August 3, 2009

Rio Grande Musings

A little late. I went on a trip with my dad out to the Rio Grande Valley and the Hill County of Texas in early June for all of the specialties….and specialties did I find.

First stop: Texas Hill Country

Went in search of the Golden-Cheeked Warbler and Black-capped Vireo. Got both of them on a very steep hike up to the top of a plateau at Lost Maples State Park .

The hike offered some amazing views of the Hill County and the only thing that kept us from searching out the gray vireo was a huge thunderstorm threatening us.

After the Hill Country, we started the somewhat long drive in our terrible rental down to the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Did I mention that car sucked?

Me “Whoa, what was that?”

Dad “Sounds like something is wrong with the tire.”

Me “Nah, let’s just wait it out.”

We were stuck in the “sticks” without a town for miles. The lug nut wrench was too small and tensions were beginning to rise. That is, until we started looking at our surroundings.

All of a sudden, waiting for help wasn’t too bad. Picked up a few species. We got Painted Bunting, Crested Caracara, and Northern Mockingbird. I hadn’t seen a mockingbird since I was a little kid growing near Dallas. I forgot how common they were. Soon, I’d be saying “just another Mockingbird.”

Thanks to whoever that ranger was that found us.

The rest of the ride down was quite desolate as we entered prime farming habitat. The ride down was unbelievably flat and boring compared to the beauty of cruising the Hill Country. A few birds were seen though, rising our spirits as we neared our next destination. The best bird was definitely a White-tailed Hawk that swooped down into a field to pick up a rat snake. The gray back, white breast and chestnut shoulders of this buteo were striking in contrast the green field it was resting in with the snake in beak. It was a great start to our trip.

More to come on the trip…

No comments:

Post a Comment