Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Valley Trip: Day 2

.As planned, I went back to the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands on Friday morning for a quick spell of birding before Dee and I moved on to some other sites. The main pond was quiet in the early morning.

However, the main observation deck at the south pond looked out on a lot of bird activity. Several Black-necked Stilts were busy looking for breakfast.

Snowy (below) and Great Egrets were busy, too.

One Great Egret looked majestic as it flew across towards the morning sun.

Neotropic Cormorants were drying their wings on snags protruding from the water.

I was surprised to see that there were no adults with some young Black-bellied Whistling Ducks that were washing and grooming in preparation for another exciting day.

A few minutes later, their parents returned and immediately put the ducklings down for an early morning nap.

Two Green Herons were fishing near the observation decks.

A Forster's Tern was fishing further out in the pond, while a Couch's Kingbird was flycatching from the trees along the side of the water.

Quinta Mazatlan

When Dee was ready, we packed and drove over to McAllen to visit Quinta Mazatlan, a lovely Mexican ranch house surrounded by beautiful gardens.

As we got out of the car, we were greeted by the sight of two Curve-billed Thrashers just outside the entrance to the site.

No sooner had we entered the grounds than we ran into our first Plain Chachalacas.

Then we had a quick look at a Brown-crested Flycatcher.

Great-tailed Grackles were as evident here as they were at every site we visited.

There were surprisingly few other birds in the gardens and so we spent most of our time there admiring the plants and some attractive bronze sculptures of local wildlife.

Our final sighting was of two Red-crowned Parrots making out near the entrance.

After this it was back in the car for the short drive to Frontera Audubon, a Weslaco birding site that we had enjoyed visiting some years ago on a previous trip to the Valley. We intended to spend the rest of the morning there before checking in to our motel in Harlingen and then going to the nearby Hugh Ramsey Park for a little late afternoon birding.

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