I've decided that it is next to impossible to write about Texas in a blog. One single birding trip to this state could easily transform into a novel. This will be part 2 of at least 4 blogs posts on our trip this past January. Of course, I am going to have to speed up the posting so that I can also write about something else before the end of theyear! This post is going to highlight Estero Llano Grande State Park and South Padre Island (specifically, the World Birding Center).
Both places are my favorite. Just like Salineno and Falcon Lake - my favorites. Yes, I am one of those people that just can't make up my mind. Just like my ongoing dilemma between a Blue Jay and a Green Jay - I can't decide which is my number one favorite bird. I mean, it has always been the Blue Jay so how can I put this gorgeous bird on the back burner? I can't! So, I now have two favorite birds; The Blue Jay and the Green Jay! In fact, as I type this I am smiling at the sound of a Blue Jay outside the window making his normal obnoxious racket before his approach to snatch his favorite food - a peanut.
The World Birding Center at South Padre Island is a birders/photographers dream. Just like Merritt Island or Ding Darling in Florida, the birds seem to enjoy being subjects of photography. If the sun is just right, great pictures can be taken with almost any type of camera. So, at this place don't be intimidated by the big lenses, I promise your $100 camera will take just as many good pictures as your neighbor's $10k camera.
Ok, back on point. This destination will give you a chance to utilize a boardwalk system that will get you up close and personal to a wide variety of waterfowl, shorebirds, and marsh birds. For us this included: Northern Pintail, Wigeon, Tri-colored Heron, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Roseate Spoonbill, Red Head Duck, Reddish Egret, American Oystercatcher, Gull-billed Tern, Marsh Wren, Sedge Wren, and Marbled Godwit. The list goes on and one. Oh, did I mention all of these birds were RIGHT THERE!!!
Whether it be Estero Llano Grande or South Padre Island World Birding Center you should plan for a full day at each location. You can rush but you'll only be stressed that you did. So take your time and be ready for a LOT of birds!