Thursday, 9 February 2017

February 9 Birding at Estero Llano Grande

Today we ventured up the valley about 80km to Estero Llano Grande State Park, one of the World Birding Centers. There are several different habitats so there are lots of opportunities to see stuff.

On the way in we spotted a couple of chachalacas at the feeder. By the visitor's centre, there is a big pond where we spotted Northern shovelers, white ibis, white-faced ibis, green-wing teal
Green-wing teal snoozing on a log

coots, and blue-wing teal.
Not surprisingly, at the Grebe Pond we saw grebes - least grebes - a flotilla of six of them.
The common pauraque was in its usual spot. There was also a second one. They are so well camouflaged that we would never know to look there except for the bundles of sticks that have been placed between them and the path and that we've seen them there every year since we've visited the park.

At the Alligator Pond we saw several yellow-crowned night herons
and black-crowned night herons.

Along the drainage ditch was this tropical kingbird.
Here's the best shot of a least grebe (darker pate and yellow eye) in front of another that was bathing.
This spotted sandpiper and the turtle were 'living in perfect harmony' - both snoozing on the log.
Back at the feeding station, I got a good shot of a curve-billed thrasher.
 The golden-fronted woodpecker was enjoying the grapefruit.
Along the tropical trail through the trailer park, we spotted what we thought was a buff-bellied hummingbird. Now that I look at it closer, I'm not sure that's the right species.
On the way out, I spotted this giant swallowtail butterfly. It cooperatively posed for me to get a decent shot.

Other birds we spotted but didn't capture photographically were a black and white warbler and a ruby-crowned kinglet (both on the tropical trail), snowy egrets, cardinals at the feeding station, yellow rumped warblers, great kiskadees, one vermilion flycatcher, and a ladder-backed woodpecker.

The weather was fabulous. After lunch at a local taqueria, we drove over to the Costco at Pharr to get gas and pick up some of our customary provisions. Back at the island, the skies were overcast and it was quite a bit cooler. We were very glad to have spent the day in the sun.

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