Sunday, March 10, 2013

Birding the Rio Grande Valley - Spring Break 2013 - Day 1

10am and Papa and Tessa are reviewing the different kingbirds we will be seeing in South Texas this week.

We kiss our princess goodbye and head to the airport to spend Spring Break birding the Rio Grande Valley. After a 1 hr delay in Chicago, and having to run through the Houston airport to catch our connecting flight, we finally arrived late Saturday evening - without our luggage.

So, still wearing the same clothes we wore the day before we got up on Sunday and grabbed breakfast in the hotel.  Lilly, who was setting up the breakfast foods noticed me fussing with my hair and offered to braid it for me.
  Took her less than 2 minutes!  Fabulous!    Jan and Bob picked us up at 7am and off we headed to bird South Padre Island.  Jan and I reviewed orioles in the backseat as Dave yelled out every bird he spotted - as he was driving on the freeway!
First stop was a pond in Weslaco where we saw Golden-fronted Woodpeckers,
Loggerhead Shrike,
and Green Parakeets in Brownsville.
Then it was on toward S. Padre Island.  We pulled off at a fisherman's parking lot at Laguna Madre and found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!  Tons of birds!  I picked up a life bird, Wilson's Plover.
We also got to watch an American Oystercatcher feeding along the edge of the water.
We saw several terns including: Caspian, Royal, Sandwich, Gull-billed and Forrester's. We also saw, Black-bellied and American Golden Plovers, Least Sandpipers, Greater Yellowlegs and Willets, Ruddy Turnstones, Brown Pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Yellow-crowned Nightherons, White Ibis, Snowy, Reddish and Great Egrets, Long-billed Curlew, Herring and Laughing Gulls, Harris' Hawk, and American Pipit.  The spot was great!

Back in the car, we marked birds off our checklist and headed on to S. Padre.
The sun was up now, and we were hoping to see the Flamulated Owl that has been hanging out at the Convention Center.  At the parking lot, we saw this beautiful flowering bush - not sure what it is.

We hunted for the owl for about an hour, but no luck, so we decided to bird the boardwalk at the Nature Center. Sunning himself on one of the grassy areas, was this handsome alligator - sort of reminds me of our son Paul in the mornings.
We saw lots of Redheads and Lesser Scaup, Coots and Common Gallinules,

but the most stunning birds of the day were the Roseate Spoonbills.


Leslie Russell said...

The Spoonbills are beautiful!

Glad you had such a great time!!!! Nice hair.

Sister Marty said...

Wow, how awesome...can't wait until the next update...enjoy your time and birds in South Texas...I would love to be in that back seat...someday...Peace and have a safe trip and lots of birds...Marty

mrsbirder said...

Thanks Leslie and Marty! We ARE having a great time! We are already up to 11 species for the trip and it is only the end of the second day!