We are close to Mexico, in fact today I biked with Penny in mid-70’s weather (sorry, that’s a bit mean for our NE friends) down the Bentsen State Park trails, and hiked a mile to the Rio Grande. Aside from hot and dry and old flood debris, it was pretty plain – except for the birds.
However, as you get close to the border, the Mexican telephone system Telcel, grabs your signal and suddenly you are getting warnings about roaming charges. It’s a little maddening, especially in the midlle of a call. I just turn my phone off until I get a few miles north.
We are ensconced in a small RV park which is a first for us. It is an interesting mix of old geezers looking for the best buffet, and birders, looking for all the specialties of the Valley. Mary and I awake to the calls of Golden-fronted Woodpeckers and Great Kiskadees and periodically through the day, to the noise of fast-flying Green Parakeets.
At the risk of boring our non-birding friends, here are a few shots from the last two days. The first is a Northern Mockingbird, the state bird of Texas:
A local specialty is the rather rare Clay-colored Thrush, which acts like an American Robin but looks like its name:
Yesterday, I went for an early bird walk in rather chilly foggy temperatures. The ranger brought us to this well-hidden Eastern Screech Owl which we likely would have just walked by:
Greater Kiskadees, with their color and noise, are everywhere. These were drying their wings, as cormorants do, this morning:
I remember the first Crested Caracaras we saw the first time we came to Texas. We could not identify this regal bird which sat on fence posts along the highway. Now, they are sort of ho-hum. Here are a couple perched in a tree this morning:
And lastly, the Green Parakeets, who came from escapees originally but have adapted to the "wild" like House Sparrows and European Starlings. Here, they paused for a bit before launching on their next frenetic flight:
This afternoon, we headed out to a "farm-to-market" busineess to get some fruit – a large bag of Pink Grapefruit and one of Navel Oranges. We won’t be getting scurvy on this trip. Bon voyage.