Date: 2/23/18 6:35 am From: Ron Vogel via va-bird <va-bird...> Subject: [Va-bird] Lower Rio Grand Valley of Texas
I reluctantly make this post because it has nothing to do with Virginia birding and may be viewed by some as a "political" statement. Nevertheless, I know many Virginia birders have made the pilgrimage to the Lower Rio Grande Valley and appreciate the marvelous birding venues that are located along the Rio Grand in the McAllen/Mission area. And for those Virginia birders who have yet to make this journey, I heartily encourage you to do so soon. I recently returned from my third trip to this area, and learned that the nationally-renowned Santa Anna National Wildlife Refuge will be the first area along the Lower Rio Grand area to see initial construction of the proposed border wall. I would expect, although I do not know for sure, that other nearby areas that are owned by the State or local municipalities will soon follow, include Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park and Andazulas County Park. I have no idea how this construction may alter the riparian habitats that draw so many Mexican bird specialties across the river, but at the very least construction activity alone is sure to be disruptive to those seeking to bird in these publicly-owned properties. So if you've been putting off making an your first trip to this area, or were planning to return in the future, prudence would dictate going sooner rather than later.