Monday, January 3, 2011

Laguna Atascosa - Texas 2010

I just returned home from my first birding trip to Texas. Finally, I was able to spend a few days birding locations such Corpus Christi, South Padre, and the Rio Grande Valley. To see as much as I could in just a few short days, the trip had to be in fast motion but it was still very much worth every moment. I will be dividing the trip up into several parts because there is just too much to say at one time.

The first stop was Laguna Atascosa NWR, an outstanding refuge just northwest of South Padre Island. This would be one of those places that words really can't describe. Simply wonderful! Whether you want a great experience just birding the area around the visitor's center or you want to bird the 15 mile auto-tour, it is impossible to be disappointed. From Green Jays to White-tailed Kites, birds are everywhere - plentiful enough that you won't know what direction to look at times.

Below are a few pictures from the day!

And the winner is... Green Jay. By far my favorite bird of the trip. I saw my first one in my first 5 minutes of birding. This is now my second favorite bird next to the Blue Jay.

Bathing, this Yellow-rumped Warbler was just too cute to not credit!

Olive Sparrow... another new bird for me!

Great Kiskadee and Northern Cardinal... a colorful couple.

Orange-crowned Warbler... and an annoying piece of grass! I wanted to include this picture because it shows why this bird is called "orange-crowned" - a part of the bird seldom seen.

Crested Caracaras... and I think a torn up snake. Great birds!

Long-billed Thrasher... one of my new favorites! Doesn't this bird just look like he is full of happiness? Gotta love the grouch look!

Long-billed Curlew... yet another new bird. Check out the beak!


l.a.r.k. said...

What a wonderful trip! So many beautiful birds. Fantastic pictures! :))

Rob Ripma said...

Awesome shots! Glad you had a great time!

Eric Ripma said...

You got some awesome pics. Olive Sparrows hardly ever come out in the open like that.

Paula said...

Wonderful photos!!! Ohhh I can't wait for the day when I can get down to Texas! The shot of the Kiskadee is just fabulous - looks like you had a great trip!

Chad said...

Thanks all! Eric, I had no idea they did not come out in the open often but come to think of it, the others I saw stayed in the brush! I am a little more appreciative of the pic now! I have so much more to post... Paula... you gotta get down there! You'll love it!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Chad, I'm so jealous!!!! You must have had a terrific trip... That Green Jay is gorgeous... WOW!!!!

I've had Yellow-rumped Warblers here during winter. We also have Brown Thrashers --which are similar to your Long-billed Thrasher...

What do you think of all of the bird deaths this week? Now it's Arkansas, Louisiana and Kentucky.. Scary!

My son lives in Galveston, TX --and he sent me pictures of Sandhill Cranes which are there for the winter... Gorgeous birds...

I have a bird blog tomorrow and Friday--so stop back by if you have time.

Larry said...

Love the shots. Nice capture of the orange crown.

Indiana State Bird

Indiana State Bird
Northern Cardinal