Feb. 8: Billy returns at 2:30 PM! Yay! I’m so very happy and so are the kitties (I’m sure).
Feb. 9: Did some catching up on errands.
Feb. 10: Visited ELG to try for a WHITE-THROATED THRUSH! Was only seen on 2 days and not yesterday. But we didn’t see it, nor the Gray-crowned Yellowthroat. It was a hot day – high 30C. Just walked in the morning and not much bird life. There was however, lots of other sights.
One was the alligators in the lake, sitting on the surface, taking in the heat. One birder reported to us that 2 Muscovy Ducks had flown into the lake and his wife took a photo when the alligator’s jaws were about 4 feet from the duck before it took off! Wooh! Holy Mackerel! While there, we saw the Pauraque again, then heard a very familiar song – Tennessee Warbler!!! This is the most common warbler in Prince Albert National Park. We hear it every day in every type of environment at Waskesiu when we stay there. So neat to hear one tuning his spring voice.
There were lots of fish – don’t know if they’re talapia, but looks like plenty to keep the alligators happy if they miss their bird.
In the same pond was a close Yellow-crowned Night Heron sitting high up the tree where he can sleep peacefuly without fear of a lunging gator!
In the small pond behind us, where we heard the Tennessee Warbler, a Tri-colored Heron was busy fishing.
We saw a White-tailed Kite hunting again, but not close enough for a photo. However, this beautiful flower was blooming along the path – it’s some type of thistle bush. Almost looks like a white Alberta wild rose! About the same size.
Although we failed on the orioles also, we ran across some butterflies. This one is Queen and is over 3 inches across.
This is one I’ve been hoping to see – its picture is on many of the butterfly garden signs scattered throughout the valley. It is a Mexican blue-wing also over 3″.
Feb. 11: Haircuts and phone calls to try to sort out our stove woes at home. Oh woe! We have been owners of 3 induction top slide-in ranges at once (don’t even ask)! This is not ideal and it has taken MONTHS to try to sort it out, with poor cousin Jane as the middle man! Looks like we may have licked it now. We have at last been credited with 2 of the ranges, so now only own 1! Hope it’s a goodie (waiting for more reports from Jane who is living at our place).
Feb. 12-16: Billy works and I do laundry plus more phone calls.
Feb. 18: Finally located the visitor center at Laguna Atacosta National Wildlife Refuge (LANWR). First time we tried to find it, we couldn’t. But now we have. We hear from the naturalists that spring is just beginning in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Proof is in the yuccas (and maybe in the song of the Long-billed Thrasher).
Here is the yucca coming into flower. A spectacular column of white flowers, growing taller and taller as it blooms. The pink sheaths fade to white. Seems to have come out of nowhere, at least we don’t remember even seeing the top emerging a few days ago. A wonderful sight.
Feb. 19: TWO LIFERS!! AMAZING! On the way to S. Padre Is. we saw a couple of ravens near the nest site where we were watching for the Aplomado Falcon. We were informed that TAMAULIPAS CROWS nest there – hence a Lifer! No photo, since we were driving down the busy highway. Unfortunately, no falcon.
These 3 amigos (Black Vultures) and several more were massed on a carcass on the road.
We found our first Sandhill Cranes.
When we got to the world birding centre and walked the boardwalks, first thing we saw were lots of white butterflies. How pretty on a purple flower.
There were lots of these little blue dragonflies (damselflies?).
Down at the shore were these 3 amigos – can’t resist Black Skimmers. I think they almost look eye-less (sort of like Ruddy Ducks).
Not yet in ANY of their spring plumage (but they’d better hurry up!) were Sanderlings.
We were so close to the birds in the canals, can’t help but add a few duplicates, just because I like them!
Here is a Pied-billed Grebe. This is a really cute little grebe, but I thought here he/she looked particularly elegant!
Schools of tilapia were abundant. Here is one near the surface where you can see its turquoise-blue head. The inside of its mouth is pink and sometimes looks like painted lips.
You can see the top red of its legs on this Common Moorhen.
Once again the Sora paraded for photos – not the shyness one finds at home!
We’d been searching in vain for – and finally saw – not 1 but 2 CLAPPER RAILS!! This was within 5 minutes of each other – holy mackerel! Even managed a photo – yay. Another LIFER!
The wind had really picked up by now, so we headed back. Here’s a lovely Reddish Egret “blowin’ in the wind”.
The light was perfect on the feathers of this Tri-colored Heron.
We stopped in the little town of Laguna Vista just across the bridge on the mainland, to see if there was anything on the shore of a small park, since the tide was out.
A fisherman was cleaning fish and a group of bold Brown Pelicans were mooching entrails.
One more time searching for the falcon along Hsy 100, but still nothing. So home to the kitties!