In January, my partner and I were on a birding vacation traveling between South Padre Island and McAllen/Bensen State Park, Tx. The first three days we enjoyed the beautiful, warm type of days we had planned on. After that, a dramatic cold front rolled in with temperatures in the low 40′s F (4.5 C) and winds gusting 20-30 mph (32-48 kph).
Nevertheless, the birding was good and we added a respectable number and selection of birds to our life lists — including, but not limited to:
- black-vented oriole (at the trailer park near Benson SP)
neotropical parula (Estero Llano Grande SP)
white-tailed kite & white-tailed hawk (Laguna Atascosa NWP)
crimson-collared grosbeak (Pharr, Tx)
vermillion flycatcher (McAllen, Tx)
greater peewee (McAllen, Tx)
common pauraque (in broad daylight and only 3 feet away! Estero Llano Grande SP)
and several others including, for me a long-sought southwest native, the roadrunner! (Don’t laugh, I’ve looked for these in Arizona, Nevada, and California to no avail. At Laguna Atascosa we watched a pair of them for ten minutes).
It was not the sunny, winter get-away that we had hoped for but it was very rewarding. I’ve posted some pictures in my Facebook photo album.