Monday, 2 April 2018

Birding on Easter Sunday

Yesterday morning, Skip and I checked out of our hotel and headed out to the Old Hidalgo Pumphouse. It is a beautiful park area right on the border wall in the south end of Hidalgo TX.

This photo shows one of the gates through the border wall. In several places in the RGV, the wall cuts off segments of the USA that are south of the levees on which the wall is built. There are usually gates like this that have to be monitored 24/7 by Border Patrol - usually in big, white SUVs with the big, green, diagonal stripe.
We heard the racket of the green monk parakeets and saw a continuous flow of them carrying nesting material. They are fast fliers so I couldn't really get a good pic.
Three of them flew down onto the grass and moved back and forth, I assume, feeding on seeds.
I was pleased to get this shot of one little guy up on the fence beside a sunflower. They are small birds - 25cm or so.

Tropical Kingbird
Golden-fronted woodpecker
Black phoebe only found west of the Mississippi in the southern US and below
The kingbird flew onto a branch almost over our heads. From its call, we determined it is a Tropical kingbird

We met a couple in the park who told us where to find the parakeet nests. They were described as 'condos'.

After leaving the park, we spotted an Eurasian collared dove on the top of a pole.
It was very easy to spot one of the parakeet 'condos'. Several different bird species occupy them. It certainly explained why we kept seeing the monk parakeets carrying nesting material. On some streets, they were on every hydro pole.

Curve-billed thrasher
We then went to Frontera Audubon in Weslaco. It was past noon and starting to get stinking hot. We did see an immature white ibis in one of the ponds.

Common chachalacas
Longtail butterfly
We really enjoyed our weekend in the 'heart of the Valley' - a hotel room with a comfy king bed, good lighting, big HDTV, free breakfast, Happy Hour snacks and drinks and lots of shopping and birding. Back on the island, it is very quiet as most Winter Texans have left. We figure most of the people who are left are birders like us who are hoping to see lots of migrating species.

We'll start for home a week tomorrow.

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