On this day, we visited Resaca de la Palma and Estero Llano Grande, both World Birding Centers. I also had us visit Olivera park as I did a google search: "Parrots + Brownsville" and this place was supposedly it. In a visit at noon, we quickly learned there is a sweet spot of timing to visit at dusk and scrapped that plan for another day. Instead of parrots we won with a panderia and got a bag of pastries for $1.75.
|White-tipped doves (lifer), are reminiscent of mourning doves, but heftier and lacking some of the dark markings that MODO's have.|
Still very cute, and also very flighty.
|A chance to enjoy some nice views of the golden-fronted woodpecker. It's like a red-bellied woodpecker but full of gold.|
|Also, life bird,|
We saw these birds throughout the RGV area. This one is a male, as noted by the red on their crown, females lack the red.
|While we ate our cheese sandwiches for lunch, we were treated to Altimara orioles among others.|
|I love orioles for their bright colors, but this one really knocks the Baltimore Orioles we get in NY out of the park.|
|Altimara orioles do enjoy fruits and are drawn in by the ever present oranges at the feed stations, but they also seem to enjoy some seeds too.|
And this seed craving time, a green jay is in the way.
|Not as big as the green jays, they can take on one bird.|
|But, while feeding it checked over its shoulder quite often as the red-winged blackbirds would gather and displace a single bird.|
|We also learned the male orioles are not the only flashy ones...|
|The females, more of a yellow, are just as beautiful and deserve just as much credit to their beauty as the males!|
|What a treat to see this gal!|
|Resembling a mockingbird with a flamingo-curved bill, this is a Curve-billed Thrasher!|
|Related to mockers and other thrashers, this species is a year-round denizen of the South Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, into Mexico.|
|Another Orange-crowned Warbler...|
|Thinking we could walk the 3-mile loop around the park, we realized it was warm and that would take a lot of time.|
So we hopped on the tram that comes around every 2 hours, and glad we did, because we got to see THIS!
|The Greater Roadrunner!|
|Related to the cuckoos, it stands tall and it runs!|
This one happened to be running on the road, really living up to its name and meeting expectations.
|My first walk out to the balcony, overlooking one of the ponds, I immediately spotted a Wilson's Snipe.|
By time we left, there were at least 5 snipe, probing the mud together.
|I also snapped a cruddy pic of one of my favorite hawks, Harris' Hawk.|
I used to work with these birds in my first job out of college. They hunt in groups and are all around awesome.
|A verdin, a bird very specific to the Southwestern US.|
|Some of the trails have a network of boardwalks through them. On stepping out onto the boardwalk, a Virginia rail, mere feet away just did its thing, undisturbed, feeding and weaving in and out of the reeds.|
|Tim spotted this female vermillion flycatcher over the first pond.|
|She is pretty flashy herself!|
|Another pond, full of waterfowl also had a sizeable number of least sandpipers.|
|Northern pintails ended up being a very plentiful duck in our travels.|
This one has evidence of its dabbling on its bill.
|The cutest of the grebes and smaller than the pied-billed's we are used to, the Least Grebe.|
|A cinnamon teal feeds while a blue-winged teal dips under the surface and goes butt-up.|
|Least grebes are the smallest of our grebes and only viewed in Texas. Otherwise you need to visit Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean to see these birds outside the mainland US.|
Also. That serious side eye.
|This bird has it perfected.|
|Love love love me a ginger bird and male cinnamon teals are good ones.|
|The trees on one pond were a favorite roost for a number of yellow-crowned night herons.|
|This is a white-eyed vireo. I promise, it had white eyes.|
|We were able to locate one (large) American Alligator on Alligator Pond.|
|This pied-billed grebe seemed to eye it and take note of its presence.|
|Thankfully the gator at the time had no interest.|
|A nice side-by side of the pied-billed (left) to the least grebe (right).|
So much more small!
|An anhinga flew in after it had finished drying its wings on the other side of the pond. It made some rude noises, similar to the belching sound of a cormorant.|
|Speaking of cormorants, this one on the right caught my eye, something seemed different. It's a juvenile Neotropic Cormorant. That thin line of white under its chin is a good indicator of such in juvenile birds.|