Sunday, April 20, 2008

Red-crowned Parrot

Red-crowned Parrot

Birders on the boardwalk

Green Jay

Least Grebe

Texas: Day Six

We slept-in today getting a late start around 7:30am – a well needed extra half-hour – but were soon in the company of about 20 Red-crowned Parrots.  What a sight in the early morning low angle light; fighting, mating, climbing, swooping birds in a frantic pace of living life, making it almost too hard for the tour leader to keep the rest of the day on the same level.  

Sabal Palm sanctuary is must stop on any south Texas trip, home of area specialties such as White-tipped Dove, Olive Sparrow, Plain Chachalaca, Green Jay, Least Grebe and so much more.  The habitat is so special as the last significant patch of Sabal Palm in the US.  Unfortunately, it may not be with us much longer if the plan to build the border fence goes through, currently scheduled to be built north of the park, cutting it off from the rest of Texas. Can you believe this oasis is up on the chopping block?  There is a recent New York Times article if you would like more information.

Evening and night birding was optional, some taking advantage of the time to catch up on much needed sleep and rest, others not willing to lose any opportunity to experience more of south Texas, ultimately rewarded with sightings of Franklin's Gull, Ringed Kingfisher, Lesser Nighthawk, Cave Swallow, Paraque, and Elf Owl.  Unfortunately (in the eyes of some participants), we missed any night crawling tarantulas; always fun for me to see "big brave men" running in fear as the macabre critter shows how fast in can move when motivated.

Another full day of adventure in the Rio Grande Valley tomorrow.



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