Estero Llano Grande State Park, one of the Lower Rio Grande Valleys best birding area, is about a 1/2 drive from our RV Resort. A day pass is $5. This “world birding centre” attracts many birds. There are feeding areas set up is several locations. “Rare” birds show up here often. Last year, a White-throated Thrush, a Mexican species, settled in for a stay of several weeks. This somewhat elusive bird managed to remain out of sight whenever I went to look for it. Four times I went and dipped on this bird last year.
Last week, another (or perhaps the same bird) White-throated Thrush showed up at the park. It seems to have settled into the same area as last year’s bird. So, of course, I made a quick trip there yesterday. This time, I did see the bird. I was not a very satisfying look, as the bird flew by overhead and disappeared into the trees beyond the fence. But I clearly saw the bird with my binoculars and was able to note the diagnostic field marks: The heavily streaked throat area with the white “band” below the streaking, dark brown above and sort of a gray colour underneath. This is another life bird for me, bringing my North American total to 563 species, a pretty good birthday present to myself.
Not only does this park attract a lot of birds. They also attract a lot of butterflies. A one particular butterfly feeding area, a mixture of equal parts, brown sugar and bananas is smeared on some logs to attract the butterflies. I took this picture yesterday of a Mexican Bluewing.