The trip to Texas was quite nice. The extreme southern part of Texas is a very interesting place to explore. It is extremely birdy. For a northerner like myself, it seems so strange to see Northern Mockingbirds as commonly as we see American Robins here in the north. Curve-billed Thrashers could easily be found in the trailer park where we stayed. Black-bellied Whistling Ducks flew around the trailer park repeatedly during the day. The most common bird is the Great-tailed Grackle.
I made a three trips to South Padre Island while down there. The island is about a 45 minute drive from the trailer park. While driving the causeway only the island, it was easy to spot Brown Pelicans, Forster’s Terns, Least Terns and Laughing Gulls.
There are two very interesting areas to bird on the island. They are situated right next to each other, but they are not connected. They each have board walks that extend out and over a salt-water marsh and tidal flat. And although the board walks run side by side in places, they do not connect. You can’t cross from one to the other.
The first birding location you come to is the Nature and Birding Center.
It is a very imposing structure and can’t be missed from the road.
You enter the Center, pay an entrance fee and walk onto the boardwalk out the back door. It is truly a delightful walk and depending on the time of year, you encounter shorebirds, rails, stilts, ducks, herons, egrets, roseate spoonbills, etc. up close and personal.
Right next door is the South Padre Island Convention Centre. The grounds surrounding the centre are designed to attract birds of all kinds. As I mentioned, there is a boardwalk. There is also a small stream that trickles down a beside a small wooded area. I imagine the stream is man-made. Birds are attracted to this spot like a magnet. Warblers, thrushes, grosbeaks, vireos, tanagers. backbirds. They were all there. It was an amazing sight. At times, there are birds literally right at your feet.
I took this picture of a Yellow-headed Blackbird near the water feature at the convention centre.