Quinta Mazatlan, a former private classic house and estate in McAllen TX, is one of the beads in the necklace that has become the World Center of Birding, a series of good birding locations in the Rio Grande Valley. QM is actually a city park and part of the money for the establishment of this unit came from the state of Texas and some more from the city of McAllen. I, of course, think it was money well spent. The units together attract many snow birds during the winter months. Outside that period I'm not sure that the total numbers of people visiting each unit is high. Certainly into the hot summer months, attendance must lag. Nevertheless, during the popular winter months they bring a focus and continuity to South Texas birding. I'm sure the increase in rarity reports is in no small part due to the establishment of the WCB and the proportional increase in action. This morning I birded QM in a vain attempt to find the previously reported Crimson-collared Grosbeak. It hadn't been seen in over a week and before that not for another week. So once in the last two weeks was not an optimistic forcast. It's usual modus operandi while being seen was to visit feeders. QM has an outstanding group of feeders and water sources. So when a bird chooses to abandon that sort of feeding station, it's probably on its way back home to Mexico. After spending the morning at QM, I headed to another of the beads, Estero Llano Grande in Weslaco TX. This unit is a state park and has some water that it gets from the nearby Llano Grande. So ducks, waders, and shorebirds are the show pieces. I was fortunate to chance onto two women who were doing a little birding after a business meeting finished. They were looking at a rail they felt was a King Rail, but needed a little help confirming the ID, a task I gladly performed. Not a year bird, but it was my first King Rail in TX. After circuiting the impoundments, I headed toward Brownsville using US 281 hoping for some sort of exciting wire bird. Nothing too exciting and I reached Brownsville at rush hour. Investigated the location where one is supposed to look for Tamaulipas Crow. The site didn't look like much. I then got a motel which will allow me to get an early start toward Laguna Atascosa NWR where I'll check into a slightly stale report of a Blue Bunting. No new year birds today. By the way both photos were taken at QM not more than one hundred yards apart.