Saturday, April 7, 2012

Arrived on South Padre Island TX (SPI)

April 3 – 6, 2012
I am now on South Padre Island TX. I have heard and read about all the great birding on and around the island, but I was quite surprised to see the development on the island. It looks like Miami. High rises everywhere and traffic is terrible. Whoever allowed the natural habitat here to be destroyed should be shot. I think if Texas cared about the migrating birds as much as they claim to, this would never have happened.
The island is a zoo during spring break, but that is over so I thought things would be quiet. I forgot that it’s Easter weekend. Thursday was actually a lovely day on the Island. By Friday noon the county RV park where I’m staying started filling up with young, loud people. I was young and loud once, but I’m old and quiet now. Loud annoys me. The county park employees do not enforce the rules very well, if at all. There are people who come from up north and stay in this park all winter. Most have left, but there are still a few here. They get the same campsite every year and some of them have landscaped their sites with flower beds and lawn ornaments. They are quite lovely. I wish I would have thought to ask for one of the sites that have been vacated by the snowbirds. I think that area of the park is much more quiet.
Linda and Carole drove over from Arroyo City to meet me at the SPI World Birding Center here and say goodbye. They are spending Easter weekend back in San Antonio and will be moving to NE Texas after that and then on to hill country before they head back to CA.  I don’t plan to be in NE TX for a couple of weeks. It sure was a pleasure having their company for the last couple of months.
I took a drive to Boca Chica beach near Brownsville and I visited Audubon’s Sabal Palm Wildlife Sanctuary. I drove through a huge opening in the “security fence” the border patrol has erected to get to the sanctuary. How secure is that? The border patrol did have a check point on the road to Boca Chica beach. No sniffing dogs this time. They just ask me if I was an American citizen. I said yes. They believed me and waved me on. Guess I don’t look like a drug smuggler or illegal alien smuggler. I have spent the last couple of months very near the border with Mexico and I have seen numerous border patrol employees. I’m not sure how effective it is to have all these people running around the desert. It almost seems like it’s mostly for show.
It was encouraging to see all the miles of wildlife management area on both sides of the road on the way to the beach.
Here are a few photos I’ve taken of the area so far. I hope to have more next week when(if) things quiet down a bit.

They will always be Moorhens to me

Clapper Rail


Tricolored Heron

White Ibis

Black Skimmer

Sanderling at Boca Chica Beach

Racoon fishing at Sabal Palms Sanctuary

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