I am not going to go into great detail about the logistics from our family trip to Texas the third week of June, 2014. Our family vacations are a compromise between family vacation and birding trip. The compromise is to go somewhere new for birding as long as there is a beach nearby. So we stayed on South Padre Island four days and three days at McAllen. The only problem of the trip was the weather getting home. Spent way to much time in Houston Airport.
I birded the following sites in this order, one per day: Sabal Palm Sanctuary, Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, South Padre Island Birding, Estero Llano Grande, and Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park. Plus a cruise into McAllen one evening to see the Green Parakeets roost. I thought with great luck I might see 37 “Life” birds. I ended up with 28. Putting me real close to going over one of those milestones. But more on that in a later post.
To sum it up – the birding was great, the weather great, and the food too plentiful. On most outings I was the only one in the park. Or maybe one of two. Definitely the off-season. Sabal Palm Sanctuary and Estero Llano Grande were probably the best spots and Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park a bit of a disappointment. At least in the off-season.
Some comments about the trip. Golden-fronted Woodpeckers where everywhere. And I mean everywhere. A close second were Harris’s Hawks on poles out to Laguna Atascosa. Seemed like every pole in a couple of mile stretch had one. Biggest miss, Groove-billed Ani. Highlight bird of the trip was Green Jay. Why can’t we have a green bird in the Midwest?
So without further ado, a few photos from the trip. I will post more later.