Welcome to my photo journal.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


An Audubon friend we ran into yesterday told us what a great morning she had shelling, because it was a full moon which makes the tides lower or higher.
So, we decided to give it a try this morning, she told us to get there at dawn, we didn't make it that early it was closer to 7:30 am.We shell at SPI's Isle Blanca County Park.
This is a memorial for the fishermen who lost their lives in the Gulf. You can see a little of the RV park, looks really nice we believe the rent is around $350 a month. I think it would be fun to stay there sometime.

Ken really got into looking for shells, he was wet up to his knees, I stayed closer to the dry area of the beach. (We wore old tennis shoes.)

They were working today, we now know what they are doing. They are dredging the channel and are going to move 300,000 cubic yards of sand up the beach to one of the new hotels. They have to have it done by March 12, Spring Break time. Can't have the kids having accidents on the pipe.

There was only one washed up jelly fish today, last time we walked the beach there were several.

We finally found the Ruddy Turnstones, there were about 8 of them working the jetty. (A new bird for us.)

Here's my collection of shells we brought home, Ken picked up two starfish and a couple of fancy shells plus others. Now, we have to learn the name of the shells.
We had a good time, and will probably do it again even though we could buy shells pretty cheap at the stores on the island, it's the hunt that makes it fun.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Texas Independence Day

Went to San Benito this morning for their Celebration of Texas Independence. This piece of art work was done by an elementary student.
They put on a little re-enactment of the battle of Alamo.
Texas side.

Mexican side.
The crowd was small too, but we ran into someone we knew one of the members of the Audubon group.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Beautiful Day

What a beautiful day to be out, perfect temp 77 and a light breeze.

We started out walking some of the trail at Thomae County Park which boarders the north side of Atacosa Wildlife Refuge. We saw a few of the common birds, did see a Verdin and Ken got a photo of it. We headed up to the parks boat ramp to see what was happening, the pelicans were just taking it easy.

We started to walk up the beach but it was too muddy, this little inlet seems to attract a few water birds.

It was such a lovely day we decided to go to South Padre again. We were disappointed when we saw this huge pipe lining the beach, we have no idea what it's purpose is.

So we head to Ken's favorite birding spot in SPI, the Convention Center and the boardwalk but it was market days and the parking lot full. OK, we'll pay to walk the boardwalk this time and visit the new Birding Center. It is a beautiful building with exhibits and tower overlooking the island.

Here's looking over the boardwalk area, there is a mile of boardwalks.

There hasn't been the number of birds there as in the past but it always offers something to watch, today a spoonbill was preening a little closer to the boardwalk so we could get some good photos.
We stopped at a little restaurant overlooking the Arroyo Colorado in Arroyo City for dinner, we had a really nice and reasonable dinner we were surprised when a dish of chocolate pudding was included.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Out and about

We've had a couple of cold mornings it has been around 38 degrees but the sun was out so the days turned out rather nice.
I went for my morning walk today and went to the dock to feed the duck and I saw this sad sight a dead night heron floating in the river.We visited several birding places today, didn't see too many birds but at the boardwalk at SPI we watched this Yellow crown Night Heron hunt ghost crabs.
We stopped at Thomae County Park just up to road from us, we may go spend some time there tomorrow, the Spanish Daggers are really in bloom there. We visited the park last year once, it is really a nice park. It has some RV parking, but is rather expensive to stay at. Norma the president of the Audubon likes it for birding, so maybe we'll get lucky and spot some good birds.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Anzalduas Park

Monday started out foggy but temp was nice so we headed to Anzalduas Park, we heard that the birding was good there

It's on the banks of the Rio Grande River.

The dam is shared by Mexico and US as all are along the Rio Grande.

Here I'm looking at the Mexican side of the park.

The bird of importance was this Great Horned Owl sitting on its nest. There was to be a Rock Wren but we didn't see it. We did run into another member of the Harlingen Audubon group birding there, he hadn't seen the wren either.

They are still harvesting cabbages, a labor intensive process they are all hand picked.

The cold front came thru this morning, so it's windy and cooler,a good day to visit Walmart. I should do laundry but don't feel like it, it's such a chore.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Evection day....

....not us but the sparrows inhabiting the purple martin houses in Ramsey Park. We helped 3 other couples from the Harlingen Audubon group clean up 7 purple martin houses this morning.
The sparrows were back checking on their clean apartments but we hope the martins find the clean homes before the sparrows rebuild their nests.

Sat. evening we had some very good entertainment, Ruthi, she sang and danced with crowd. She entertained us for 3 hours, and she had a really nice voice. We all enjoyed the evening but I believe some enjoyed it alittle bit more then others.

Sat. was really a nice day, as was today, temp in the high 70s, so we went to Estero Llano State Park. We didn't see any new birds but did get a few shots of birds like this Northern Harrier.
Tonight some pegs and jokers and tomorrow looks like another nice day before more rain comes Tues. Ken and I are still sharing my computer.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Afternoon on SPI

After putting bird seed out at Ramsey Park this morning, we headed over to South Padre Island, the sun was shining and the winds low.
After lunch at Daddy's Seafood and Cajun Restaurant, we checked out the County Park at the south end of the island. We had never been there before but one of the ladies in the Audubon group likes to go shelling there. You have to go early though to get the good shells as it is a popular place even on a chilly day as was today.There were starfish and jelly fish that had washed ashore, I have never seen a starfish before. Does one pick them up and dry them??
We also visited the Bird Boardwalk one of our favorite birding places, there was alot people enjoying the birds there today.
Ken didn't carry his camera and was kicking himself as the Black Skimmers were up close, close enough that I could catch a photo of them skimming by with my little camera.
The Roseate Spoonbills flew in, and there were several White Ibis up close, as well as several other shore birds. I got several good photos of the birds today and will be adding them to my Flickr photostream.

Ken's computer died again, so we'll go looking for a new one so until he gets a one we'll be sharing mine.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

An addition

I thought you might like to see the church in the old Guerrero town, it has been restored some.We had another chilly day, the temp was 38 this morning we had freeze warnings but the early morning cloud cover saved us from freezing which is good as the plants and trees are just coming back from last months freeze.
The park had a lunch get together at Logan's Roadhouse but only a few decided to come. We had a nice time and a great lunch.
After lunch, Ken and I stopped at Ramsey and put out bird seed, a grapefruit, hummingbird water and Ken's suet mixture. We have adopted a feeding station to take care of there.
We waited around to see what birds would enjoy the food, we had orange-crown warbler, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, sparrows, Altramira Oriole, Cardinals, hummingbirds, Blue-grey Knatcatcher, Curved-billed Thrasher, White-tip Dove, a morning doves and a Verdin. We've been wanting to spot the Verdin and lo and behold it comes to the grapefruit.
So Ken will be taking his camera and the next day or so and sitting at the birdblind at the station hoping it will come by again.

Trip to Mexico

Monday, 24 people from our park took a bus tour trip to Mexico.
We were all up early to meet the bus at our club house at 6 am, we were all a little worried about the weather as it had rained all night and the northern front came thru turning the temp down to the 40s.
After picking up more tourists from a couple of parks in Mission, we headed to Rio Grande City for a little breakfast at the Golden Arches.
After enjoying our meals, we were warned to have a big breakfast as it would be a long time til our next meal furnished by the tour company, we headed to Roma, TX where we would cross the border into Cuidad Miquel Aleman and on to the Mexican side of Lake Falcon where we all could stand on the border and have one foot in the US and and one in Mexico. On to our focus destination, the two cities of Neuvo Guerrero and Old Guerrero.
The skies had cleared and the sun came out to make it a perfect day to be out exploring these two towns.

The Old Guerrero was in the path of Lake Falcon and the people had to move in 1948, all they moved from the city was the statue and 3 church bells and they now stand in the court yard of the new Guerrero.
Now we are on the way to visit the old city, which used to have a population of 30,000 people in it's heyday. Most of the buildings are made out of sandstone, and many of the buildings are still standing including the beautiful church which I forgot to include here, sorry.
The lake has receded but the school and many other buildings are still under water.

Here's our guide, Abel, explaining the water depth, the city's history and many more interesting facts. He lives in Mexico City but works in the RGV for three months for his Mexican tour company.

We are heading back to the bus, looks like we have a couple of new tourists joining our group.

Finally, we get to have our late lunch around 4 in Miquel Aleman. We had a choice of three meals, Mexican plate which I enjoyed, Chicken Fajita plate which Ken had and a hamburger and fries. The hamburger came with a slice of ham on it so it really was a HAM burger. We all enjoyed our complimentary Margarita too.
Now, that we were satisfied time to head home.
We all enjoyed our trip to Mexico.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Wasn't the sunrise beautiful Saturday, we started out early to meet the Audubon group to go birding at Resaca de Palma State Park near Brownsville.

Here's part of the group, we split up into 3 groups and took different parts of the park to see who could see the most birds. Our group came in 2nd, with only 24 species spotted, the winning group had 35 species, the last group had 21 species.
We enjoyed the opening ceremonies of the Olympics last night, now we are watching skiing tonight. It was so sad the accident on the luge on opening day.
We hope you all have a nice day tomorrow, no plans here so far.
Happy Valentine's Day

Friday, February 12, 2010

Great Backyard Bird Count

We are doing the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend, it started today and goes thro Monday. I don't have to count everyday or all day, it is up to us. It was a chilly morning so we didn't go anywhere and I watched and counted this morning from 7 to 12 when we left to go to town. From the comfort of the RV I spotted 22 different species of birds, total count 190 birds the count is high because I had a stream of gulls fly by.
If you are interested in counting or just seeing what birds are being counted in your area go to www.birdcount.org.
Tomorrow morning we are going an Audubon outing.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More on Quinta Mazatlan

I need to make a correction the bird I called Scarlet Grosbeak is really a Crismon-collared Grosbeak, I thought I heard people calling it the Scarlet but we looked it up in our bird book, it is a visitor from Mexico.
I thought I would share some of the other photos I took at Quinta Mazatlan. It is a beautiful house and grounds in McAllen that has been donated to use as museum and birding center. I took a couple of photos of the other birders, the parking lot was full and the over fill was also getting full when we arrived around 9 am Sat.

Here's a cutie who found the tortoise enclosure.
We did do a little birding today at Ramsey Park, saw the Olive Sparrow and a female Hooded Oriole.
We'll probably watch the Super Bowl tonight, me for the commercials I'm not into football.

Some new birds

We finally have the sun after getting 3 more inches of rain, it came out Friday and it is still shining today so we've been out birding surprise, surprise, huh!
I've been having problems with the blog site so that is why you haven't seen any new posts since Tuesday. Back to our birding, we went back to Bentson SP Friday to get a photo of the Rose-throated Becard and our hour plus waiting was rewarded with several opportunities to get a photo of this beautiful Mexican bird.
While sitting and waiting we heard about the birds at Quinta Mazatlan Birding Center.

So Saturday we headed there where at the first feeding station this Tropical Parula was entertaining several birders.

The main bird that attracted the crowd of birders was this Scarlet Grosbeak when ever it was sighted the excitement drew all nearby to run to see it and we got to see it a couple times.

This is the beautiful sky I woke up to this Sunday morning, looks like another nice day to get out before the next front comes through with more rain.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Candlemas

And Happy Ground Hog Day
If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Winter has another flight.
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Winter will not come again.

Well, it was cloudy threating to rain so winter must be over here.
Dia de la Candelaria - is the final major event of the Christmas season marking the forty days, more or less, after the birth of Christ when he would have been presented aat the Temple.
Families would offer gifts of tamales to neighbors, family and friends.
Happy Candlemas family and friends!