Thursday, January 6, 2011

Estero Llano Grande State Park, Texas, 2010

Buff-bellied Hummingbird... bathing under the sprinkler!

I guarantee you that Estero Llano Grande State Park is one birding spot that you will immediately fall in love with. It was very hard to leave! I am not sure exactly what made me fall in love with this outstanding state park so instantly. Perhaps it was my first Black-chinned or Buff-bellied Hummingbird, or possibly my first Common Pauraque or maybe it was the copious number of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks that were resting throughout the park. Whatever it was, I want to go back.

No matter where you went, there were birds. The morning started with a gorgeous Altamira Oriole. It then faded into a large number of Great Kiskadees, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and Plain Chachalacas. Late morning brought on Paraque's, Hummingbirds, Fulvous Whistling Ducks, and a Bewick's Wren. The remainder of the day brought such highlights as Green Kingfisher, Anhinga, and Curve-billed Thrasher. The last highlight was an unusual Buff-bellied Hummingbird complete with a substantial amount of rufous in the wings. All I'm trying to say is this place is the bomb! I must visit birding destination at least once in anybody's lifetime!

Common Pauraque... this is one of the most amazing birds I have ever seen. It doesn't move and blends in so well that you are likely to never see it. This particular one was alongside one of the trails.

A cute but nameless lizard

Plain Chachalaca... these birds are everywhere and can be compared to chickens. Very wild, but very common.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks... all over the place!

Softshell Turtle alongside the trail... not really in a good location.

Snowy Egret... one of the most beautiful sights in the south. Not many birds are so picturesque against the water.


Rob Ripma said...

Sweet series of shots! That is an awesome park and I can't wait to go back there! Did you look for the White-throated Thrush when you were there?

Kelly said...

....looks like this is a place I have to add to my must-see list! I'd get a lot of life birds there...

Chad said...

Kelly... yes, you gotta get there! I want to go back BAD! Rob... I did look for it, didn't see it and then heard they saw it the same day.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I am still SO jealous!!!!! I lived in Texas (near Houston) for 12 yrs. and had no interest in birds then... Duh!!!!

Glad you liked my Woodpeckers... I will have more this next week --since I'm doing the "Best of 2010" series.... SO--check back...

Keep on birding...

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful birds and photos. This park will have to be on my have to see places. Thanks for sharing this lovely series of shots.

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal