Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Harlingen Area of the Rio Grande Valley TX

March 29 – April 2, 2012

I followed Linda and Carole to a small county park near the town of Arroyo City TX. The campground sits on the banks of the Arroyo Colorado. This is a major water source for this part of Texas. The nearest large town was about twenty miles away. That was Harlingen TX. The county park is near Laguna Atascosa NWR. We had a small section of the camping facility to ourselves. Linda and Carole hung some bird feeders and ran a water drip to attract a few local birds. They managed to bring in some Green Jays, Ground Doves, Cardinals, Olive Sparrow, and of course the ever present Great-tailed Grackle. We even had a Harris Hawk sitting on the light post one evening. Every night I could hear the call of a Common Pauraque, but I never saw it.  I took a drive through the NWR, but didn’t find much in the way of birds. Here are four birds I found.

Crested Caracara
Osprey on Beach

Lark Sparrow

Long-billed Thrasher

The county park has a boat launch area that is very popular with the local fishermen. The gulls flock to the area and beg for handouts, but the Terns have to do their own fishing.

Laughing Gull

Caspian Tern with Fish

I visited the town of Harlingen. They have a wonderful museum. I watched a film about the history of the Rio Grande Valley that was very well done. They also have moved some of the original buildings from the town to the grounds of the museum and you can tour the buildings. Just down the road at the Marine Academy is a memorial to the marines that lost their lives at the battle of Iwo Jima during WWII. It’s quite impressive.

Iwo Jima Memorial at Marine Academy in Harlingen TX

There is a small lake across from the Harlingen Library. I found several Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. An Osprey put on quite a show for me. Although it didn’t manage to catch a fish, it was fun to watch it try.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in Flight

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks Landing

La La La La La     Black-bellied Whistling Duck



There were other waterfowl swimming in the lake.

Double-crested Cormorant

Red Head

I also took a walk through Hugh Ramsey Park in Harlingen. I didn't find many birds, but the cactus and other plants were showing off their blooms so I dusted off the macro lenses and gave myself a refresher course in macro photography. I apologize for the lack of better labels on the flower photos, but I'm not a flower person. If someone can identify them please add the names on the comment section of the blog.

Cactus Bloom

Cactus Bloom

Blooming Cactus


Blooming Tree

1 comment:

  1. We are visiting friends in Queen Creek and many of the cactus here in the park are in bloom. Such a treat. The Tern with the fish is quite something. All these shots are so fantastic, as usual.