|Estero Llano Grande State Park Headquarters|
The next day it was overcast, drizzly and windy, so I wasn't sure how good the birding would be. The combination must have been enough to keep the Rose-throated Becard I was searching for at Estero Llano Grande State Park deep in the thick, tropical forest. However, the birding was great. There were quite a few raptors around, including a Cooper's Hawk that showed up at a feeding station. The hawk stalked a Chachalaca by jumping on the ground and walking through tall grass that surrounded the feeders. I caught some of it on video. You can hear the Chachalaca in the background.
I think it eventually caught the Chachalaca because shortly after the Cooper's disappeared in the grass, I heard a loud shriek.
Later in the day I found a Nothern Harrier who had just come across what looked like a dead American Coot. I don't think it caught and killed the coot, but probably was being opportunistic. It loyally guarded its meal the whole time I watched.
|Northern Harrier claiming an American Coot for lunch.|
I intently looked for the Rose-throated Becard, but it didn't show, so I decided to head to the Sabal Palm Sanctuary in Brownsville where a Dusky-capped Flycatcher had been reported in the morning. I'd never been to the sanctuary, so when I saw what looked like the border wall and a border patrol agent parked on the road leading to the sanctuary, I wondered if I'd end up in Mexico if I kept driving. When I called the sanctuary, they reassured me the sanctuary was just down the road, so I kept driving.
|Male Anna's Hummingbird|
Even though I didn't find all the rarities I set out for, the two-day trip to the valley was a great success. I met my goal with plenty of time to spare. Perhaps I'll pad my list even more when I head to Salineno next week for the Brown Jay!
And now for a few more photos of my trip....