
Northern Shoveler (C) Sanderling (C) Ruby crowned Kinglet (L)
Green winged Teal (C) Semipalmated Sandpiper (C) Blue grey Gnatcatcher (C)
Red breasted Merganser (C) Western Sandpiper (L) Swainsons Thrush 2.
Common Loon 1. Least Sandpiper (C) Hermit Thrush 1
Pied billed Grebe (C) White rumped Sandpiper 6. Wood Thrush 1.
American White Pelican (L) Bairds Sandpiper 1. Grey Catbird (C).
Brown Pelican (C) Pectoral Sandpiper (L) Northern Mockingbird (L)
Neotropic Cormorant (C) Hudsonian Dunlin (C) Brown thrasher (L)
Double crested Cormorant (C) Stilt Sandpiper (L) European Starling (C)
Anhinga 9. Buff breasted Sandpiper (L) Cedar Waxwing (L)
Magnificent Frigatbird 1. Ruff (R) 1. Blue winged Warbler 2.
American Bittern 2. Short billed Dowitcher (C) Tennessee Warbler 4.
Least Bittern 1. Long billed Dowitcher (C) Orange crowned Warbler (C)
Great Blue Heron (C) Wilson's Snipe 3. Nashville Warbler 1.
Great Egret (C) Laughing Gull (C) Northern Parula (L)
Snowy Egret (C) Bonaparte's Gull (L) 19. Yellow Warbler 1.
Little Blue Heron (C) Ring billed Gull (C) Yellow rumped Warbler (C)
Tricolored Heron (L) American Herring Gull (C) Blackburnian Warbler 2.
Redish Egret (L) Lesser Black backed Gull 1. Yellow throated Warbler 1.
Cattle Egret (C) Glaucous Gull 1. Palm Warbler 1.
Green Heron (L) Least Tern (C) Cerulean Warbler 2.
Yellow crowned Night Heron (C) Gull billed Tern (L) Black and White Warbler (C)
White Ibis (C) Caspian Tern (L) American Redstart 1
White faced Ibis (C) Black Tern (C) Prothonoary Warbler 6.
Roseate Spoonbill (L) Forster's Tern (C) Worm eating Warbler 8.
Black Vulture (C) Royal Tern (C) Ovenbird 2
Turkey Vulture (C) Sandwitch Tern (C) Louisiana Waterthrush 1.
Osprey 4. Black Skimmer (C) Kentucky Warbler (L)
White tailed Kite 5. Eurasian Collard Dove 4. Common Yellowthroat (L)
Mississippi Kite 1. White winged Dove (L) Hooded Warbler (L)
Northern Harrier (C) Mourning Dove (C) Summer Tanager (C)
Coopers Hawk 1. Inca Dove (L) Scarlet Tanager 4.
Red shouldered Hawk 1. Yellow billed Cuckoo (L) Savanagh Sparrow (C)
Swainsons Hawk 1. Great Horned Owl 3. Nelsons Sharp tailed Sparrow (L)
Red tailed Hawk (C) Lesser Nighthawk 1. Seaside Sparrow (L)
Crested Caracara 5. Chimney Swift (L) Lincolin's Sparrow 1.
Merlin 2. Ruby throated Hummingbird (C) Swamp Sparrow 4.
Peregrine Falcon 2. Belted Kingfisher (L) White throated Sparrow (L)
King Rail 1. Yellow bellies Sapsucker (L) White crowned Sparrow (C)
Virginia Rail 1. Downy Woodpecker (L) Northern Cardinal (C)
Yellow Rail 1. Pileated Woodpecker 1. Rose breasted Grosbeak (L)
Sora 5. Acadian Flycatcher 1. Blue Groabeak 2.
Purple Gallinule 1. Eastern Phoebe 4 Indigo Bunting (C)
Common Moorhen (C) Great Crested Flycatcher 4 Painted Bunting 1.
American Coot (C) Eastern Kingbird (C) Red wing blackbird (C)
Black bellied Plover (C) Scissor tailed Flycatcher (C) Eastern Meadowlark (C)
American Golden Plover (C) Loggerhead Shrike (L) Brewer's Blackbird (L)
Snowy Plover (C) White eyed Vireo (L) Common Grackle (C)
Wilson's Plover (C) Yellow throated Vireo 1. Boat tailed Grackle (C)
Semipalmated Plover (C) Blue headed Vireo 3. Great tailed Grackle (C)
Piping Plover (C) Warbling Vireo 2. Brown headed Cowbird (C)
Kildeer (C) Red eyed Vireo (L) Orchard Oriole (C)
American Oystercatcher 3. Blue Jay (C) Baltimor Oriole (L)
Black necked Stilt (C) American Crow 2. House Sparrow (C)
American Avocet (C) Purple Martin (C)  
Spotted Sandpiper (L) Rough winged Swallow (C)  
Solitary Sandpiper 8. Bank Swallow (L)  
Greater Yellowlegs (C) Cliff Swallow 2.  
Willet (C) Cave Swallow (L)  
Lesser Yellowlegs (C) Barn Swallow (C)  
Upland Sandpiper (L) Carolina Chickadee (L)  
Hudsonian Whimbrel (C) Red breasted Nuthatch 5.  
Blue winged Teal
Brown Pelican
Double crested Cormorant
Magnificent Frigatbird
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Tricolored Heron
Green Heron
Roseate Spoonbill
Turkey Vulture
White tailed Kite
Crested Caracara
American Purple Gallinule
American Golden Plover
Wilsons Plover
Kildeer
Black winged Stilt
Spotted Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Hudsonian Whimbrel
Marbled Gowit
Western Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Short billed Dowitcher
Laughing Gull
American Herring Gull
Gull billed Tern
Royal Tern
Black Skimmer
Mourning Dove
Yellow billed Cuckoo
Belted Kingfisher
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Phoebe
Eastern Kingbird

Loggerhead Shrike

Warbling Vireo

Red eyed Vireo

Purple Martin

Barn Swallow

Swainson's Thrush

Blue winged Warbler

Tennessee Warbler

Yellow throated Warbler

Palm Warbler

American Redstart

Prothonotary Warbler

Savannagh Sparrow

Rose breasted Grosbeak

Indigo Bunting

Red winged Blackbird

Orchard Oriole

Baltimore Oriole