Saturday, May 13, 2017
MY BIG DAY
...continues with a visit to Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center.
the Visitors Center
Where 50 screaming children exited a school bus and invaded the trails before I got there and so birding was hard at best. They were inside the VC at this point and the roars of laughter, screams, and shrilling was heard by all as they looked over the exhibits. Teachers How Do You Do It? I needed a time out so this may be the right spot for me....
It was going to be just plain hard to top the 7 lifers at Estero Llano Grande, but I felt good, the heat had not risen to unbearable yet so I gave it a go.
The Kingbirds' continued to keep me puzzled I'm calling this a Western Kingbird, I think I do see some white down the sides of the tail...but at this point I'm shell shocked..the Western is not a new bird for me, as any trip out west will give you this remarkable flycatcher.
...it could be one of the others....but either way its a cool bird! Another beautiful Great Kiskadee posed nicely for me...I really love this bird he has such a different look going on.
saw my first one hour before at Estero Llano.
Many of the same birds seen at Estero Llano showed up at Edinburgh, there was the tropical cormorant, the kingbirds, the great kiskadee, the white eyed vireos, even another least flycatcher, more golden fronted woodpeckers...but the target bird I found on the lake.
the Least Grebe!
With his beautiful golden eye. I saw only the one, he was diving and hunting about 10 ft off the shore.
My 8th lifer for the day!! I sat in the shady covered viewing area for some time just watching him/her hunt and dive and tried to count how long he stayed down...amazing sometimes I got up to 17 before he would surface.
Saw this cool looking what I think is a Gulf Coast Toad.
and talk about camouflage...
Still trying to ID this butterfly.
They had some hummingbird feeders out also and there was more Buff Bellied Hummers to enjoy..
...about this time the children flooded out of the Visitors Center, and so I quickly headed back to the van and made my way to my last stop on my big day...Bentsen Rio Grande State Park!
They do things a little different. You go in pay your $5 or if you just left one of the other centers, you can just show your paid receipt...so I did. Then you can walk if you want, or rent a bike, or if you brought your own you can bike...but this late in the day (it was after 3 pm) the heat was up there and the girl inside persuaded me the tram is the way to go. So I took the tram.
The tram driver assured me this is a couch's kingbird...
So hopefully it is! I really couldn't say yeah or nah as my skepticism kept building over these kingbirds!!
Right away I saw my one target bird..the Green Jay!
He was darting around so I got a few not so good shots of him...but this made me very happy what a gorgeous bird! The tram driver then dropped me off in an area of my choice where I walked along the Rio Grande and down to the photo blind. he would be back in one hr or so for his last run of the day to pick me up.
Down by the photo blind one lone golden fronted woodpecker was getting a sip of water..
Here is the blind it is accessible for wheel chairs I think of things like that...since now when out and about my mom goes in a wheel chair.
This whole area smelled like a BBQ was happening, with all the mesquite trees around...look how cool the trunk is...I don't know if this is a mesquite but it sure caught my eye...
so the tram driver told me to go sit by this Oriole nest and wait for the Altamira Oriole to come in and out...so after I explored the area a bit more I did that. Nearby is a restroom, and a picnic shelter and some cool swings in the shade, I snapped this poor photo of the dangling nest, and that is where my camera battery died!
Sooooo....no Altamira photo for moi....I did however see them flying around. I was so not happy since I had time to recharge the battery on the drive over...but it slipped my mind completely. It was hard to be happy with just watching the birds and that made me realize I really need to unwind more. So I sat in the shade and took a long relaxing swing and enjoyed using my new binoculars to watch the birds till the Tram arrived. And on the Tram was a couple I had met over at Edinburgh Wetlands parking lot as we all fled the kid take over! Its a small world. And when I announced my battery was dead the sigh was unanimous.
So I added 4 more birds to my big day total bringing it up to 11 for the day not too shabby!! None of these birds are rare all easily seen day in and out in this area. So to others nothing to be excited about to me it was priceless! Actually I saw more new to me birds in the Sea Rim Area. With 13 but I was there 4 days.
The tram driver pointed out the Elf Owl pole and I did come back about 8 pm and along with 4 other adult people ...
the elf hole
we waited, and waited in the dark for 90 minutes while being eaten alive by mosquitoes for the Elf to appear; he stood us up! I charged up the battery just enough for a shot of him if he did come out when I waited in the van for the Elf'ing hour. IT was a longgg day and exhaustion finally took over and I was done and done!! The next day I had another big day planned and it too would start with an early wake up and a drive to South Padre Island.
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.