Pinyon Jays staged a near historic invasion of west Texas this pastfall. Actually, according to the Handbook of the Birds of Texas, there were regular incursions of the species in the Trans-Pecos in the 70's and 80's. The last big occurence I can remember was not long after I moved to Texas in 1994. At the time I wasn't particularly interested in the size of my Texas list so I didn't chase them. Since then there have been very few seen in Texas so I still needed Pinyon Jay for my Texas list when the invasion started this fall. My only run out there to the Guadalupe Mountains in November was unsuccessful. But since then two large flocks, one in the Pine Springs Campground in Guadalupe Mountains National Park and another in a residential area at Limpia Crossing near Fort Davis have proven reliable so I made another attempt to twitch the species last week.
My goal was to see them at Limpia Crossing as they were coming in to a feeder and were about 200 miles closer than the Guadalupe birds. So after spending the night in Fort Davis I got out to Limpia Crossing at first light and it turned out a bit anticlimactic. I mean I drove up and there were a bunch of Pinyon Jays scarfing up seeds at the feeders. They weren't lifers as I had seen Pinyon Jays decades ago in Arizona and New Mexico, but they were a first for my Texas list and the first I had ever seen at a feeder. Pinyon Jays normally feed on the seeds of Pinyon Pines but wander widely when seed crops fail.