[texbirds] Lubbock Area Birding Summary for May - Long

  • From: Anthony Hewetson <fattonybirds@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, leasbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Anthony Hewetson <fattonybirds@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 4 Jun 2015 21:17:15 -0500

With 12.12 inches of rain during the month, considerably above the average
May tally of 2.31 inches, Lubbock was at 15.93 inches of rain for the year,
almost three times the average year-to-date total of 5.57 inches. This had
an interest impact on birds: almost overnight, we went from too dry for
shorebirds and waders in April to too wet for shorebirds and waders in
May. This, coupled with generally good winds for northbound migrants -
with almost nothing in the way of stalling fronts from the north, continued
the pattern of a poor spring migration for birdwatchers.
I am unable to create a usable summary of eBird data of sightings in the
region during the period covered - IN THE AMOUNT OF TIME I HAVE AVAILABLE.
Comments at the end of each species summary have been adjusted, to the best
of my abilities, to reflect this reduction in reports.

As always, the county follows the site in ( ) and birds are mentioned by
virtue of rarity, atypical abundance, or atypical scarcity.

ERRATA: Several sightings at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey), including 4 Blue-winged
Teals, 10 American Avocets, 2 WILLETS, 30 Least Sandpipers, 140 Wilson's
Phalaropes, and 15 Franklin's Gulls were incorrectly attributed to Justin
Bosler on 4/26/15. They should have been attributed to Kelly Himmel and
the date should be corrected to 4/28/15.

CACKLING GOOSE: 4 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) the only report
from the month - TYPICAL OF THE PATTERN, IN RECENT YEARS, OF A FEW
SUMMERING BIRDS.

GADWALL: 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/23/15 (AH, RL, DS) the only report
- TYPICAL OF RECENT DROUGHT YEARS; RAINS FELL TO LATE TO BE OF MUCH USE TO
OUR LESS TYPICAL BREEDING WATERFOWL.

BLUE-WINGED TEAL: Eight reports of 1-20 birds and one report of 15 birds in
the region (Bailey, Crosby, Lubbock) during the period (AH, KH, BS) - GOOD
NUMBERS AND SCATTER BY RECENT YEARS' STANDARDS; THIS SPECIES LINGERS LONG
ENOUGH TO HAVE BENEFITED FROM THE LATE MAY RAINS.

NORTHERN SHOVELER: 2 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (BS) and 1 at Lake
Six (Lubbock) on 5/24/15 (AH) - LOW, EVEN BY RECENT YEARS' STANDARDS.

GREEN-WINGED TEAL: 3 at the Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/2/15 and 5/3/15 (KH)
the only reports - TYPICAL OF RECENT DROUGHT YEARS; RAINS FELL AFTER OUR
MORE UNUSUAL BREEDERS HAD DEPARTED.

REDHEAD: 6 at the Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/17/15 (KH) the only report -
LOW, EVEN BY THE STANDARD OF RECENT DROUGHT YEARS.

RUDDY DUCK: 2 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH) and 8 at Muleshoe NWR
(Bailey) on 5/11/15 (JB) the only reports - LOW, EVEN BY THE STANDARD OF
RECENT DROUGHT YEARS.

SCALED QUAIL: 1 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (BS) the only report -
VERY LOW.

COMMON LOON: 1 persisted at Ransom Lake (Lubbock) throughout the period
(DH, AH, BS) - A BIT OF A MYSTERY; THIS BIRD FLIES WELL ENOUGH BUT IS
LINGERING WAY TOO LONG.

AMERICAN BITTERN: 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/16/15 (AH) the only report
- RUNNING A BIT LATE BUT THIS IS A FAVORED SITE FOR THE SPECIES.

LEAST BITTERN: 1 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/24/15 (AH, photographs) the
only report - THIS SITE SUPPORTS AT LEAST ONE BREEDING PAIR IN MOST YEARS
THOUGH SIGHTINGS ARE RARE.

GREAT EGRET: 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/16/15 (AH), 1 at Dupree Park
(Lubbock) on 5/22/15 (GJ, PJ), and 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/23/15
(AH, RL) the only reports - LOW, EVEN BY DROUGHT STANDARDS, HOPING FOR A
GOOD POST-BREEDING SEASON THOUGH.

SNOWY EGRET: Seven reports of 1-8 birds at various sites in Lubbock
(Lubbock) during the period (TmD, TnD, AH, GJ, PJ, BS) - LOW, EVEN BY
DROUGHT STANDARDS, HOPING FOR A GOOD POST-BREEDING SEASON THOUGH.

LITTLE BLUE HERON: 1 adult bird below Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/24/15 (AH) -
FORMERLY CONSIDERED ACCIDENTAL TO THE REGION; NOW ANNUAL AND THIS HAS BEEN
A FAVORED SITE.

CATTLE EGRET: 1 at the Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/10/15 (KH), 3 at the
Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/17/15 (KH), and 1 below Lake Six (Lubbock) on
5/24/15 (AH) the only reports - VERY LOW, EVEN BY RECENT STANDARDS;
DEFINITELY EXPECT SOME VISITORS LATER IN THE SEASON WHAT WITH ALL THE WATER
ABOUT.

YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT HERON: 1-2 birds at Clapp Park (Lubbock) through the
period (AH, RL, DS) the only reports - VERY LOW; HOPING FOR POST-BREEDING
VISITORS.

WHITE-FACED IBIS: 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) and 8 at
Dupree Park (Lubbock) on 5/13/15 (CR, FR) the only reports - VERY LOW; MOST
PASSAGE WAS PRE-RAINS AND THERE WAS LITTLE INCENTIVE FOR POTENTIAL BREEDERS
TO LINGER.

OSPREY: 1 at Ransom Lake (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) the only report -
LINGERING A BIT LATE.

COOPER'S HAWK: 1 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) the only report -
LINGERING A BIT LATE.

BROAD-WINGED HAWK: 3 at MacKenzie Park (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS), 1 at
Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/10/15 (AH), and 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on
5/16/15 (AH) - FORMERLY CONSIDERED VERY RARE IN THE REGION; NOW KNOWN TO BE
A RARE BUT REGULAR MIGRANT.

BLACK-NECKED STILT: No reports at all - INCREDIBLY LOW; WATER TOO HIGH AT
MOST SITES.

AMERICAN AVOCET: 2 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (B) the only report
- VERY LOW; WATER TOO HIGH AT MOST SITES.

SNOWY PLOVER: 18-30 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (JB, BS) the only
report - SURPRISINGLY GOOD NUMBERS.

SEMIPALMATED PLOVER: 1 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on5/5/15 (TmD, TnD) the only
report - ABOUT AVERAGE FOR THIS VERY RARE MIGRANT.

SPOTTED SANDPIPER: 1-2 at Lake Six (Lubbock) throughout the period (AH), 1
at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (CG), and 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on
5/24/15 (AH) the only reports - VERY LOW; WATER TOO HIGH AT MOST SITES.

LONG-BILLED CURLEW: 2 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (JB) the only
report - JUST PLAIN LOW.

LEAST SANDPIPER: No reports at all - ASTONISHINGLY LOW.

BAIRD'S SANDPIPER: 2 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (JB) the only
report - VERY LOW>

SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER: 3 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (JB) the only
report - VERY LOW.

WESTERN SANDPIPER: No reports at all - ASTONISHINGLY LOW.

WILSON'S PHALAROPE: 24 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (JB) the only
report - ASTONISHINGLY LOW.

LEAST TERN: 1 at Buffalo Springs Lake (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) -
FORMERLY CONSIDERED ACCIDENTAL TO THE REGION; NOW KNOWN TO BE A RARE BUT
ANNUAL PASSAGE BIRD.

YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO: 1 at the Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/2/15 (KH), 3 below
Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/24/15 (AH), 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/24/15
(AH), and 4 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/24/15 (AH) - GIVEN THE ALMOST
COMPLETE ABSENCE OF THE SPECIES IN THE REGION LAST YEAR, THESE NUMBERS ARE
A PROMISING SIGN OF RECOVERY.

COMMON NIGHTHAWK: 1 at the Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/7/15 (KH) the first of
the season - RUNNING A TAD LATE, COMPARED TO RECENT YEARS, AND FILLED IN
VERY SLOWLY DURING THE REMAINDER OF THE PERIOD.

COMMON POORWILL: 1 at the TTU HSC Campus (Lubbock) on 5/11/15 (AH) the only
report - A TAD LOW BUT LITTLE OBSERVER EFFORT REPORTED FROM THE BEST SITES
ALONG OR BELOW THE CAPROCK ESCARPMENT.

OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER: 1 in Clairemont (Kent) on 5/6/15 (AH), 1 at Clapp
Park (Lubbock) on 5/16/15 (AH), and 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/23/15
(AH) the only reports - VERY LOW.

WESTERN WOOD PEWEE: Eight reports of 1-2 birds in the region (Bailey, Kent,
Lubbock) during the period (AH, RL, DS, BS) the only reports - VERY LOW.

LEAST FLYCATCHER: 1 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (BS) the only
report - EXTRAORDINARILY LOW.

WILLOW FLYCATCHER: 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/10/15 (AH), 1 at Lake Six
(Lubbock) on 5/17/15 (AH), 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/23/15 (AH, RL)
and 5/24/15 (AH) the only reports - VERY LOW.

GRAY FLYCATCHER: 1 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (BS) the only report
- A TAD LOW.

EASTERN PHOEBE: 2 at Silver Falls Rest Area (Crosby) on 5/2/15 (BN) the
only report - VERY LOW.

SAY'S PHOEBE: 1 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (BS) the only report -
VERY LOW.

BELL'S VIREO: 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/10/15 (AH, photographs), 1 at
Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (BS), 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/16/15
(AH) - FORMERLY CONSIDERED ACCIDENTAL TO THE REGION; NOW KNOWN TO BE A LOW
DENSITY BREEDER WHEREVER HABITAT IS AVAILABLE.

BLUE-HEADED VIREO: 1 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/15/15 (JB) the only
report - LOW.

WARBLING VIREO: 1 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/17/15 (AH) the only report -
VERY LOW.

COMMON RAVEN: 3 near Clairemont (Kent) on 5/6/15 (AH) the only report - LOW
BUT FEW REPORTS FROM APPROPRIATE COUNTIES IN THE REGION.

PURPLE MARTIN: 2 at Ransom Lake (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) the only
report - VERY LOW.

TREE SWALLOW: 1 at the Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/8/15 (KH) the only report
- LOW.

NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW: 2 at Silver Falls Rest Area (Crosby) on
5/2/15 (BN) and 2 at Ransom Lake (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) the only
reports - VERY LOW.

BANK SWALLOW: 1 at Ransom Lake (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) and 4 at
Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (BS) the only reports - ABOUT AVERAGE FOR
THIS RELATIVELY RARE MIGRANT.

VERDIN: 2 at Ransom Lake (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) the only report -
INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT TO FIND IN THE REGION.

ROCK WREN: 2 adults with 4 fledglings at Ransom Lake (Lubbock) on 5/9/15
(AH, BS) the only report - GOOD NUMBERS AND PROOF OF BREEDING AT THIS
FAVORED SITE.

CANYON WREN: 1-2 at Ransom Lake (Lubbock) throughout the period (DH, AH,
BS) and 1 at Dickens Springs (Dickens) on 5/2/15 (BN) - STILL HANGING ON AT
THESE HISTORICALLY RELIABLE SITES.

HOUSE WREN: 1 at Ransom Lake (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) and 1 at Clapp
Park (Lubbock) on 5/10/15 (AH) the only reports - A TAD LOW FOR THIS
GENERALLY MORE COMMON MIGRANT.

CAROLINA WREN: 1 adult with 4 fledglings below Lake Six (Lubbock) on
5/24/15 (AH) the only report - A TAD LOW BUT FEW REPORTS CAME IN FROM THE
EASTERN COUNTIES.

SWAINSON'S THRUSH: 1 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (BS), 3 at Clapp
Park (Lubbock) on 5/16/15 (AH), and 1 in a Lubbock yard (Lubbock) on
5/21/15 (AH) the only reports - LOW.

GRAY CATBIRD: 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/10/15 (AH), 1 at Muleshoe NWR
(Bailey) on 5/11/15 (BS), and 1 below Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/24/15 (AH) -
A TAD LOW.

BROWN THRASHER: 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/10/15 (AH) and 1 at Muleshoe
NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (BS) - THE ONLY REPORTS FROM ATOP THE CAPROCK
ESCARPMENT.

NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH: 1 at Ransom Lake (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) and 1
at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/10/15 (AH) the only reports - LOW.

NASHVILLE WARBLER: 1 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH) and 1 at Clapp
Park (Lubbock) on 5/16/15 (AH) the only reports - VERY LOW.

MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER: 2 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/17/15 (AH) and 1 at
Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/24/15 (AH) the only reports - VERY LOW.

COMMON YELLOWTHROAT: 2 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) and 1 at
Ransom Lake (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) the only reports - VERY LOW.

CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER: 1 male at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS,
photographs) - FORMERLY CONSIDERED ACCIDENTAL TO THE REGION; NOW KNOWN TO
BE A RARE BUT ANNUAL MIGRANT.

YELLOW WARBLER: Eight reports of 1-4 birds in the region (Bailey, Lubbock)
during the period (AH, RL, DS, BS) the only reports - VERY LOW NUMBERS AND
VERY POOR SCATTER.

BLACKPOLL WARBLER: 1 male at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/17/15 (AH,
photographs) - FORMERLY CONSIDERED ACCIDENTAL TO THE REGION; IN RECENT
YEARS A RARE BUT ANNUAL MIGRANT.

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER: 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/16/15 (AH) and 1 at
Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/17/15 (AH) - THE ONLY REPORTS FROM THE LATTER HALF
OF THE PERIOD - LOW.

WILSON'S WARBLER: Six reports of 1-2 birds in the region (Crosby, Lubbock)
during the period (AH, KH) - EXTRAORDINARILY LOW; AN ALMOST UNPRECEDENTEDLY
LOW NUMBER FOR SPRING MIGRATION!

YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT: 1 at Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) the only
report - LOW BUT NO VISIT HAS BEEN REPORTED FROM THE BREEDING SITE AT WHITE
RIVER LAKE YET THIS YEAR.

CHIPPING SPARROW: Six reports of 1-10 birds and one report of 35 birds in
the region (Bailey, Crosby, Lubbock) during the period (AH, KH, BN, BS) the
only reports - VERY LOW NUMBERS AND POOR SCATTER.

CLAY-COLORED SPARROW: Eight reports of 1-9 birds in the region (Bailey,
Crosby, Lubbock) during the period (KD, AH, KH, BS) the only reports - VERY
LOW NUMBERS AND POOR SCATTER>

FIELD SPARROW: 1 at the Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/6/15 (KH) - EITHER
RUNNING A BIT LATE AS A MIGRANT OR ONE OF OUR VERY RARE BREEDERS.

VESPER SPARROW: 3 at the156 x 209 Playa (Crosby) on 5/2/15 (KH), 1 at the
Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/3/15 (KH), 1 at the Himmel Farm (Crosby) on
5/10/15 (KH), and 1 in Lubbock (Lubbock) on 5/18/15 (GJ) - ALL RATHER LATE
FOR THE REGION.

GRASSHOPPER SPARROW: 18 at the Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/3/15 (KH), 12 at
the Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/10/15 (KH), and 9 at the Himmel Farm (Crosby)
on 5/17/15 (KH) - RATHER GOOD NUMBERS FOR A SINGLE LOCATION; THE BREEDING
BIRD SURVEY ROUTES, IF RUNNABLE, MIGHT BE INTERESTING.

LINCOLN'S SPARROW: 1 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/16/5 (AH) the only report
from the latter half of the month - RUNNING A BIT LATE.

SUMMER TANAGER: No reports from the period at all - LOW.

WESTERN TANAGER: 1 male at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/15/15 (JB) the only
report - VERY LOW.

BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK: 1 male below Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS),
1 female at Ransom Lake (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS), and 1 male at
Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/15/15 (JB) - ABOUT AVERAGE; ONE OF THE FEW
MIGRANT SONGBIRDS AT/NEAR NORMAL LEVELS.

BLUE GROSBEAK - LATE TO ARRIVE AND LOW IN NUMBER; EVEN AT THE END OF THE
PERIOD.

LAZULI BUNTING: 1 female at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (BS) the only
report for the season - LOW.

INDIGO BUNTING: 1 male at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/16/15 (AH) the only
report - VERY LOW.

YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD: 1 at the Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/3/15 (KH) and 1
at the Himmel Farm (Crosby) on 5/10/15 (KH) the only reports -
EXTRAORDINARILY LOW.

BRONZED COWBIRD: 2 males near Clairemont (Kent) on 5/6/15 (AH), 1 female
below Lake Six (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS), 1 male at Lake Six (Lubbock)
on 5/9/15 (AH, BS), and 1 female and 4 males below Lake Six (Lubbock) on
5/17/15 (AH) the only reports - ACTUALLY A BIT LOW BY RECENT YEARS'
STANDARDS.

PINE SISKIN: 2 at Muleshoe NWR (Bailey) on 5/11/15 (BS) - THE LAST REPORT
FOR WHAT PROVED TO BE A VERY GOOD SPRING FOR THIS SPECIES THROUGHOUT THE
REGION.

AMERICAN GOLDFINCH: 4 at Clapp Park (Lubbock) on 5/9/15 (AH, BS) - A FAIRLY
LATE DATE FOR A 'FLOCK' TO BE IN THE REGION.

OBSERVERS: JB=Justin Bosler, KD=Ken Dixon, TmD=Tom Dolan, TnD=Toni Dolan,
DH=Danny Hancock, AH=Anthony Hewetson, KH=Kelly Himmel, GJ=George Jury,
PJ=Pat Jury, RL=Rob Lee, BN=Bob Nieman, CR=Clarice Robertson, FR=Floyd
Robertson, DS=David Shelburne, BS=Byron Stone.

Anthony 'Fat Tony' Hewetson, Lubbock


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