It was our last day of birding. Bob and I drove over to South Padre Island. It is about a 45 minute drive from where we were staying in Harlingen. Have to drive over the longest bridge in Texas to get there. (2½ miles) There are alot of modern buildings on the island. And they are very bird friendly. There was a BIG modern birding centre there, with an extensive series of boardwalks winding around thru a saltmarsh and down to the water. There birds are all around you. Walking along the boardwalk it was easy to see LONG-BILLED CURLEW, COMMON MOORHEN, WILLET, WHITE IBIS, CLAPPER RAIL, BLACK-NECKED STILT, lots of ducks and hawks and many smaller peeps (and an alligator). Right next door is the Convention Centre. Here too, they have the grounds set up for birders. Feeeders everywhere. Nice trails and walks around the property.
We left there mid-afternoon and drove back onto the mainland to check out the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. This was a really neat place. We took a 15 mile drive around a very desolate dirt road. It wanders thru part of the Refuge. We saw a Coyote and a White-tailed Deer, not to mention a number of birds. One of the neatest birds along this drive was WHITE-TAILED KITE. After the drive, we parked in the visitor centre parking lot and walked some of the trails. Just before dark about a thousand SANDHILL CRANES flew in to spend the night. Not sure where they landed, but it was an incredible site to see them fly in. Saw another coyote and some PLAIN CHACHALACAS. Finally it got too dark to bird. As we were driving out of the refuge, we saw COMMOM PAURAQUES fly up from beside the road. It was a very neat way to end our birding experience here in southern Texas.
We are sitting here at the airport now. All checked in and waiting for our 9 AM flight.
One further note: At the Birding Centre on South Padre, I saw a really neat t-shirt. It said:
Life is Simple
Eat, sleep, bird
I didn’t get one because they didn’t have my size. DAMN!!