Golden Triangle Audubon Bird Alert -- October 29, 2011
Unusual birds in the last two days have included two Green-tailed Towhees at Sabine Woods on Saturday (Oct 29) about 10 a.m. in the area just east of the entrance between the highway and the dead oak tree just south of the main trail. A Lesser Nighthawk was seen perched for a short time in the Woods on Saturday morning, but could not be relocated.
After the passage of the cold front Thursday night (Oct 27), there were a few late warblers and other migrants and some arriving winter residents in Sabine Woods and elsewhere in the Sabine area.
On Friday (Oct 28), there were two each of Nashville Warbler, Northern Parula and Black-throated Green, as well as one American Redstart, an immature male. There were still Nashville and Black-throated Green Warblers on Saturday (Oct 29). In addition, on both days there were Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped and Wilson's Warblers as well as Common Yellowthroats, all of which are species which do winter in the area (in small numbers in the case of Wilson's). A Pine Warbler Friday represented an overshooting migrant that likely went back north. There was a Palm Warbler early on Saturday morning. Also on Saturday, there was a single Golden-crowned Kinglet. On Friday there was a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, while on Saturday, there was an immature male of the same species. There were large numbers of Hermit Thrushes on Saturday. Indigo Buntings were present both days, as was at least one Eastern Wood-Pewee. A Common Nighthawk was seen Friday.
Sparrows were not very evident on Friday, but a good variety was seen on Saturday. In Sabine Woods, there were Swamp and Lincoln's Sparrows and one Chipping Sparrow as well a brief sightings of White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows. Around the parking lot at Texas Point NWR, there was a flock of about five Field Sparrows, as well as Swamp Sparrows and a Savannah Sparrow. Field Sparrows were also seen on the road to the site of the former Pilot Station at Texas Point, along with a Grasshopper Sparrow, a few White-crowned Sparrows, two White-throated Sparrows, one Lincoln's and one Savannah Sparrow as well as the more expected Swamp and Nelson's Sparrows.
As of yet, we have no reports from west Jefferson County for the past couple of days, but there was an excellent selection of raptors along the coast from Sabine Pass to Sabine Woods on Saturday. These included Crested Caracara, White-tailed Kite, Broad-winged Hawk (two), Red-shouldered, Red-tailed, Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks. American Kestrels and both vulture species were also seen. An Osprey was on Pilot Station Road.
Several small flocks of Geese, some mixed Snow/Ross and White-fronted flew over on Saturday morning.
With thanks to Richard Atkins, Gerald Duhon and John Haynes for their contributions to this report.
John A. Whittle