Adam Welz's Weblog

Birding central Rio Grande Valley, southern Texas

Posted in ALL BLOG POSTS, birds & birding by adamwelz on May 25, 2008

Hi All

have spent yesterday late afternoon and much of today between Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and Estero Llanos Grandes State Park and surrounds. It has been incredibly hot and outrageously humid, and it’s the ‘wrong season’ to bird here as 95% of the migrants have left. Nonetheless I’ve seen some cracking birds (Roseate Spoonbill, Green Kingfisher, Altamira Oriole, Harris’s Hawk etc. etc.) and had a great time. A huge majority of the natural habitat in this are has been ploughed or paved, but the tiny bits that are left are really great for birding. Biogeographically this is pretty much part of Mexico, and I spent part of today walking along the northern bank of the Rio Grande and looking across to that country (I found some bin liners and discarded clothes from undocumented Mexicans who swim the river with a bag full of dry clothes. The Border Patrol tends to stop you if you’re dripping.) I stayed at the very reasonable and extremely birder-friendly Alamo Inn, run by an ex-South African, Keith Hackland. Big thanks also go to Huck Hutchens, a volunteer at Estero Llanos Grandes State Park, who took time to show me around late this afternoon and helped find a bucketload of lifers. I doubtless missed a lot because I don’t know any calls, so it’s an indication of the quality of this area if a newbie like me can pick up this many goodies in the wrong time of year on unseasonably hot days (it was something like 39 C with 100% humidity midday, 32 C at sunset!)

No time to upload photos – must get to bed early as I have to drive 11 hours to Dallas tomorrow – but here’s my list for a day and a little bit.

Birdlist Santa Ana NWR & Estero Llano Grande SP – southern Texas – Friday & Saturday 23 & 24 May 08

(?indicates 90% probable – poor views)

Pied-billed Grebe
Least Grebe
American White Pelican
Neotropic Cormorant
Least Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
White-faced Ibis
White Ibis
Roseate Spoonbill
Black-bellied Whistling-Duck
Mottled Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Turkey Vulture
Mississippi Kite
?Cooper’s Hawk
Harris’s Hawk
?Red-tailed Hawk
Crested Caracara
Plain Chachalaca
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Spotted Sandpiper
Baird’s Sandpiper
Laughing Gull
Gull-billed Tern
White-winged Dove
Mourning Dove
Inca Dove
Common Ground-Dove
White-tipped Dove
Red-crowned Parrot
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Groove-billed Ani
Lesser Nighthawk
Common Nighthawk
Common Paraque
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Buff-bellied Hummingbird
Ringed Kingfisher
Green Kingfisher
Golden-fronted Woodpecker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Northern Beardless-Tyrranulet
Brown-crested Flycatcher
Great Crested Flycatcher
Couch’s Kingbird
Great Kiskadee
Loggerhead Shrike
White-eyed Vireo
Green Jay
Cliff Swallow
Cave Swallow
Purple Martin
Black-crested Titmouse
Carolina Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Long-billed Thrasher
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Cardinal
Olive Sparrow
Altamira Oriole
Red-winged Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Bronzed Cowbird
House Sparrow



2 Responses

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  1. Carrie said, on May 29, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Wow! Adam, you’ve gotten some fantastic shots! I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures in person! Do you know yet when you’re coming to NYC? Not too urgent to know, just want to have clean sheets/towels waiting!


  2. Huck Hutchens said, on June 3, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Howdy Adam, Enjoyed your blog and pictures. It was a fun afternoon birding with you and was really amazed at the knowledge of our local birds and fauna that you had. When you come back through the area, give me a call and we will do it again. Incidently, the Purple Gallinule showed up on a regular basis soon after you left. OK buddy, take care. May catch you later on the “puter”.


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