Winding down from a very fast and interesting stay here at Bentsen Rio Grande State Park. We have really enjoyed the area, the people, and the wildlife. Birding is becoming more and more an automatic pass time. "Don't forget the binoculars!"
During our last week, in addition to having the brakes, air conditioner, and defroster repaired on the truck, we ventured off with Peggy on several birding outings.
One of our trips took us close to the Mexican border wall. It seems to have one piece here, one piece there, some places have roads through them, some are more than a mile inland from the river. Do not know the official plan or philosophy, but it makes little sense to me.
This piece is not near the river and a road runs through an unmanned gap in the middle. Border Patrol cars are often seen driving the roads on either side.
Two nights this week we had dinner with some of the Park employees. On Thursday night Peggy, Hanna, one of the Park Naturalists, and her husband Eric came for burgers at our site. They are taking a Texas Master Naturalists class, so Eric comes early that night to eat with Hanna. We had a fun meal and Hanna brought a "Thank You" cake for desert. Hanna and Eric are from Oregon and celebrated their first anniversary in January.
Eric, Hanna, Peggy
Hanna's Thank You cake - delicious! Thank YOU, Hanna
Friday night we had dinner with Carlos, his girlfriend Bernadette, David, and his wife Celine. Julie will be very disappointed in me, I did not take any pictures. Of course, now I am kicking myself. Marlin has worked with these two Rangers and they have become good friends. It was an enjoyable night for all of us. David's wife is a Speech Pathologist, and Carlos's girlfriend is an sign language interpreter. Small world but still, no pictures.
One of our last outings was back to the Valley Nature Center in Westlaco, to see the Yellow Crowned Night Herons again. This time with the big lens. Unfortunately, it was a very windy day and we did not get the same opportunities for viewing the birds that we had on our last visit.
This is the new building, scheduled to open at the end of the summer. This magical garden deserves this beautiful new visitors center.
Best shots I could make considering the weather, but they are spectacular birds, almost prehistoric looking.
Before I add some of my favorite bird pictures from our stay in the Rio Grande Valley, I want to send a Thank You to Mary again, for the loan of one of her lenses. I could never have gotten any of the close up shots without this big cannon.
A few of my favorite bird pictures.
This Altamira Oriole had a great time jumping in and out of the water trough that feeds a small pool near the visitors center
On our last day of work, Marlin and I were both driving the four wheelers and kept passing each other on the Park road. He was doing a trash pick up, and I was making the rounds at the ten bird feeding stations. Thought it deserved a picture from one cart to the other. After work that day we went looking for birds and took a few last minute pictures of spots we have been visiting for three months.
The tram runs through the three plus mile park road every hour.
This day Carlos was driving.
We hitched a ride to the Kiskadee blind.
Entrance to the Kiskadee blind. This blind attracts a great number of birds
The picnic pavilion
Kiosk at the entrance to the hawk tower