Friday, April 29, 2016

Day Trips to South Padre Island

Black-throated Green Warbler

We had the pleasure of joining friends on four day trips to South Padre Island for Spring passerine migration.  There are migrant traps with water and shelter at the Convention Center and a small Land Trust area on Sheepshead road.
Blue-winged Warbler

Canada Warbler

Cerulean Warbler

Nashville Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

We had 26 species of warblers, many vireos, thrushes and tanagers.  Amazing variety of color and song.

Eastern Kingbird

Dickcissel pair

Summer Tanager

Wood Thrush

Baltimore Oriole

Orchard Oriole

Worm-eating Warbler

White morph Reddish Egret

Cape May Warbler

Western Tanager

Tennessee Warblers enjoy the water

Painted Bunting

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow Warbler

Least Bittern fledgling

We also found this escaped Violet Fischer Lovebird, hopefully he found his way home.  That's what we'll be doing soon too - heading slowly back to Wisconsin.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Spring at Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park

The temperatures are still the same but spring has definitely arrived in South Texas  Birds are arriving daily from Mexico and countries farther south.  More flowers are blooming and butterflies are in a flurry busy pollinating.  Birds are building nests and protecting their territories.  Here's a sample of all we are seeing.
Scissors-tailed Flycatchers arrive in big numbers

Prickly Poppy at Butterfly Center

Bordered Patch

Giant Leopard Moth

Great Kiskadee in messy nest

Nutria suns at resaca nearby

Queen Butterfly

N. Cardinal sings out his Spring song

Coyote - looking good

Olive Sparrow looking for breakfast

Crested Caracara soars over hawk tower

Local Gray Hawk 

Blue Grosbeak at S.P.I.

We took a day trip to South Padre Island with stops at Estero Llano Grande State Park on the way back to Mission.
Blue-winged Teal and Cinnamon Teal

Stilt Sandpiper

Brown-crested Flycatcher

Softshell Turtle at Estero Llamo


Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake

Summer Tanager

Birds are building nests everywhere and this Clay-colored Thrush has chosen the side of a palm tree right by the visitor's center at Bentsen.
Common Pauraque with two chicks - look carefully

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Buff-bellied spreads tail and heads out

Coral Bean blossom 

We have two more weeks left on the Hawk Tower here at Bentsen.  If you want to check our daily sightings: go to and put Bentsen for site and check dates.  We then head north hopefully all the tornados and other bad weather will be done by then.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Bentsen RGV SP Continued

Kettle of mixed hawks and vultures

We continue Hawk Watch at Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park in Mission, Texas five days a week for four hours each morning.  Great numbers of raptors rise and soar out of Mexico, over 20 species and in just the last 2 days over 10,000 birds came through.  There are many locations in North America where hawks are counted by volunteers of this Citizen Science Project.
Swainson's Hawk

Swallow-tailed Kite

Immature White-tailed Hawk grabs a snake

Immature White-tailed Hawk

Harris's Hawk

Yellow-headed Parrot - new species for Park

We see many other birds and creatures from the hawk tower.  We see God's creation everywhere we go walking the trails in the park and even on the buildings.
Great-tailed Grackle

Bold Jumping Spider on Hawk Tower

Acacia Tree Blooms

Bronzed Cowbird

Great Kiskadee with nesting material

Buff-bellied Hammingbird

Bull Snake

Antlion Adult

Pandorus  Sphinx Moth

Hooded Oriole next to our RV

Bouganvillea lined path to Quinta Mazatlan

We take a day a week to visit area birding areas.  We went to historical Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen and watched the bird feeders.  We don't think they were expecting these birds to devour all the seed.
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks take over the feeder

"You don't say?"

Green Parakeets check nesting cavity

We went to the National Butterfly Center a couple of times which is only a mile down the road from Bentsen Palm RV Park.  We find great flowers and many butterflies and other insects here.
Drusius Cloudywing

Black Swallowtail

Northern Crab Spider attacks Phaon Crescent Butterfly

African Spurred Tortoise at the Butterfly Center

Retama Tree Blossoms  

The RV park is becoming empty as the Winter Texans head north.  We will be here till the end of the month enjoying the quiet except for the Border Patrol helicopters guarding the river. Then slowly head north to Wisconsin.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann