Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rio Grande Valley

A longtime friend and I visited the Rio Grande Valley this past weekend. We began our trip early Friday morning in hopes of reaching the Brownsville area in six or seven hours. The weekend found us running a course that took us from Boca Chica to Falcon Dam.

We recorded 104 species of birds that began with White Ibis, Green Herons and a Roseated Spoonbill. We picked up Great Kiskadee and Golden Fronted Woodpeckers along the way. At Sabal Palm, we found the Masked Duck in full adult male plumage, Yellow Green Vireos, and Buff Bellied Hummingbirds. A Ruddy Turnstone and Black Terns were discovered at Boca Chica.

We sighted Plain Chachalaca, Bronzed Cowbirds, Hooded, Altamira and Audubon’s Orioles.  Green Parakeets, Red Crowned and Yellow headed Parrots were found in Brownsville.  Everywhere we heard the call of the White Tipped Dove—like someone blowing across a pop bottle--and sighted it at the Fonterra Audubon Center.

By sunrise on Sunday we were on the banks of the Rio Grande at Salineno. Within an hour or so we had sightings of two big Ringed Kingfishers, the small Green Kingfisher and two wild Muscovy Ducks. Before leaving we spotted an Osprey high overhead. Everyone needs to experience a morning at this location just listening to the dawn chorus.

As we turned toward home, we made one more effort on the road to the Santa Margarita Ranch where we found a male Verdin and a Black Throated Sparrow.

Many, many people say summer is not good for birding. Such a trip as this is evidence to the contrary.

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At July 12, 2011 at 1:03 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...



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