My first morning in the River Grande Valley didn't start well. I drove north from Pharr to visit the Sal del Rey lake. Someone had told me it was about 12 miles north of where we were staying but, after driving 18 miles, I still hadn't found the turn-off road leading to the lake. So I gave up and headed back south to visit the Edinburg Wetlands Center instead. (I discovered later that I would have found the road I wanted if I had just gone two more miles north.)
As it turned out, it was lucky that I didn't get to the Sal del Rey. Because at Edinburg, I got out of the car, walked a few yards to a water channel, looked down and saw a female Green Kingfisher. This was a bird I'd been searching for, in the Valley and near Uvalde, for some six years and one that I'd begun to think I'd never see.
I only saw the bird for a few seconds and managed to get just one very poor photo.
I wondered if I'd get a better look over the next three days. I wondered, too, if I'd get to see the second bird on my must-see list: the Common Pauraque.
A Second Look
On Saturday I went back to the wetlands in the afternoon. I looked out over the lake and there was a male Green Kingfisher. It was quite a distance away but my new superzoom camera let me get some reasonably clear pictures.