Saturday, 5 March 2016

National Butterfly Center

After our river cruise, and while we were still so far up the valley, Skip and I visited the National Butterfly Center, only a few kilometres away from our cruising dock.
A very small red-eared slider (turtle) was sunning on a rock in the water feature at the entrance.

They are working very hard to establish gardens with habitat to attract the 200+ species of butterfly that frequent this area.
Small type of hibiscus
There is also a nice treed walkway on the eastern side of the property leading to a bird feeding/water station in the SE corner. In various spots, there are logs or stumps with little channels in which 'butterfly brew' is smeared to attract butterflies.
Red Admiral Butterfly
One of the first birds we spotted was a golden-fronted woodpecker.

Then a ladderback woodpecker flew in.
An 'as yet to be identified' butterfly.
We sat at the feeding area for over an hour just watching the birds come in. I took a LOT of photos of green jays.

This is the best one I have of its eye - the same colour as the eye markings.

Then in flew the Altamira oriole.

This was the best pic I had of the markings on the back.
We've seen a lot of cardinals at various sites around the RGV.
It was hot and the ladderback woodpecker seemed to be panting.
Then the golden-fronted woodpecker flew into the feeding area.

One of the butterfly photographers identified this as the orange crowned warbler.

There was also an olive sparrow but I wasn't fast enough to get a shot.

The Altamira oriole really dug into the grapefruit (Texas red).
This is a fairly good photo of the beak.
And some parting shots from the feeding station.
White-tipped dove.
More shots of the red admiral butterfly.

Way off in the distance was this hawk.
Although it was primarily a butterfly place, the birding at the feeding station was really good. It was a very enjoyable way to spend the afternoon of an already excellent day.

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