Saturday, July 26, 2014

Texas Day 2 - Santa Ana, Estero Llano

We got to Santa Ana reserve in good time. The pond near the visitor centre gets one off to a good start!  We took the walk out to Pintail Lakes. It was very exciting to round a corner and see a Crested Caracara flying overhead, shortly followed by our first Groove Billed Ani of the trip. One of the lakes had water in it and that attracted Black Bellied Whistling Duck, Mottled Duck, Least Grebe, Lesser Yellowlegs and Black Necked Stilt.

Our walk then took us to the edge of the Rio Grande (so a view across into Mexico!) and then a lovely track to an Observation Tower. It was along this walk that Leo spotted a magnificent White Tailed Hawk overhead (later revised to a Swainson’s Hawk, after we studied the head markings on the photo – with Swainson’s, it covers the whole head, but with WHH it is to eyeline only).

After the tower, which didn’t get us the hoped-for Harris Hawk, we tried the Chacalaca walk back towards the visitor centre and wonderfully saw Black & White Warbler (seems to be very early) and Lesser Goldfinch.

After this very satisfying morning, we went on to Estero Llano (on our way to Brownsville) which was baking hot and all the ponds were dried up, so not much new there. 

Santa Ana

White Winged Dove
Green Jay
Black Crested Titmouse
Plain Chacalaca
Red Winged Blackbird
Great Kiskadee
Inca Dove
Cave Swallow
Couch's Kingbird
Groove Billed Ani t

Crested Caracara t
Great Tailed Grackle
Little Blue Heron l t
Black Bellied Whistling Duck t l
Clay Coloured Thrush
House Sparrow
Altamira Oriole
Orchard Oriole
Carolina Wren t
Black and White Warbler t l

Mottled Duck t l
Least Grebe t l
Black winged Stilt t
Lesser Yellowlegs t l
Turkey Vulture
Black Vulture
Lesser Goldfinch t l
White Tailed Hawk t l
Long Billed Thrasher
Bronzed Cowbird

Northern Mockingbird
Golden Fronted Woodpecker
Black Crested Titmouse

Black Winged Stilts

Ladderback Woodpecker

Lesser Goldfinch
Groove Billed Ani

Northern Cardinal

Swainson's Hawk

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