White-aecked Raven, Red-billed Pigeon, White-winged and White-fronted Doves. All of -this
was accompanied hy. the loud song of the Olive-backed Warbler and the constant chatter of
the Chachalaeas.. Overhead were soaring birds - the White-tailed and Mississippi Kites
(both rare birds at the Refuge), Broad-winged, Harris1, Swainson's Red-shouldered, and Marsh
Hawks,, and Ahhingas. Of the small migrants, the most interesting was the Prothonotary
Warblejff (classified as rare on the Refuge). In the ponds were the Least Grebe and the
sought-after Black-bellied Tree Duck. The Black-hellied Tree Duck was the subject that
evening,of a very interesting film sho_wing,iis arrival,, the community nests from which the
young tumble two days after hatching, their feeding.in ponds, and final departure in handsome, flights in the fall.
The. second day's trip was to Laguna Atascosa Refuge - a very different habitat.
An unusual fresh—water pond yielded many ducks - the best one being the Bufflehead. Along
the shores of the. lakes were sandpipers, Ruddy Turnstones, plovers, Whimbrels, Avocets,
Reddish Egrets, etc. The high wind and consequent dust hampered land birding, but we did
find a group of 15 Clay-colored Sparrows, Grasshopper SparroWB, and Dickcissels. Going on
to Fort Isabel, we added Red-breasted Mergansers, Eared Grebes, Knots, Piping and Snowy
Plovers. Back at San Benito and after a delicious Smorgasbord dinner we were entertained
with a very interesting talk by Dr. Phuline James on the birds and typical habitats of the
four border counties in the Valley. A composite tally was also made, hitting about 212
species for the two days. We came home through Rockport to hunt an elusive Ruff. Instead,
we were met with a roaring norther that made us wish we could stay. The Vallej trip developed two things for us — a tremendous thirst not quenchable by Rio Grande river water and
an even greater thirst for more birding there !
ft ft- ft;: ft?, ft »■■ ft: «:■ ft: ft* ft; ft: ft
The ensuing chronological and numerical bird lists are the results of observations
made between Victoria, Texas, and SfiBtad del Mais, San Luis Potosi, Mexico, by the late
Milton C. Chandler, Vic Emanuel,i and myself. Although the birds were counted (in most
cases) the counts do not by any means represent the populations of these species. The v
numhers are given in order that readers may gather some idea of their chances of seeing
such, and such a bird on a similar trip:
January 30. I960: (Vic Emanuel, Milton Chandler, Walter Barbare, & T. B. Feltner) Area
between and innl-nrBng Refugio, Texas, and Santa Ana Refuge:
Verdin-8, Bewick's Wren-9, Clay-colored Sparrow -2, Field Sparrow - 10, Myrtle Warbler -
1, Harris' Hawk - 27, Ladder-backed Woodpecker - 5, Gadwall - 31, Green-winged Teal -
70, Ruddy Duek - 7, Pyrrhuloxia - 50, Olive Sparrow - 1, Liohtensteln»s (Altamira)
Oriole - 1, Rose-throated Beeard - 1 c? (missed at Santa- Ana on their Christmas Count,
seen by Walt Barbare, Vic Emanuel & myself.), Sennett's Thrasher - 3, White-fronted Dove -
2, Ground Dove - 10, Green Jay - 11, Chachalaea - 8, Black & White Warbler - 1, White-
collared Seedeater - 6, Kiskadee - 6, Vermillion Flycatcher - 1, Groove-billed
Ani - 2, Red-shouldered Hawk - 1.
January 31. I960: Between and including San Benito, Texas, and El Mante, Mexico. (M.C.,
White-fronted Dove - 1, Curve-billed Thrasher - 2, Sandhill Crane - 5, Mexican Crow -
' 2000, White-necked Raven - 37, Sparrow Hawk - 3, Gray Hawk - 2, Roadrunner - 3, Blackthroated Sparrow - 80, Alta Mira^Oriole - 2, Olive Sparrow - 80, Clay-colored Sparrow -
1, Ash-rthroated Flycatcher - 1, White-tailed Hawk - 1, Red-tailed Hawk - 1, Caracara -
33, Tropical Kingbird - 1, ( Linneated Woodpecker - 1, Brown Jay - 18, Ferruginous
ESrgmy. Owl - 1, Clay-colored Robin - 2, Kiskadee - 3, Black-throated Green Warbler - 1,
Roadside Rawk - 1, (CoroaaiRiver)) , Red-crowned Parrot - 800 (5 miles south of Here).
February 1. I960: El Abra, 20 miles south of EL Mante.
Blue Bunting - 5, Hepatic Tanager - 1, Black-headed Oriole - 3, Qlive-baoked Warbler -
33> Spot-breasted Wren - 2, White-tailed Kite - 1, Bat Falcon - 2, Rufous-capped Warbler
- 1, Black-headed Saltator - 2. At El SMto Falls: Gray Hawk - 2, Red-eyed Cowbird - 2,
Melodious Blackbird - 23, Blue Mockingbird - 1, Yellow-faced Grassquit - 3, Coue's
Flycatcher - 1, Military Macaw - 4> Social Flycatcher - 9, White-oollared Swift - 300,
Rufous-oapped Warbler - 10, Black Phoebe - 1, Clay^-colored Robin - 6.