Monday, July 21, 2014

Texas Day 1 - Bentsen

Leo and I have come to Texas for a week to celebrate his 21st and his 1st class graduation. Texas is one of the world's great birding locations, but not generally recommended during July as (a) there isnt much migration going in (b) it aint half hot.

Nonetheless we're here and we'll make the most of it.

First stop is McAllen close to the Rio Grande.

We joined the morning bird walk at Bentsen World Birding Centre,  where the lead park biologist Melissa Chadwick took us on a fascinating tour. We saw about 34 different types of bird (all listed below) but the show stopper was seeing a Diamond Backed Rattlesnake!

After the bird walk, we went to the nearby World Butterfly Centre who were having their bi-annual count, so 2 expert guys were there and kindly showed us some of the astonishing variety that visit this area.

Texas Spiny Lizard

Buff-bellied Hummingbird
Golden Fronted Woodpecker
Plain Chacalaca
Mourning Dove

Greater Roadrunner
Green Jay
Long Billed thrasher
Western Diamond Backed Rattlesnake
Whip Tail Lizard
Northern Cardinal (Female)

Green Jay

Altamira Oriole

Blue Spiny Lizard

Clay Coloured Thrush

- Giant Swallowtail
- Large Orange Sulphur
- Lyside Sulphur
- Queen
- Soldier
- Tawny Emperor
- Pipevine Solitaire
- Zebra Heliconian
- Crimson Patch
- White Peacock
- Banded Peacock
- Erato Helicoian

- Roseate Skimmer
- Carmine Skimmer
- Red Saddlebags

Western Diamond Back Rattlesnake
Texas Spiny Lizard
Blue Spiny Lizard
Whip Tail Lizard

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit

Long Billed Thrasher
Great tailed Grackle
Bronzed Cowbird
Plain Chacalaca
Altamira Oriole
Inca Dove
White Winged Dove
Cave Swallow
Couch's Kingbird
Golden fronted Woodpecker

Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Yellow billed Cuckoo
Green Jay
Black Crested Titmouse
Northern Mockingbird
Green Kingfisher
Greater Roadrunner
Common Ground Dove
Mourning Dove

Northern Beardless Tyrannulet
Scissor Tailed Flycatcher 
Great Kiskadee
Northern Cardinal
Gray Hawk
House Sparrow
Buff Bellied Hummingbird
Mystery Oriole...subsequently identified by Melissa's expert network as an early migrant Orchard Oriole
Common Nighthawk R
Eurasian Starling

Red Winged Blackbird
Rock Dove
Olive Sparrow
Clay Coloured Thrush R

Heard: Verdin, White Tipped Dove

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