Six members of the Arroyo Colorado Audubon Society left Harlingen Saturday morning at 6 am. We had a two hour drive ahead of us. Our destination was Salineno, Texas, a sleepy little town on the Rio Grande River. This is often a good place to see Red-billed Pigeon and if you are really lucky, there is even the chance of seeing a Muscovy Duck. There is also a well-established feeding area between the river and the village. The hosts here are very welcoming. They have about 15 lawn chairs set up for guests. The trees have numerous spots where they spread peanut butter. Sliced oranges are placed on the tree branches. There are hummingbird and platform feeders. Seed is liberally scattered on the ground. Some birders might think this is “cheating”. But it does provide a nice break from scouring the numerous trails in the area.
The first place we went was the riverside, where we had excellent views of half a dozen Red-billed Pigeons. Neo-tropic and Double-crested Cormorants were actively flying up and down the river. Three White Pelicans flew right overhead. There were several Osprey fishing the river. A Spotted Sandpiper stood on a rock. Next, we walked the trails along the river. Plain Chachalacas, White-winged Doves, Golden-fronted Wookpeckers, Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, Crested Caracaras, Great Kiskadees, Black-crested Titmice, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, numerous Orange-crowned Warblers, a few Yellow-rumped Warblers and Northern Cardinals were all easily spotted.
Next, we headed over to the feeding station. There were lots of White-winged Doves and a few Inca Doves, the afore-mentioned Woodpeckers, lots of Great Kiskadees, Green Jays were in and out, a Long-billed Thrasher put in an appearance. Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers flitted about in the trees and came to the peanut butter. Altamira and Audubon’s Orioles were in and out constantly.
After leaving the feeding station, we headed down what is affectionately known as the “dump road”. This road is off to the left just as you leave town. I think the reason it is referred to as the dump road, is because the sides of the road are littered with junk. We had a good sighting along this road—a BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER. There were also a number of Pyrrhuloxia.
We left the “dump road” and headed over to Falcon Lake State Park. Here we went to the full service camping area. We stopped at one of the sites where there was a water drip and a bird bath. The most numerous birds were cardinals and Orange-crowned Warblers. Lots of them. Here we saw Inca Doves, White-winged Doves, Common Ground-Doves, Golden-fronted and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers, a couple of White-eyed Vireos, Green Jays, a Gray Catbird, Long-billed Thrasher, an Olive Sparrow, a Lincoln’s Sparrow, a couple of White-crowned Sparrows, Black-throated Sparrows, Pyrrhuloxias and three Brown-headed Cowbirds.
What a day. Did I mention that it was about 88 F and mostly sunny?