3 more sleeps...as Louise would say!
I think I've finalised my "wish list". You don't always get what you wish for though...do you? The logistics of the trip are tricky and I hope to build our travels around my targets while limiting distances covered. This isn't easy in a State that's bigger than France! The infrastructure is superb however, as I'm sure you can imagine which helps with travelling time.
Our base will be McAllen in the RGV. I've allowed 3 days before we arrive and 4 before we head home on the December 19th. The more targets I can mop up in one area the better for me...and Louise!
Down Mexico way we should be feeling temps in the early 20c but further North as December wears on it could drop dramatically! Again a balancing act. I need ALL FOUR species of Longspur and SMITH'S is an ABA TICK...A LIFER in fact, having missed it in Alaska in 07. I dug into some old files and found some e-mail addresses. Miraculously they are all still good, so I've got some great contacts in various areas, if needed.
As stated many times (like most things I guess) eBird will be invaluable for up-to-date sightings. Internet access won't be a problem...and it's all FREE!
Ideally, I'd like some nice relaxed days just birding a site or two...I could spend a full day (or two) at Santa Ana were 397 species have been recorded! For an idea of the Valley specialities click here. We can reach far afield in a day if required. Corpus Christi is no problem and has some fantastic Birding spots. We can also range far up the Valley towards Laredo. I hope this will be my first port of call on Tuesday when I hope to see the AMAZON KINGFISHER...fingers crossed. San Antonio (of Alamo fame) is also "doable" and I hope to re-acquaint with Lorna Clevenger who has hosted a Calliope Hummingbird for the past 3 winters. Long time readers will be familiar with this and the fact I missed him by a day in March!! He even has his own Facebook page! He's called Clyde or little fart...as Lorna affectionately calls him.
One example of changing plans would be if the COMMON CRANE turns up in the panhandle (the area in north central Texas including Amarillo). That would need some serious thinking about.
Black-throated Gray Wabler
My Texas list stands at 451 and can be viewed above by clicking the link