Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Texas 16 - Raptor road

Tuesday 22nd

Ok. Things getting a bit muddled due to Birding targets, distances and stamina levels. They’re definitely NOT what they used to be.

So, Monday morning had me back at Anzalduas C.P. under the magnificent Live Oaks looking again in vain for the BTGW for my Texas list. They winter annually in the RGV and it is a common species in the West. I can’t find one though! I gave up at 11.

The neighbouring Bentson was also tried for 90 mins but no sign. I found out today (Tuesday) via eBird that both birds had been seen Monday (told you it was getting confusing!) Great resource but can kick you were it hurts sometimes. I also visited both sites this morning….in vain. That’s it on that one. Luckily for me the weather remains beautiful so Louise can sit out and read her novel/s.

Back to yesterday. After leaving Bentson we had a trip over to Laguna Atacosta NWR. Yet another superb site in the RGV.Our arrival was delayed due to a long diversion (nothing small here) but we eventually arrived around 3. Wood Stork was my target bird. A couple of unseasonal birds had been seen here recently. I tried both spots reported on eBird but no joy.

We parked by the visitor centre and paid our dues. Green Jays were in evidence…

 I decided to try for the Star bird, namely Crimson-collared Grosbeak. There had been a female present since January. I’d seen the Male at Frontera in 2005 as already stated but it would have been nice to see in the Potato trees…I didn’t in 90 mins. I did see this though…

Always special. It just appeared on the path in front of me, totally unconcerned. Great stuff.

Next an Oriole on steroids in a tall dead tree...


On the way back to the car I noticed a rather non-descript Dove picking up grit from the trail…

 This species is only found in the RGV.

Time to leave after sitting by the Laguna for a while. Romantic touch!

The road South out of LA is rough, very rough as it’s not State maintained. It’s traditionally great for Raptors however. We hadn’t gone half a mile when I noticed something interesting on a wire…

White-tailed Kite
A beautiful species

Next a big lump on a wire…

Louise got the toilet shot through the bins! I mentioned to her that I’d seen one of my favourite birds and possibly my favourite raptor on this road on previous visits. I know this sounds smart but another mile or so down the road there it was!!

Harris's Hawk
What CAN I say? Fabulous bird!!!

A wonderful end to another great day in Texas.

After searching fruitlessly for the BTGW until early afternoon we spent the rest of the day firstly at Frontera were I tried to get a T shirt of the 2005 Big 3. Unfortunately they only had small left. The final destination was Estero Grande SP. It’s a reserve I’d never visited. Very impressive, especially the Cinnamon Teal…

As I write this Louise is driving us North to Refugio as we start to head for Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsular. Another world class Birding area.

Stay tuned…

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