Monday, January 18 – We spent the morning at the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and World Birding Center. The 760-acre Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, together with over 1,700 acres of adjoining U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuge tracts, is a treasure trove of "Valley specialties," tropical birds found nowhere else in the United States.
Admission is $5 per person but Paul, being an old fart, has the Texas Parklands Passport for Seniors which provides a 50% discount on the entrance fee for him. Interesting the way they “round off to the nearest dollar,” so his discount is only $2 instead of $2.50. Those Texas State Legislators know how to squeeze every penny out of us since there is no state income tax in Texas.
We began our hike at the bird feeders near the entrance. The Rio Grande Valley hosts one of the most spectacular convergences of birds on earth. Almost 500 species have been documented in this unique place. There were numerous chachalaca, green-jays, cardinals, and many smaller birds feeding at this station. We enjoyed watching these birds for quite awhile before heading down to Resca Vieja Trail.
The Resca Vieja Trail is a short 1.5 mile hike through the mesquite trees to a small nature observation area. There wasn't any wildlife in this area, but it was an enjoyable hike regardless.
Our next stop was Kingfisher Overlook along the La Parida Banco (a river). This is an area one might see birds that prefer aquatic areas. Unfortunately, again there were no birds enjoying the water. There were cardinals and green-jays at a nearby feeder.
We continued our hike to the Green-jay bird blind. This was a very enjoyable stop with many birds and even a raccoon robbing the bird feeders. It's nice to relax in the blind and watch the birds through the small windows of the blind.
There is a shuttle available, and we considered hopping aboard for a ride to the hawk tower observation deck but when the trolley passed it was full. We hiked out to the tower on our previous visits to the Birding Center, but Paul has been bothered by a soar knee, so we decided to call it a day and hiked back to the entrance. He has meniscus surgery already scheduled when we return to Houston.
Due to the high winds and the flood of 2010, many of the trees having amazing shapes.
It was an enjoyable morning at the World Birding Center. We hiked a little over 4.5 miles and saw quite a few birds and some other wildlife.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y’all back real soon. Have a great day!