Last week (February 3-9, 2013), Angela and I spent a week in South Texas with a birding group run by Partnership for International Birding. After arrival at McAllen, we were met by our tour leader, David Trently. McAllen almost at the southern tip of Texas. At this time of year, it much warmer here than in Colorado. It took a while to get used to summer-like temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s!
During the first 3 days we visited various Parks and Wildlife Refuges around McAllen. We also made one day trip to Salineno and Falcon Lake State Park. Most of these parks were adjacent to the Rio Grande river, that forms the boundary of the US and Mexico.
Later in the week, after moving to Brownsville, we visited the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. When we arrived, the weather was overcast and foggy, a welcome change from the hot weather. During the night, water had condensed on spider webs. I have never seen so many spider webs in one location!
Here are some of the images that I made in these foggy conditions.
The Birding Center has many boardwalks that weave through the wetlands. This allowed one to get really close to the birdlife. I don’t own a long telephoto lens, so this was an ideal location for getting close to the birds.
The boardwalk provides a great perch for herons and egrets when looking for their next meal swimming under water. I got really close to this Little Blue Heron.
This image was the closest that I ever got to a Great Blue Heron — about 10 feet — so I had to zoom out!
Later in the day, we stopped at Port Isabel for an afternoon break where we had coffee and ice cream. A window cleaner was busy washing storefront windows. He had just completed this window before cleaning moving to the other side of the street. I made this image of his reflection as he was about to start cleaning the window across the street.
The next day we visited Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. Adjacent to the lagoon, the yucca plants were about to erupt into flower.
Leaving the refuge, we passed this Osprey who was busy munching on a fish that was caught a few minutes before we arrived.
After leaving Brownsville, we stopped for dinner at San Benito. Here we were all seated around a long table for dinner. From left to right: Angela, Georgia, Mary, Peter, Dave, Cynthia.
I could not get everyone into one image. Here are: Will, Bobbi, David (our trip leader), Jonelle, Birgit and me.
Dinner was accompanied by a keyboard player music. Here, are both David’s dancing with the owner of the restaurant.
On the final morning, we stopped at Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen. We had heard that there was a Screech Owl nesting in one of the trees. We found this owl peering out of the nesting hole.
During our trip we had seen about 150 different bird species. Of these about 90 species were new to both Angela and I. We enjoyed the trip, especially the company. We had a great tour leader. Thank you, David, for leading this trip.