Friday, February 8, 2013


Friday, February 8 – We went to the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge on Wednesday.

wildlife refuge

little guy

moss covered trees

This is more than just a birding center. We saw this interesting sign in the Visitor's Center.

butterfly sign



The Refuge is located in Alamo,TX. Its 2008 acres of subtropical thorn forest is recognized as a birders paradise. It is home for numerous birds that are South Texas specialties.


beautiful birds

beautiful birds

The weather was very hot and dry and there were not many animals or birds to be seen.

dry ground

We did see quite a few water birds around the Pintail Lakes area but most of the other wetlands were pretty dry and deserted.



There are two observation towers; one 40 feet tall. We climbed both towers and walked the 100-foot rope bridge through the treetops.

observation towers

paul on bridge

Marsha hates this type of bridge but wouldn't allow Paul to call her a chicken.
marsha crossing bridge

The bird feeders near the Visitors Center were fairly busy. We sat and watched several species of birds feeding on seed and oranges.

pretty one

lovely one

We did enjoy our hiking and a relaxing day in the wilderness.


After hiking around the sanctuary for about three hours, we called it a day and headed home. There are several other birding centers in this area, and we intend to check them out in the future.

Thank you to Heyduke50, Jane, and On the Horizon for identifying the tree in our last blog as a Silk Floss Tree. Here is a link to learn more about the tree.

Silk Floss Tree

We were also asked a why Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto was built in Rio Grande City. The only explanation why is that a German-born priest, The Rev. Gustav Gollbach immigrated to Texas soon after his ordination in 1906. He loved the statue when he saw it in France. Gollbach built much of the mountain himself.

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto

Thanks for stopping by. Hope to see y'all back real soon. Have a great day.


  1. You can still call Marsha a chicken if you want, Paul, just duck real quick when you do. Those birds are sure colorful...must be from eating all those colorful butterflies. Thanks for the duck pictures, and the "old coot", too. (No, I didn't mean Paul,silly)

  2. I don't like bridges like that either, Marsha! good for you for crossing it though!

  3. Interesting place! Now I know where to go for butterflies:)

  4. Great day, even if you did have to cross a bridge.

  5. Interesting to know about those butterflies. Never crossed one of those bridges but sure would like to check one out.

  6. As you know, we had a place in Mission. Thanks for the trip back.... We predered to settle out here in AZ... Nice pictures,,,,Do you miss the Motorhome?
    I understandmy friwnds at Retama there have built a nice shooting range since I left...
    Have fun! Hi to Bella...

  7. You captured so many different types of birds, all so beautiful. This looks like a lovely area, one we will want to visit when we visit TX again. Kudos to Marsha for conquering her fear of the rope bridge, although she doesn't look like she is enjoying it much! Happy weekend!

  8. And here I thought a 51st state was added to the Union ;-)

  9. hmmmmm. . .not sure if I could do that bridge or not. . .proud of you for succeeding!

    Thanks for letting us know what kind of tree it was. . .I always wonder later.

    There are lots of woodpeckers and sapsuckers around here. . .I'm gonna try that orange trick for sure. . .thanks for sharing!

  10. ME TOO! I hate suspension bridges. We have two in Vancouver. And I don't like to be a chicken either but sure as hell, you decide to go across and some @&*%$ thinks it's funny to shake it.

  11. Another great tour with beautiful photos.

    Marsha looks like Paulette on one of those bridges - scared stiff!

  12. Hope you get a chance to go to Laguna Atascosa NWR while you are down there.

  13. I could use a butterfly fix right now. We did get a moth in the motorhome one evening. Does that count?

  14. We, too, were impressed with that refuge. Glad you got over there. We climbed the other tower as we were on the tram tour and had limited time.

  15. For there not being many birds around, you sure got some good pictures. I always enjoy the colorful birds. We don't have that many brightly colored ones in Oregon - at least not around here.

  16. I fell through (bad boards) a swinging bridge when I was 12 years old. Fell 8 feet down into a stream. Glad it wasn't any higher nor the water any deeper. Just ended up with a 1 inch cut above the eye. So Marsha, I haven't done swinging bridges since. Like the bird pics.

  17. great bird and wildlife pictures...and theres no way I'd walk on that bridge....unless a fire was chasing me...


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