Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rio Grande Valley - Part 3

This Texas Tortoise wishes you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!  We are coming to the end of our stay near Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park. At least until March when we return for the Spring Hawk Watch.  Almost every day we ventured into the park and were greeted by new creatures.
Blue Spiny Lizards


This is the prime time for butterflies and between Bentsen and the National Butterfly Center, a mile down the road, there was plenty of beauties to find.
Silver Emperor


Bordered Patch

Red-bordered Pixie

Southern Dogface

Two-barred Flasher

Crimson Patch

Red-bordered Metalmark

Stinging Puss Moth (spines extremely poisonous)

Guava Skipper

This Clay-colored Thrush is one of the many rarities that bird watchers come to Southern Texas to see.  It was great to bird two days with friends from Green Bay: Joan Grant, Curt Ellifson, Jim Johnson and Mike Gottfredsen who were here for the RGV Bird Festival.
White-winged & White-tipped Doves

Adult Grey Hawk

Indigo Snake

Secretive Olive Sparrow

Raccoons go for a drink

Sharp-shinned Hawk watches the feeders

Resaca at Bentsen Palm

Pavon Emperor

Texas Wasp Moth

Little Yellow

Carolina Mantid

Carmine Dragonfly

Great Purple Hairstreak

Gulf Fritillary 

Plain Chachalaca

Altamira Oriole

American Kestrel

One of our day trips took us over to Anzulduas County Park, Hidalgo Pumphouse and checking the fields along the way.
Greater Pewee - rare bird for Texas

Monk Parakeet in colony nest on power pole

Unicorn Mantid

Unicorn Mantid - a close look

Bobcat quenches thirst at the feeder area

Striped Skunk vacuums up sow bugs

Three turkeys that are having a great Thanksgiving, free and wild on the road at Bentsen State Park.
Best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lower Rio Grande Valley - Part 2

Before checking in at Bentsen Palm RV Resort we stopped at the National Butterfly Center and this purple waterlily was at the entrance.  We plan on going back many times and will have more to share at a later date.
Roseate Skimmer

Land Snail

Black-crested Titmouse sounds off

Cactus Fly

We took a day trip with friends to the McAllen Nature Center and walked their new trails.  We found this Cactus Fly and the Teleus Longtail.
Teleus Longtail

One morning as we arrived early at the visitor's center this large Cane Toad was checking out his reflection in the window. He looked like he wanted to fight this rival in his territory.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Black-throated Green Warbler

Green Kingfisher

Owlet Moth

Altamira Oriole - South Texas specialty 

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher - thousands in migration

We were wondering where all our hummingbird nectar was disappearing to and caught the culprit - a Golden-fronted Woodpecker.  Check that tongue sucking up the sweetness.
Green Jay  from the back

Green Jay from the front

Ant Flight

This Rock Wren was the first time this species was seen at Bentsen State Park.  Good thing Ty had the proof in the photos.
This Verdin made this nest in a day and is carrying in fluff to make it cozy

N. Cardinal takes a bath

For the month of October we volunteered at the Hawk Watch at Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park, just a walk across the road to catch the park tram for the 2 miles to the hawk tower.  Our rarest bird was the Hook-billed Kite which we were blessed to see two times on the 20th and the 29th.  We saw 22 raptor species and over 50,000 individuals in our 130+ hours of scanning the  skies.
Gray Hawk adult

Birds weren't the only thing we saw from the tower.  Almost everyday, either Homeland Security or Border Patrol buzzed by.  We were located one mile from the Rio Grande and they are always on duty.

White-tailed Kite out our "back door"

McCall's race of Eastern Screech Owl

Tropical Parula

This greeted us at sunrise on our way into the park.  Amazing color.  We will be here at Bentsen Palm until Dec. 1st.  and there is still much more to share with you.  Butterfly migration is amazing and we are looking forward to seeing these magnificent creations.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann