Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Nice Day in the Rio Grande Valley

I spent last night in South Padre Island, the closest motel to Laguna Atascosa NWR.  The Motel 6 was a notch above the rest.  This morning I got going after sunrise since the outside temperature was only 39F and I needed it to warm up a bit.  Although I was heading to a Denny's for breakfast, I discovered that it no longer existed, the space being converted into a retail store.  Instead I found a small breakfast spot near the causeway bridge that offered an inexpensive breakfast and lots of people watching.  I was intrigued by how few tourists there were during this holiday time.  I would have thought that South Padre Island would be a location where families might go for a holiday fest, although it was cold as hell today.  Still a walk on the beach and eating out are favorites most any time of year.  After breakfast, I drove to Laguna Atascosa and ran into Jeff Lemons whom Joyce and I had met at Pea Island NWR in NC when we went to see the White-cheeked Pintail.  He and his family were visiting the valley and they were having a ball.  He was picking up lifebirds at a rapid rate since this was his first trip to the valley.  I wandered around the area and finally encountered the Rufous-backed Thrush at one of the water sources.  It didn't hang around long enough for anybody else to get there.  I told Jeff about the sighting and then left to drive all the way to Bentsen State Park to spend the last hours of the day there.  I spent a lovely three hours walking around in an area that was just re-opened yesterday.  I didn't see anything rare, but it was nice to get great views of many of the valley specialties.  I left after sunset and got a motel in McAllen.  I walked to a nearby restaurant and then retired and watched TV from the bed.  Since I don't watch much TV, it was a bit entertaining, although I'm depressed with how small the content/advertising ratio has become.  I didn't measure it, but I would guess that there's no more than 35 minutes of real content per hour of TV time.  Tomorrow I'll try to fly home.  I hope my planes are flying and reasonably on-time.  Even if they are on time, I won't get home until midnight.  Then, only four days left in the year.


  1. Nice way to spend a day most travelers are ruing currently. I think the city got worse than out here at the end of Long Island, but right now we are getting some real house-shaking winds. I am guessing gusts over 50mph, if the trees are any gauge. Nice U-shape to them. JFK and Newark have been closed for 24 hours, so that will screw up the east coast traffic flow pretty badly and there may be a shortage of aircraft until they get that sorted. Bon voyage!

  2. Good luck getting home. Would be more fun to stay in TX looking for rarities :-)

  3. White-throated Robin on the Estero Llano Grande SP CBC today..John Fox and I will be there to look for it Thu AM..hope you can come down and get it too...only 2 days left!!

  4. The New Year's Eve countdown is on--16 hrs left in the year (depending on the time zone). The Big Year Blog fans of Bob and Chris are out pishing and wishing for one more bird for each of you! Go for it!