Friday, November 25, 2011

Texas Days 3-4

Eastern Screech Owl (gray phase), Anzalduas County Park, Nov 13, 2011

Common Paraque roosting,  Estero Llano Grande SP, Nov 12, 2011

American Avocet, Santa Ana NWR, Nov 12, 2011

Bald Eagle, rare in lower RGV, Santa Ana NWR, Nov 12, 2011

Long-billed Curlew along wildlife drive, Laguna Atacosa NWR, Nov 12, 2011

Long-billed Thrasher, Laguna Atacosa NWR, Nov 12, 2011
My next two days in Texas featured increased heat and increased winds.  The temperatures quickly climbed well into the 80's.  I visited Santa Ana NWR, Estero Llano Grande SP and Laguna Atacosa NWR on the third day and Bentsen and  Anzalduas County Park on the fourth day.

I yet again ran into a rare bird in the valley and it was again a visitor from the north.  This time it was a juvenile Bald Eagle perched in a tree north of Cattail lakes in Santa Ana NWR.  Once I got to Cattail Lakes the damage left over from the floods from a few years ago was quite evident.  The lakes had been changed dramatically with little vegetation left around the lakes.  This did not mean the lakes were void of life.  On the contrary, the area was quite active with shorebirds, ducks, waders, raptors and assorted other birds in the general area. 

I next went to estero again to try to find that elusive becard but again had no luck.  The wind had picked up dramatically and I decided to next make a quick stop at the bird festival vendor area in Harlingen.  The festival was quite large and had many vendors.  After a short stop here I decided I was already half way to the coast so I headed out to Laguna Atacosa NWR.  Despite the late afternoon arrival I still managed to find some birds including yet another rare bird from up north making a visit down in Texas.  This time it was a male White-throated Sparrow near the park headquarters.  I then took a ride along the wildlife drive and added several species to the trip list such as White tailed Hawk, numerous shorebirds, a few waders, gulls and terns.  I also added Redheads that are exceptionally numerous here, especially first thing in the morning.  The area around the wildlife refuge holds a large segment of the Redhead population every winter.
White-throated Sparrow, Laguna Atacosa NWR, Nov 12, 2011

White-tailed Hawk, Laguna Atacosa NWR, Nov 12, 2011

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