Date: 1/4/21 9:06 am
From: Debbie Nichols <editordeb1...>
Subject: Re: RGV Report #1
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I would love a copy too!!!

On Mon, Jan 4, 2021 at 8:20 AM Ronda Sherrill <
<0000031706875a2f-dmarc-request...> wrote:

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> Edge, how do we get a copy of your guide to LRGV? We went once in
> November 2018 and had a spring trip planned for last April till COVID
> changed plans. Thanks for your reports!! Ronda (Sherrill) Brown
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Jan 2, 2021, at 8:55 AM, Lisa Saffell <lesfstl...> wrote:
>
> 
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> Sounds wonderful Edge! Thanks to you, I did visit the candy store and I
> can’t wait to go back.
>
> Regards,
> Lisa Saffell
> @instagram.com/lisasaffell
> @instagram.com/stl_birder
>
>
>
>
>
> On Jan 2, 2021, at 8:32 AM, Media.com <edgew...> wrote:
>
> 
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> clicking links, or responding to this email.
>
> Context: I’ve been coming to the Lower Rio Grande Valley regularly (one
> year made 7 trips because rarities kept showing up about 6 weeks apart)
> since my first time with Betty Overall on an Elderhostel (now called Road
> Scholar) birding program based in Brownsville, more than 20 years ago. I
> have a timeshare condo at Ft. Brown where I finish out the year and begin
> the new.
>
>
>
> I’ve been sharing RGV Reports with Missouri birders for many of those
> years, not to evoke envy, but to extoll the wonders to those who’ve never
> been to tempt them to make plans to experience a unique area that is a
> candy store for birders, and to provide a vicarious, nodding experience for
> those who’ve been here and know first-hand the joys that abound.
>
>
>
> I’ve written a birder’s guide to the RGV for Midwesterners who’ve never
> been here, available upon request (haven’t updated it for a couple years).
>
>
>
> RGV Report #1 2020-2021
>
> Commitments delayed departure from Missouri, shortening the usual 2-week
> stay by 4 days, with departure on Dec. 29. Covid concerns and
> regulations reduced our number to two. Clare Wheeler and I spent the
> first night in Waco (the water there still smells bad), then took a BDR
> (Birder’s Direct Route) to Choke Canyon State Park a little south of San
> Antonio to see the Spotted Rail, a third ABA record bird. We got there
> about an hour after a sighting, so joined the eight or so birders lined up
> along the shore of 75 Acre Lake for what became a four-hour vigil—not too
> bad, 75 degrees, light overcast and a slight breeze. The rail put on a
> good 5-minute show. We headed for Brownsville.
>
>
>
> A cold front came through during the night, and we awoke to a low 40’s day
> with winds above 20 mph. We sat out the morning, then drove toward South
> Padre Island (SPI) where we knew we could finish out 2020 looking at “good”
> birds from the relative comfort of the car.
>
>
>
> Our first stop was along Hwy.48 at the Shrimp Boat Basin Access (multiple
> names for this place, even in eBIrd: TX48--Shrimp Basin Bridge / Zapata
> Memorial Boat Ramp/ San Martin Lake outlet). We were able to angle the
> car to get good looks at oystercatchers, avocets, black-necked stilts,
> brown pelicans, black skimmers, etc., for 23 species.
>
>
>
> We then did a drive through swing on SPI, with the best birds at Hang
> Glider Beach being 2 Piping Plovers. We drove into the setting sun,
> pleased to be putting 2020 to rest. Seven Green Parakeets flew over the
> condo as we were unloading the car.
>
>
>
> New Year’s Day began with a short walk around the condo pool area, greeted
> first by the resident Black Phoebe and two mockingbirds. A Loggerhead
> Shrike sat in a tree and vocalized for three minutes—longer and better than
> I’d ever heard one. Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks and a Snowy Egret were
> on the resaca (oxbow lake). A Neotropic Cormorant flew over, and a
> Golden-fronted Woodpecker worked on a palm. We ducked back in for
> breakfast.
>
>
>
> Our goal for the day was a mix of quality/quantity, and the best place for
> that is Estero Llano State Park at Weslaco. We weren’t disappointed. We
> got to the viewing deck just as the morning birding tour led by John Yochum
> came in from the Tropical Zone for a break before heading out toward
> Alligator Lake. We joined them for sightings of Fulvous Whistling-Duck,
> Vermilion Flycatcher, Tropical Kingbird, Least Grebe and more for a total
> of 55 species, ending as we were heading toward the car with a long,
> satisfying observation of a young male Crimson-collared Grosbeak.
>
>
>
> Nana’s, a favorite restaurant near the park, was closed for the day, so we
> had a chilly picnic in the parking area before making a round of the
> Tropical Zone portion of the park. We dipped on the Tropical Parula, but
> with ten minutes of stamina left, the Elegant Trogon appeared at eye level
> to feed near the Clay-colored Thrush.
>
>
>
> We headed south on FM 1015 and saw the Ringed Kingfisher at the bridge,
> stopped for coffee at Progresso, took 281 east and were treated to two
> White-tailed Kites. Along Elizabeth Street in Brownsville we found 30
> Green Parakeets on a power line, to finish the day with 74 species and a
> couple of big smiles.
>
>
>
>
>
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>
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>
> ------------------------------
> *The Missouri Birding Society's Wild Bird Discussion Forum*
> Archives <https://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html> / Subscription
> options <https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1> / MBS
> Website <http://mobirds.org> / Email the list owners
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>
> ABA Birding Code of Ethics <http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html>
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--
Debbie Nichols


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