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Rio Grande Valley birds, butterflies, dragonflies through the eyes of an ex-Buckeye

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May 1, 2007I only had an hour to either kill or nurture, so I took off for Tiocano Lake, 10 miles away: Great Egret 2, Snowy Egret 2, Roseate Spoonbill 1, American Coot 2, Killdeer 2, Black-necked Stilt 9, Long-billed Dowitcher 75, Wilson's Phalarope 62, Laughing Gull 1, Black Skimmer 8, Rock Pigeon 1, Mourning Dove 6, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 1, Great Kiskadee 2, Red-winged Blackbird 11, Great-tailed Grackle 8, House Sparrow 2. I still had time, so 7 miles from Tiocano is the La Feria Turf Farm: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 6, Mottled Duck 2, Blue-winged Teal 12, White-faced Ibis 133, Turkey Vulture 2, White-tailed Kite 2, American Golden-Plover 6, Killdeer 2,Black-necked Stilt 60, Lesser Yellowlegs X, Western Sandpiper X, Stilt Sandpiper X, Buff-breasted Sandpiper X, Long-billed Dowitcher X, Wilson's Phalarope X, Rock Pigeon 2, Mourning Dove 6, Lesser Nighthawk 1, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 2, Barn Swallow X, Dickcissel 3, Red-winged Blackbird 4, Eastern Meadowlark 2, Great-tailed Grackle 80, Bronzed Cowbird 1. Some were hard to see in the long grass, so counting them was futile. Anyway 8 miles from there I was back home. One hour, 25 miles, an hour very well-spent. 
 
May 4, 2007A visit to South Padre Island's Causeway and Laguna Madre Trail at the Convention Center today: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 2, Mottled Duck 2, Great Blue Heron 1, Great Egret 1, Snowy Egret 3, Little Blue Heron 1, White Ibis 1, Common Moorhen 2, American Coot 2, Wilson's Plover 1, American Oystercatcher 2, American Avocet 3, Willet 9, Ruddy Turnstone 9, Sanderling 12, Western Sandpiper 12, Dunlin 82, Long-billed Dowitcher 96, Laughing Gull X, Gull-billed Tern 14, Caspian Tern 23, Royal Tern 29, Least Tern 21, Rock Pigeon 1, White-winged Dove 1, Mourning Dove 2, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1, Olive-sided Flycatcher 1, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1, Least Flycatcher 1, Eastern Kingbird 1, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 2, Barn Swallow 4, Gray Catbird 1, Northern Mockingbird 2, Northern Parula 1, Yellow Warbler 1, Blackpoll Warbler 3, Ovenbird 1, Wilson's Warbler 1, Indigo Bunting 1, Red-winged Blackbird 20, Great-tailed Grackle X, Orchard Oriole 6, Baltimore Oriole 6.
 
May 5, 2007Harlingen's Hugh Ramsey Park: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 6, Plain Chachalaca 1, a first I think in this park, Great Blue Heron 1, Laughing Gull 1, White-winged Dove 50, Mourning Dove 30, Inca Dove 2, Common Ground-Dove 3, White-tipped Dove 10, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1, Chimney Swift 1, Buff-bellied Hummingbird 4, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 9, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 2, Brown-crested Flycatcher 1, Great Kiskadee 14, Couch's Kingbird 1, Western Kingbird 2, Green Jay 1, a first in the park I think for me, Purple Martin 8, Northern Rough-winged Swallow 4, Barn Swallow 4, Verdin 1, Carolina Wren 1, Bewick's Wren 1, Northern Mockingbird 6, Long-billed Thrasher 3, Curve-billed Thrasher 4, Magnolia Warbler 1, a nice male, Summer Tanager 1, Scarlet Tanager 2, Olive Sparrow 2, Northern Cardinal 3, Pyrrhuloxia 1, Indigo Bunting 1, Painted Bunting 2, Red-winged Blackbird 2, Great-tailed Grackle 14, Brown-headed Cowbird 2, Baltimore Oriole 1, Lesser Goldfinch 4, House Sparrow 24 Harlingen's Dixieland Park: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 8, Mottled Duck 1, American White Pelican 1, Neotropic Cormorant 4 ,Anhinga 4, Great Egret 1, Snowy Egret 77, Green Heron 2, American Coot 38, Killdeer 1, Laughing Gull 9, Caspian Tern 4, Forster's Tern 1, Rock Pigeon 4, Mourning Dove 4, Common Ground-Dove 1, Couch's Kingbird 1, Barn Swallow 4, Northern Mockingbird 6, Curve-billed Thrasher 2, Red-winged Blackbird 3, Great-tailed Grackle 8, Bronzed Cowbird 1, Brown-headed Cowbird 1, Lesser Goldfinch 4, Harlingen's City Lake: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 60, Double-crested Cormorant 1, Snowy Egret 2, Little Blue Heron 1, Green Heron 1, American Coot 8, Spotted Sandpiper 1, Laughing Gull 57, Rock Pigeon 10, Mourning Dove 2, Purple Martin 2, Northern Mockingbird 1, European Starling 1, Great-tailed Grackle 4, House Sparrow 4
 
May 8, 2007Harlingen's Dixieland Park: Birding with a non-birder, but not in the highly recreational, busy section of the park: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 15, Ruddy Duck 3, Neotropic Cormorant 10, Double-crested Cormorant 5, Great Blue Heron 2, Great Egret 1, Snowy Egret 79, Cattle Egret 6, Black-crowned Night-Heron 2, American Coot 35, Killdeer 1, Laughing Gull 8, Forster's Tern 1, Rock Pigeon 2, Mourning Dove 4, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 3, Great Kiskadee 2, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 3, Barn Swallow 6, Curve-billed Thrasher 2, Red-winged Blackbird 2, Eastern Meadowlark 1, Great-tailed Grackle 20, Bronzed Cowbird 2. The best part was three jackrabbits, pretty close! Not like our Ohio cottontails at all...
 
May 13, 2007 South Padre Island's Causeway and the tiny warbler section on the Laguna Madre Trail at the Convention Center Although I spent three hours here, I spent most of it chatting with other birders.  Some of the birds seen today: Brown, Pelican 4, Great Egret 7, Northern Harrier 1, Harris's Hawk 1, Black-bellied Plover 1, American Oystercatcher 2, Laughing Gull X, Franklin's Gull X, Black Tern 2000, Mourning Dove 2, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 12, Eastern Wood-Pewee 5, Alder Flycatcher 2, Least Flycatcher 2, Eastern Kingbird 1, Red-eyed Vireo 4, Yellow-green Vireo 1, Barn Swallow 4, Swainson's Thrush 5, Gray Catbird 1, Northern Mockingbird 4, Cedar Waxwing 32, Tennessee Warbler 2, Northern Parula 1, Yellow Warbler 5, Chestnut-sided Warbler 7, Magnolia Warbler 6, Bay-breasted Warbler 1, Black-and-white Warbler 3, American Redstart 17, Ovenbird 1, Common Yellowthroat     4, Canada Warbler 2, Scarlet Tanager 1, Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2, Red-winged Blackbird 1, Eastern Meadowlark 1, Great-tailed Grackle X, Orchard Oriole 2, Baltimore Oriole 8, House Sparrow X

 
May 14, 2007 Mittag Pond Riviera, Kleberg County, Texas Only an hour to spare today, most of it spent admiring the pair of
MaSkEd DuCKs
 MASKED DUCKS.  Some of the other birds here (undercounted no doubt!): Black-bellied Whistling, Duck 2, Mottled Duck 2, Blue-winged Teal 50, Northern Shoveler 8, Green-winged Teal 3, Ring-necked Duck 2, Lesser Scaup 3, Masked Duck 2, Ruddy Duck     100, Least Grebe 6, Eared Grebe 6, Neotropic Cormorant 20, Double-crested Cormorant 50, Great Egret 3, Cattle Egret 6, White-faced Ibis 1, Turkey Vulture     1, Harris's Hawk 1, Crested Caracara 1, Common Moorhen5, American Coot 150, Black-necked Stilt 40, Greater Yellowlegs 4, Lesser Yellowlegs 6, Spotted Sandpiper 2, Wilson's Phalarope 600, Black Tern 2, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 6, Red-winged Blackbird 20, Great-tailed Grackle 26, Bronzed Cowbird 1.  Enroute there, near a tiny town called Armstrong by the side of Highway 77, was a pond with birds in: Blue-winged Teal 8, Harris's Hawk 5, Crested Caracara 1, Black-necked Stilt 12, Wilson's Phalarope 20, Mourning Dove 2, Great-tailed Grackle 6, plus numerous back-lit sandpipers (20?). Salita Rest Area: Couldn't hear Tropical Parula, the object of my search... Mourning Dove 2, Inca Dove 1, Buff-bellied Hummingbird 1, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1, Brown-crested Flycatcher 1, Couch's Kingbird 2, White-eyed Vireo 2, Barn Swallow 4, Black-crested Titmouse 6, Great-tailed Grackle 6, Hooded Oriole Enroute home, at the LaFeria sod farm were Horned Larks, BuffBreasted Sandpipers, BlackNecked Stilts etc.

 
May 15, 2007 Bentsen-Rio State Park, Mission, Hidalgo County, Texas I saw my first two JAVELINA! These are true wild pigs, also called Collared Peccaries, not domestic pigs gone feral. This simple walk was from Headquarters to the Green Jay Blind and back, talking with a fellow hiker Dave the whole time. Plain Chachalaca 10, Neotropic Cormorant 2, Great Blue Heron 1, Turkey Vulture 1, Osprey 1, Gray Hawk 1, American Coot 2, Killdeer 1, White-winged Dove 18, Mourning Dove 4, Common Ground-Dove 1, White-tipped Dove 24, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 6, Buff-bellied Hummingbird 2, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 9, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet 2 (nest!), Great Kiskadee 6 (three nests!), Couch's Kingbird 5 (a pair on the nest!), Green Jay 6, Cave Swallow 10, Clay-colored Robin 2, Northern Mockingbird 8, Long-billed Thrasher 4, Cedar Waxwing 30, Yellow Warbler 2, Black-throated Green Warbler 1, Olive Sparrow 1, Lark Sparrow 6 (while waiting I found a nest and watched the parents carry bugs to the four babies-- even got pictures!), Northern Cardinal 7, Red-winged Blackbird 6, Great-tailed Grackle 14, Bronzed Cowbird 16, Altamira Oriole 3 (nest!).  Also saw my first Crimson Patch butterfly!

May 16, 2007Harlingen's Dixieland Park:A non-birding friend and I were munching our delicious Dairy Queen banana-cream-pie Blizzards, not really birding, but we couldn't help noticing the adult Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, Osprey and the Spotted Sandpiper here.

May 19, 2007 South Padre Island's Causeway and the tiny warbler section/boardwalk on the Laguna Madre Trail at the Convention Center Very late, starting at 7:30pm, but still no rails!:  Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 2, Mottled Duck 1, Least Bittern 1, Great Blue Heron 4, Great Egret 1, Osprey 1, Common Moorhen 2, Black-bellied Plover 1, Willet 4, Spotted Sandpiper 4, White-rumped Sandpiper 6, Laughing Gull X, Caspian Tern 1, Royal Tern 3, Sandwich Tern 15, Black Skimmer 2, Common Nighthawk 1, Chimney Swift 1, Buff-bellied Hummingbird 1, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 5, Eastern Wood-Pewee 2, Barn Swallow 10, Veery 3, Gray-cheeked Thrush 1, Swainson's Thrush 3, Northern Mockingbird 3, Cedar Waxwing 6, Yellow Warbler 2, Chestnut-sided Warbler 1, Magnolia Warbler 4, American Redstart 9, Indigo Bunting 2, Red-winged Blackbird X, Great-tailed Grackle.
 
May 20, 2007Harlingen Thicket, Cameron County, Texas A Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 6, Great Egret 1, Laughing Gull 1, White-winged Dove 17, Mourning Dove 15, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 2, Common Nighthawk 1 (got a picture of him resting on a branch!), Chimney Swift 1, Ruby-throated Hummingbird 2, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 1, Eastern Wood-Pewee 15 (they were everywhere!), Least Flycatcher 3, Brown-crested Flycatcher 2, Great Kiskadee 2, Couch's Kingbird 2, Western Kingbird 1, White-eyed Vireo 6 (kept saying, "I think he's weeeeeeird!"), Red-eyed Vireo 2, Purple Martin 5, Tree Swallow 1, Barn Swallow 4, Verdin 5 (twice caught parents feeding young!), Northern Mockingbird 10, Long-billed Thrasher 4, Curve-billed Thrasher 2 (found the nest in the tree by the entrance!), Yellow Warbler 4, Chestnut-sided Warbler 1, Magnolia Warbler 4, American Redstart 1, Olive Sparrow 3, Great-tailed Grackle 15, Brown-headed Cowbird 1 (female), House Sparrow 2.

May 23, 2007 Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park I woke up early at 5am to try to get to Bentsen-Rio just as they opened at 7am. I was hoping the owls would still be active, but at 7am the day is blazing already! I DID HEAR A FERRUGINOUS PYGMY-OWL off the path, but hearing counts like seeing to the ABA, so we don't bother the rare birds too much trying to actually see them. I missed Elf and Screech Owl though. Good sighting: a PECCARY THAT DIDN'T MIND MY PRESENCE AT ALL. I also located a pair of ClayColored Robins (good in itself) and THEIR NEST.

Lark Sparrow at BentsenRio feeding young:
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Brood of Lark Sparrows at BentsenRio:
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Many nesting birds are at BentsenRio!
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One of the hundreds of Phalarope in Kleberg County
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Female BayBreasted at South Padre Island
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From Harlingen Thicket
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From Dixieland Park in Harlingen
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Crimson Patch:
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May 30, 2007 I birded some local spots: 8 miles behind the house is La Feria sod farm Black-necked Stilt 18, Mourning Dove 4, Red-winged Blackbird 6, Great-tailed Grackle 8, Bronzed Cowbird 2, then 10 miles to flooded Tiocano Lake Neotropic Cormorant 28, Roseate Spoonbill 4, Turkey Vulture 1, Killdeer 2, Forster's Tern 1, Rock Pigeon 1, White-winged Dove 2, Great-tailed Grackle 8, and on the way I happened upon Wilson/Alanzo Rd was a mere field flooded from recent rains...Black-bellied Whistling-Duck 8, Fulvous Whistling-Duck 10, Black-necked Stilt 10, White-winged Dove 4, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 2, Red-winged Blackbird 2, Great-tailed Grackle 2, and finally Dixieland Park just the lake area: Mottled Duck 1, Neotropic Cormorant 2, Double-crested Cormorant 3, Great Blue Heron 1, Snowy Egret 10, Green Heron 2, Osprey 1, American Coot 8, Spotted Sandpiper 1, Laughing Gull 28, Forster's Tern 3, White-winged Dove 2, Mourning Dove 10, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 1, Ladder-backed Woodpecker 1, Great Kiskadee 1, Purple Martin 2, Northern Mockingbird 3, Red-winged Blackbird 2, Great-tailed Grackle 8, Bronzed Cowbird 3, Lesser Goldfinch 4, House Sparrow 1
 
May 31, 2007I stopped by Frontera (closed), Valley Nature Center (closed), but fortunately Edinburg World Birding Center was open: Black-bellied Whistling-Duck (with a whole mess of ducklings) 24, Pied-billed Grebe 2, Neotropic Cormorant 46, Snowy Egret 7, Green Heron 2, Black-crowned Night-Heron (chased by Grackles) 1,Red-tailed Hawk (chased by Grackles) 1, Common Moorhen 2, American Coot 2, Killdeer 1, Laughing Gull 1, Rock Pigeon 4, White-winged Dove 10, Mourning Dove 4, Common Ground-Dove 2, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1, Buff-bellied Hummingbird 5, Black-chinned Hummingbird 1, Golden-fronted Woodpecker 1, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1, Great Kiskadee 3, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 2, Cave Swallow 2, Northern Mockingbird 16, Curve-billed Thrasher 2, Great-tailed Grackle 55, House Sparrow 4. The best thing here was my first-ever GUAVA SKIPPER!

Then I headed to Bentsen-Rio State Park for the night tour and hoped-for owls. The only species of owl we saw however were Screech Owls: Plain Chachalaca X, Northern Bobwhite 1, Killdeer 1, White-winged Dove X, Mourning Dove X, Inca Dove 1, Common Ground-Dove X, White-tipped Dove X, Yellow-billed Cuckoo 3, Eastern Screech-Owl 3, Lesser Nighthawk 4, Common Nighthawk 4, Common Pauraque-- MANY, Great Kiskadee X, Green Jay X, Purple Martin 6, Cave Swallow X, Northern Mockingbird 6, Long-billed Thrasher 2, Lark Sparrow 4, Northern Cardinal X, Dickcissel X, Red-winged Blackbird 2, Great-tailed Grackle X, Altamira Oriole 2. Did I mention the Armadillo? the Spadefoot Toads? The Vine Sphinx Moth that lives on Marine Vine? Many Peccaries with many babies? A huge Tarantula?

Dixieland Park bundle of Snowy feathers
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Harlingen Thicket's Common Nighthawk
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Hugh Ramsey Park's Texan Crescent
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A reminder of home in Ohio, male Gray Hairstreak
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Edinburg World Birding Ctr: My first GUAVA SKIPPER
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Home | Estero Llano Grande State Park | Polydamas | May 2010 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | November 2009 | December 2009 | October 2009 | August 21, 2009 at Estero Llano Grande State Park esp Guava Skipper | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | Feb 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | Estero Weekly Butterfly Walks 2008-9 #1-15 | Estero Butterfly Walks 2009 17-30 | Estero Weekly Butterfly Walks #31 and over | Nov 2006 thru Feb 2007 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | March 2008 | January 2008 | February 2008 | December 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | April 2007 | March 2007

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To see my history of birding before I moved to Texas just click one of these links: at Oxbow Lake, in Defiance County.
at Independence Dam State Park, in Defiance County.
in Sherwood Ohio, my old hometown, in Defiance County
the rest of Defiance County.
in Paulding County, one county south of Defiance County, in Northwest Ohio
at 16 and C in Williams County, in Northwest Ohio.
the rest of Williams County
in Fulton County, also in Northwest Ohio
around Lake Erie
as well as other various spots in Ohio
and occassionally other states.
I've also researched my genealogy a bit (my other hobby). Click here to learn about the Yochums.
and the Hinsch's
and the Stahls.
and the Jones'
and the Rathbuns.
and the Mattsons
and the Browns
and the Weisers
and the Batdorffs.
Genealogy Tree, Generations 1 through 6
Genealogy Tree, Generations 7 through 12
Genealogy Tree, Generations 13 and up