South Texas December 2012 Days 7-10

Days 7 & 8 were chili for South Texas with one day’s high in the low 60s. Normally, I would have been out anyways but these two days found me indoors doing paperwork and getting caught up on stuff that people sometimes refer to as “responsibility”.  Days 9 & 10 were back to normal with leisurely visits to Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen, TX and Estero Llano Grande near Weslaco, TX.

Quinta Mazatlan is a lush little urban gem set in the city of McAllen, TX not far from the airport. It is a place one can easily get some of the Texas specialty birds like Green Jay, Plain Chachalaca, and Great Kiskadee…while watching bird feeders. This is a lazy birder’s treat. I enjoy watching feeders sometimes. It’s quite relaxing.

Entrance road to Quinta Mazatlan

Entrance road to Quinta Mazatlan photo by Greg Miller

The entrance road (which you walk–no cars inside the park) is a great place to see and hear the raucous chicken-like birds, Plain Chachalacas.

Plain Chachalaca running - Quinta Mazatlan - McAllen TX - 2012-12-12

Plain Chachalaca running across entrance road – Quinta Mazatlan – McAllen TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

The main building is very up-scale lending itself as an exotic location for special events and weddings.

The main building at Quinta Mazatlan - McAllen TX - 2012-12-12

The main building at Quinta Mazatlan – McAllen TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

The amphitheater area in Quinta Mazatlan is a large pleasant viewing area of the well-stocked feeders.

The amphitheater bird feeding area at Quinta Mazatlan - McAllen TX - 2012-12-12

The amphitheater bird feeding area at Quinta Mazatlan – McAllen TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

It is easy to see Great Kiskadees here up close and personal.

Great Kiskadee on ground - Quinta Mazatlan - McAllen TX - 2012-12-12

Great Kiskadee on ground – Quinta Mazatlan – McAllen TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

Great Kiskadee displaying crown - Quinta Mazatlan - McAllen TX - 2012-12-12

Great Kiskadee displaying crown – Quinta Mazatlan – McAllen TX – 2012-12-12

Great Kiskadee sunlight & shade mimics fill flash - Quinta Mazatlan - McAllen TX - 2012-12-12

Great Kiskadee sunlight & shade mimics fill flash – Quinta Mazatlan – McAllen TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

My target for this day was Clay-colored Thrush (formerly Clay-colored Robin).  I did not have to wait long for this often elusive species to show up.

 

Clay-colored Thrush at feeder (back shot) - Quinta Mazatlan - McAllen TX - 2012-12-12

Clay-colored Thrush at feeder (back shot) – Quinta Mazatlan – McAllen TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

 

Clay-colored Thrush head shot - Quinta Mazatlan - McAllen TX - 2012-12-12

Clay-colored Thrush head shot – Quinta Mazatlan – McAllen TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

Clay-colored Thrush on log - Quinta Mazatlan - McAllen TX - 2012-12-12

Clay-colored Thrush on log – Quinta Mazatlan – McAllen TX – 2012-12-12

Also present at the feeders was this Summer Tanager…in winter.

Summer Tanager on log - Quinta Mazatlan - McAllen TX - 2012-12-12

Summer Tanager on log – Quinta Mazatlan – McAllen TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

I finished day 9 with a nice walk at Santa Ana NWR.

 

Gulf Fritilary - Santa Ana NWR - south of Alamo TX - 2012-12-12

Gulf Fritilary – Santa Ana NWR – south of Alamo TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

Harris's Hawk - Santa Ana NWR - south of Alamo TX - 2012-12-12

Harris’s Hawk – Santa Ana NWR – south of Alamo TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

Long-billed Thrasher - Santa Ana NWR - south of Alamo TX - 2012-12-12

Long-billed Thrasher – Santa Ana NWR – south of Alamo TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

Plain Chachalaca group photo - Santa Ana NWR - south of Alamo TX - 2012-12-12

Plain Chachalaca group photo – Santa Ana NWR – south of Alamo TX – 2012-12-12 photo by Greg Miller

Roseate Skimmer close up - Santa Ana NWR - south of Alamo TX - 2012-12-12

Roseate Skimmer close up – Santa Ana NWR – south of Alamo TX – 2012-12-12

On day 10 I spent a couple morning hours at Estero Llano Grande, part of the World Birding Center and one of the premiere birding areas of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

 

Buff-bellied Hummingbird - Estero Llano Grande - Weslaco TX - 2012-12-13

Buff-bellied Hummingbird – Estero Llano Grande – Weslaco TX – 2012-12-13 photo by Greg Miller

 

Golden-fronted Woodpecker picking at an orange - Estero Llano Grande - Weslaco TX - 2012-12-13

Golden-fronted Woodpecker picking at an orange – Estero Llano Grande – Weslaco TX – 2012-12-13 photo by Greg Miller

 

Inca Dove on log - Estero Llano Grande - Weslaco TX - 2012-12-13

Inca Dove on log – Estero Llano Grande – Weslaco TX – 2012-12-13 photo by Greg Miller

 

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron - Estero Llano Grande - Weslaco TX - 2012-12-13

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron – Estero Llano Grande – Weslaco TX – 2012-12-13 photo by Greg Miller

Least Grebe - Estero Llano Grande - Weslaco TX - 2012-12-13

Least Grebe – Estero Llano Grande – Weslaco TX – 2012-12-13 photo by Greg Miller

 

Parauque in ground cover - Estero Llano Grande - Weslaco TX - 2012-12-13

Parauque in ground cover – Estero Llano Grande – Weslaco TX – 2012-12-13 photo by Greg Miller

 

One thought on “South Texas December 2012 Days 7-10

  1. Wonderful photos! I must make a trip to Texas after having seen your shots. I didn’t realize the Clay-colored Robin was present in North America. It is the state bird of my mother’s country, Costa Rica. Thank you for sharing, and I truly enjoy reading your blog.

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