February 25, 2009

Bentsen-Rio Grande, Santa Ana, McAllen

Clay-colored Robin - by Joel Such

We awoke today to the sound of a Ferrugious Pygmy Owl!  Shortly after, a group of Chachalaca began their chattering chorus.  When the sky began to lighten, there was a whole symphony of different birds …. Northern Cardinal, Green Jay, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Great-tailed Grackle, Northern Mockingbird, etc.!  We spent the morning hiking and birding around the park.  Down on the Rio Grande, we spotted a gorgeous Ringed Kingfisher on the Mexican shore, which eventually launched off and flew straight up the middle of the river and disappeared.  At the Kiskadee Blind we saw a Indigo Bunting, Green Jays, and the other typical feeder birds for this area.  On our way out of the park for the afternoon, we stopped at the gate to watch for Clay-colored Robins, and we weren't disappointed!

Green Jay - by Joel Such

Orange-crowned Warbler - by Renee Haip

Mexican Bluewing - by Renee Haip

We spent the afternoon at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.  We walked different trails, saw a very large Texas Indigo Snake (longest snake in the US) and Texas Spiny-backed Lizards, and enjoyed the Spanish Moss covered trees!  Along the Rio Grande about 30 Turkey Vultures were roosting in trees on the opposite shore.  Periodically, they would rise up, circle, and settle in again.

Spanish Moss at Santa Ana - by Renee Haip

On our way back to Bentsen-Rio Grande, we looked for Green Parakeets (life bird #400 for Marcel) in McAllen.  We got pretty turned around, but eventually found them staging as the light began to dim.  There were hundreds of them on the power lines and even more of them arriving.  There calling was deafening!  We also noticed a few Red-Crowned Parrots flying over.

Green Parakeets - by Joel Such

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