This is the NETFO bird report for March. Highlights include a Vermilion Flycatcher, Wild Turkeys, an Ovenbird and Sandhill Cranes again. Thanks to all who birded and sent in their results and thanks again to Luanne for everything.
The first Black-bellied Whistling Ducks of the spring were found on 3/12 when 15 showed up in Daingerfield (DB,LB,BF). A large group of 75 Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were photographed at dusk in Hunt county on 3/25 (ebird LD). The pair of Ross’s Geese were tallied once again at Lake Bob Sandlin in Titus county on several dates (m.ob). Canada Geese reported from nine counties, with a max of 12 noted in Henderson county on 3/13 (ebird DC,DL). Two Cinnamon Teal reported from RC WMA in Freestone on 3/3 (ebird TS). The only Northern Pintail reported from the area came from Lake Bob Sandlin State Park in Titus county on 3/16 (ebird MO). The sole seven Hooded Mergansers reported for the area came from a pond near Pittsburgh in Camp county on 3/25 (DB et al). The only Red-breasted Merganser reported was a beautiful male photographed on 3/13 at Lake O Pines in Marion county (ebird MW).
A Northern Bobwhite was reported from Jefferson in Marion county on 3/6 (ebird LBe). A dozen Wild Turkeys were noted from Lamar county on 3/4 (ebird SG), and one Wild Turkey was found on 3/18 in Cherokee county (ebird CW). The sole Anhinga reported came from Henderson county on 3/26 (ebird DL). The first Snowy Egrets and Little Blue Herons reported outside of RC WMA for the year came from Wood county on 3/28 (ebird BS). Cattle Egrets were noted more commonly starting on 3/25 in Upshur county when 30 were noted (ebird LP). The first Green Heron was noted at Pleasant Acres Lake on 3/18 (ebird MB). The first Yellow-crowned Night-Heronwas also found at Pleasant Acres Lake on 3/30 (ebird MB). The only White-faced Ibis were noted from RC WMA in Freestone with a max of 70 noted on 3/25 (ebird AT). Surprisingly to me, the only two Ospreys were reported from Lake Tyler in Smith county on 3/28 (ebird BSa).
When I first came to NE Texas - decades ago - we had a Bald Eagle that would show up at the plant where I worked in Lone Star on the first week of November and it would leave after the first week of March. And if I ever saw aBald Eagle outside that November-to-early-March window it was a big, big, big deal. This year, there were numerous records of Bald Eagles after the first week of March... Times, they do change. The first three Broad-winged Hawks were noted in Camp county on 3/14 (ebird JH).
A Virginia Rail was noted at Bellwood Lake in Smith county on 3/20 (ebird EV). Common Gallinules were reported from the Ferndale Club in Camp county on 3/14 (ebird JH), and in Mineola in Wood county on 3/28 (ebird BS). For the 3rd month in a row Sandhill Cranes were tallied in the NETFO area with 16 noted at Pat Mayse Lake in Lamar county on 3/4 (ebird SG). Black-necked Stilts were reported from RC WMA in Freestone county with a max of 12 noted on 3/22 (ebird CW). The first two American Golden-Plovers were found near Pittsburg in Camp county on 3/26 (JC et al). Two Spotted Sandpipers were reported from Lake Bob Sandlin in Titus county on 3/11 (DB,LB), while another Spotted Sandpiper was reported from Upshur county on 3/29 (ebird TH). A Solitary Sandpiper was photographed in Upshur county on 3/26 (ebird LP). Lesser Yellowlegs were noted in two counties with a max of five noted at RC WMA in Freestone county on 3/4 (ebird GK). The only sighting of Long-billed Dowitchers came from RC WMA in Freestone county where 50 were noted on 3/4 (ebird GK). Reported from ten counties, the max of 40 Wilson’s Snipe were tallied in Marion county on 3/3 (ebird MW). Reported from five different counties, the eastern-most White-winged Dove came from Daingerfield City Park in Morris county on 3/16 (DB,LB).
Chimney Swifts were first reported from the Caldwell Zoo (ebird RQ) and at Lake Gladewater (ebird LP) in Upshur county, both on 3/18. The first Ruby-throated Hummingbird was reported on 3/24 in Gregg county (ebird WB). The first Common Nighthawk was reported from Van Zandt county on 3/6 (ebird LBe). Reported from seven counties, the farthest-east record of Crested Caracara came from Mt. Pleasant airport in Titus county on 3/26 (PB et al). The Vermilion Flycatcher found last fall in Morris county made it to 3/10 (BF). The first Great Crested Flycatcher came on 3/21 from Van Zandt county (ebird DO). The first Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was noted on 3/22 from RC WMA in Freestone (ebird CW). The earliest Yellow-throated Vireo reported came on 3/26 in Smith county (ebird EV). Two Horned Larks were noted at Mt. Pleasant airport on 3/26 (DB et al); while one Horned Lark was found in Franklin county on the same date 3/26 (DB et al). The first two Northern Rough-winged Swallows were observed at Lake Gilmer on 3/5 (DB,LB). The first two Barn Swallows of the season were observed in Henderson county on 3/6 (ebird EV). The first 100 Cliff Swallows were tallied at Lake Palestine in Henderson county on 3/6 (ebird EV). A Sedge Wren was found in Morris county on 3/12 (DB,LB). Two Marsh Wrens were located at Bellwood Lake in Smith county on 3/20 (ebird EV). A Bewick’s Wren was found in Cherokee county on 3/1 (ebird LW), and another Bewick’s Wren was located in Upshur county on 3/5 (DB,LB).
The first three Blue-gray Gnatcatchers of the spring were found at Tyler State Park on 3/19 (ebird BS). The only Sprague’s Pipit report came from RC WMA in Freestone county on 3/22 (ebird CW). One of the few reported in Texas during the month, an Ovenbird was reported from Henderson county on 3/14 (ebird LBe). The first of the season Black-and-White Warbler was noted in Morris county on 3/12 (DB,LB). The first Hooded Warbler was “recorded” in Upshur county on 3/26 (ebird LP). The first report of Northern Parula comes from Upshur county on 3/25 (ebird LP). The first Yellow-throated Warbler noted came a little early, observed on 3/7 in Harrison county (ebird BT). Noted in two counties, the first Black-throated Green Warbler was tallied on 3/25 at Tyler State Park (ebird BS).
Two Grasshopper Sparrows were recorded on consecutive dates at Lake Bob Sandlin State Park on 3/16 and 3/17 (ebird MO). The first of the season Lark Sparrow was reported in Bowie county on 3/25 (DB,LB). The only twoSpotted Towhees in the area were reported from Cooper Lake State Park in Hopkins county on 3/25 (ebird LD). A Purple Finch was reported from Cooper Lake State Park in Hopkins county on 3/4 (ebird SG). Pine Siskinswere reported from five counties with a peak of 38 in Rusk county on 3/3 (ebird PH).
Locations and Counties:
Camp Co.: Ferndale Club, Pittsburg
Freestone Co.: RC WMA - Richland Creek WMA
Henderson Co.: Lake Palestine
Hopkins Co.: Cooper Lake State Park
Lamar Co.: Pat Mayes Lake
Marion Co.: Lake O Pines, Jefferson
Morris Co.: Daingerfield, Daingerfield City Park
Smith Co.: Pleasant Acres Lake, Bellwood Lake, Tyler State Park, Lake Tyler, Caldwell Zoo
Titus Co.: Lake Bob Sandlin, Lake Bob Sandlin State Park, Mt. Pleasant Airport
Upshur Co.: Lake Gladewater, Lake Gilmer
Van Zandt Co.:
Wood Co.: Mineola
MB Mike Bloodsworth
DBo Wanda Bosmans
DB David Brotherton
LB Luanne Brotherton
JC Janet Cook
DC D.D. Currie
LD Liam Desai
BF Buddy Fowler
PH Peggy Harding
JH Janie Henderson
TH Tyson Hart
GK Glenda Keilstrup
DL Dell Little
MO Maria Ocampo
DO Dale Ohl
LP Linda Price
TS T. Wells Shartle
MW Mike Weber
CW Carol Wells