Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rio Grande Valley: The End

After we reluctantly tore ourselves away from Salineno, we made the short drive to Falcon State Park. It was much less birdy than we had hoped and probably than it had been earlier in the day. However, we did get to see some nice birds.

First up were several Pyrrhuloxias, a species that's always worth seeing.

Some people with an RV had put up feeders and these were attracting several birds: Orange-crowned Warbler, Green Jays, Great Kiskadee and Red-winged Blackbird. Then they drew in another bird that we were specifically looking for: Black-throated Sparrow.

The species we most wanted to see was Greater Roadrunner. We actually got a brief glimpse of one as were were leaving Salineno village but we soon saw three more at Falcon SP.

As I was photographing the Roadrunner, I notice a couple of other birds a few feet away: a pair of Northern Bobwhites.

We walked one of the trails and drove around the park a little but saw few other birds, except for hundreds of Cormorants streaming overhead and heading towards the lake.

Our time almost up, we headed back along the Valley towards McAllen, making a shortish stop at Salineno on the way. We stopped at the World Birding Center in Roma. It was closed but we took the opportunity to admire some fine, old colonial buildings nearby.

Other Bits & Pieces

On our drive down to the Valley from Houston, we stopped at the Falfurrias rest-stop to look for the Painted Redstart that was spending its third winter there. I missed it last year but this time it was easy to spot. It was a beautiful bird. Pity the lighting was bad!

On our last evening in McAllen, Dee was standing on the balcony outside our motel room when she noticed an odd blackbird. It didn't take long to ID it is as a Bronzed Cowbird.

The morning we were leaving, I was complaining that one species we hadn't seen was Harris's Hawk. I drove 30 yards to a gas station, got out of the car and saw what looked like a Harris's on a utility pole 100 yards away. I raced back to the room to grab a camera and then ran out to see if the bird was still there. It was! 

The Harris's Hawk wasn't our last new year bird. As we were driving to the freeway and past the entrance road to Quinta Mazatla, a Long-billed Curlew fly into a field by the roadside. We didn't stop to get a picture but it was a nice final sighting.

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