Date: 7/28/20 6:37 am
From: Boyd Sanders <dmarc-noreply...> (Redacted sender Boyd.Sanders for DMARC)
Subject: [texbirds] Re: Hurricane Hanna birds at Lake Casa Blanca (Webb Co.)
Howdy All!

If your planning on getting in some birding at one of your Texas State Parks, make sure to check online for special alerts for the park you want to visit. Some have special hours and capacity limits. Also, make reservations before you go, even for day-use. This guarantees entry to the park for that day. If your planning a weekend visit, get those reservations well in advance. Some parks are not taking transactions at the park headquarters so reservations are a must.

I checked Lake Casa Blanca’s park alert and they are open Fridays through Sundays and closed the Monday through Thursday with a limit of 250 people on weekend days.

So, make some reservations and come on out and bird your Texas State Parks.

And as Justin says…

Good birding!

Boyd Sanders
Interpreter/Volunteer Coordinator
Tyler State Park

From: <texbirds-bounce...> <texbirds-bounce...> On Behalf Of Justin Bosler
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2020 11:12 AM
To: 4 Texbirds Maillist <texbirds...>
Subject: [texbirds] Re: Hurricane Hanna birds at Lake Casa Blanca (Webb Co.)

ALERT: This email came from an external source. Do not open attachments or click on links in unknown or unexpected emails.

With most parks being closed these days, you have to get creative in how you access key birding locations (especially after driving over 6 hours to get there). Despite it being a state park, Lake Casa Blanca International State Park was closed to the public. Why the exception from other state parks? Good question.

Part of the lake and, most importantly, the sandbar with the bird activity was visible from the El Ranchito Road access here:

Good birding!
Justin Bosler
Austin, Texas

On Mon, Jul 27, 2020 at 9:37 AM Justin Bosler <justin.bosler...><mailto:<justin.bosler...>> wrote:

Yesterday's storm birding results were quite unprecedented for modern times. Although I was unable to find any "mega" rarities, the cumulative diversity and totals of several coastal species were remarkable. I sat on the Falcon Lake Dam for over 4 hours mid-morning to early afternoon and while I racked up an impressive checklist, I failed to locate any true seabirds. More on that in a separate post.

After a brief dawn visit -- that was rather unexciting -- I returned to Lake Casa Blanca in Laredo late afternoon and hit the jackpot, with apparent first county records of Magnificent Frigatebird (7+), Black Skimmer (6) and Royal Tern. Also, at least 3 Common Terns which are rarely reported in the county and a very rare-in-July Ring-billed Gull.

What did others find yesterday?

Justin Bosler
Austin, Texas

Lake Casa Blanca Intl. SP (HOTE 117), Webb, Texas, US
Jul 26, 2020 5:07 PM - 6:47 PM
Protocol: Traveling
0.5 mile(s)
51 species (+1 other taxa)

Mexican Duck 3
Eurasian Collared-Dove 18
White-winged Dove 36
Mourning Dove 6
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1
Black-necked Stilt (Black-necked) 26+
Killdeer 4
Stilt Sandpiper 16 (one group, returned to sandbar in PM)
peep sp. 30+
Spotted Sandpiper 2
Greater Yellowlegs 2 (large yellowlegs, comparable in size to BNST, vocal)
Laughing Gull 14 (mixed ages, about 4-5 fresh juv., at least 14)
Ring-billed Gull 1 (presumed advanced first summer, blue-gray bill w/ dark tip, black primary covs, slight "hooded" appearance)
Least Tern 24 (at least 24, one group numbering 14+)
Black Tern 6 (3 alt. ad., 3 first summer)
Common Tern 3 (1-2 ad., 1 first summer)
Forster's Tern 3
Royal Tern 1 (presumed basic ad., flying and diving as well as resting on sandbar)
Black Skimmer 6 (one group, resting on sandbar initially, then appearing to forage around perimeter of sandbar in typical skimming fashion, lousy digiscoped photos; *very rare away from immediate coast)
Magnificent Frigatebird 7 (as many as 3 ad. m, 2 ad. f, 2 imm., photos of most; **very rare away from immediate coast, 1st record for Webb)
Neotropic Cormorant 8
Great Blue Heron (Blue form) 3
Great Egret 6
Snowy Egret 20
Little Blue Heron 2
Green Heron 2
Black-crowned Night-Heron 5
Turkey Vulture 20
Osprey (carolinensis) 2 (at least 2 gliding around, possibly 3)
Green Kingfisher 2
Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Northern) 2
Great Kiskadee 8
Couch's Kingbird 7
Western Kingbird 4
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 3
White-eyed Vireo 1
Purple Martin 25
Bank Swallow 5
Barn Swallow (American) 20
Cave Swallow 10
Bewick's Wren 1
Cactus Wren 2
Northern Mockingbird 4
House Finch 3
Hooded Oriole 1
Bullock's Oriole 2
Red-winged Blackbird 60
Bronzed Cowbird 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 8
Great-tailed Grackle 30
Common Yellowthroat 4
Northern Cardinal 4
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