Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Doing the McAllen

We spent the afternoon Monday at Estero Grande. No Becard, BEC ard or bec ARD, however you say it, it hasn't been seen that day or since. Still fun and my first time there. The pauraques, the green kingfisher, the canvasback duck, the ovenbird at the drip, the battling rufous bellied hummingbirds were all fun. On the way 'home' Big Daddy's Barbecue. Huge portions. Motel 6 of course.

Bentsen Tuesday AM to see the Black-Vented Oriole. Just missed it once and waited quite a while for it to come back. I spotted it WAY back there and John was slow to locate it but did get a picture. We didn't even ride around the place on the tram. See the target and go is the drill. Bother!

Frontera Tuesday PM we got the Crimson-Collared Grosbeak at the feeding area. JOHN spotted it above my head. But the Golden-Crowned Warbler eluded us. One of the other birders reminded us of the parakeets at Dove and 10th so we headed there. WOW! They really put on a show. Dinner at Olive Garden.

Wednesday AM we stopped at Quinta Mazatlan. Wandered to the amphitheater first, then moseyed over to the new feeding station by the pond. On the furthest back branch with oranges, I spotted the tropical parula. This time John was faster to locate it, took a picture, an accipiter showed up and the warbler left. A few more moments of moseying and we would have missed it. Lady Luck is a birder's best friend and worst enemy.

Frontera again to pound the paths for the Golden-Crowned Warbler. Tired, we slumped at the feeders and heard a lady's walkie talkie announce, 'I have the GCWA by the parking lot'. We got there before the lady did. A very excellent birder had the bird and she proceeded to spend the best part of an hour helping others to see it. I saw the field marks in bits and pieces, first the yellow belly, then the stripe, then other brief views. John saw it on the ground from the back so he saw only the stripes and the olive back but that will have to do. We searched around to get a better view but gave up.

Went over to Estero Grande with little hope to see the Becard, shared a lunch table with a snowbird couple from Montana and after John thought about it, we decided to head for Salineno for the Brown Jay, got there about 2:30 PM, sat for about a half hour entertained by the three species of orioles, a bob white and a marauding sharptail hawk, when the jay came and paraded about. We decided to stroll along the Rio Grande before leaving and were rewarded by a Ringed Kingfisher. Yes, it flew along the American bank first.

A long day, a lot of driving, some success.

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