Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Valley Trip: Day 2 contd.

.Our two hours at Frontera Audubon started well with an Olive Sparrow and a Golden-fronted Woodpecker in the parking lot. From the sightings board at the visitor center we saw that a Green Kingfisher had been spotted just the previous day, so off we went to check out the pond where it had been seen. We didn't spot the Kingfisher there or at any of the site's other ponds. I'm beginning to think that this is one bird I'll never get to watch!

In place of the Kingfisher, a pair of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks posed by one of the ponds.

We got good looks at some Buff-bellied Hummingbirds.

Several Long-billed and Curve-billed Thrashers were foraging in the undergrowth.

Great Kiskadees appeared in several places. This one flew right down to the boardwalk in front of us.

As we walked the trails, we disturbed half-a-dozen Black-tailed Jackrabbits, as well as numerous lizards.

Our final sighting was of Plain Chachalacas in the bushes around the parking lot.

Hugh Ramsey Park

Later in the afternoon we spent a very pleasant 90 minutes walking the various trails in the Hugh Ramsey / Arroyo Canyon Park in Harlingen. I enjoyed it so much that I returned early the next morning for another stroll.

If you like cactus and other plants of semi-arid areas, this is the park for you.

There were a couple of wet areas, though.

One pond had a Great Kiskadee.

In a few places various flowering plants and trees were attracting butterflies, including a Mexican Bluewing.

As none of the feeding stations were stocked, we had to work hard to find birds. Northern Mockingbirds were plentiful, as were Curve-billed Thrashers.

We disturbed a Thrasher who had been sitting on a nest.

While the parent was away, I had a quick look into the nest.

Two other Thrashers were mating.

Long-billed Thrashers were present, too.

We again saw Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers (below).

Bewick's Wrens were fussing about near one of the paths.

Nearby there were Couch's Kingbirds.

An Olive Sparrow visiting a water feature stopped just long enough for me to get a photo.

The Trip So Far

Although we had enjoyed the sites we had visited to this point and had seen some good birds, we had not yet spotted most of the species that I was hoping to see. So we were really looking forward to our planned Saturday visit to Laguna Atascosa NWR. Surely that site would produce several south Texas specialties, such as Harris's Hawk, Greater Roadrunner and Green Jay. And perhaps a town on the way - Rio Hondo - would finally produce the Green Kingfisher that I have desperately wanted to see for several years!

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