Monday, January 15, 2018


Monday, January 15 - With a cold front predicted to blow into the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the next several days, we took advantage of today's beautiful weather to ride our bikes and do a little bird watching in Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and World Birding Center. With our Texas State Senior Passes we received 50% of admission to all Texas State Parks. It only amounted to $2 but every little bit helps.

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is a perfect park for biking. This is our forth time visiting the park. In the past, we hiked the roads throughout the park. This year, we decided to take our bikes and join the numerous bikers in the park. They do have a tram that travels through the park on an hourly route, but it seems most visitors ride bikes between the various birding areas.

Bentson State Park

As we entered the park, the gate house is located at perhaps the busiest or most bird visited feeding location in the park. We always linger here to see the many birds that visit the feeders. This year was a special treat because not only were many birds in the area but a bobcat stopped to snatch breakfast of an unsuspecting dove. He was too fast to get a picture, but Paul did see him as he headed back into the nearby brush to consume his meal. Of course the other birds in the area high-tailed it out of there for awhile. They soon returned but so did the bobcat. The birds were a little more careful this time, and the cat returned to the brush for a little nap.

We talked for sometime with the ranger working the gate house. He said the bobcat is a frequent visitor to the feeding area and at times even climbs the tree to nap. He showed us a picture that a visitor gave the ranger of the bobcat heading to the brush with breakfast in his mouth. What an amazing animal.

We watch many Orioles, Jays, Chachalaca, Cardinals, Sparrows, and other birds feeding in the area. Many of these birds travel out of Mexico no further North than the Birding Center. There are four other birding centers in the area that visitors can take advantage of to view birds in this region.

Great Kiskadee.
Great Kiskadee

The famous Green Jay.
The famous Green Jay.

The entertaining Plain Chachalaca.


Northern Cardinal.
Northern Cardinal

Golden-fronted Woodpecker.
Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Altamira Oriole.
Altamira Oriole

We also visited several bird blinds setup in different areas of the park but didn't find any as busy as this first station. We also visited the two-story high hawk tower near the back of the park. On one of our previous visits, hawks were migrating through the area and a count was taking place at the tower. We didn't see any hawks on today's visit.

hawk tower

We rode and checked-out areas throughout the park and completed our circular tour of the park in about two hours. It sure is significantly easier riding our bikes than walking as he did in the past. We enjoyed our visit and will definitely visit again if in the area.

bike riding

Lots of beauty along the bike path.
bike trail

Right across the river is a Mexican park.
Mexico park

survey marker

Marsha loves how the wind turns the trees into works of art.

Marsha and trees

By the way, if you stay in the RV section of Bentsen-Rio State Park located next door, admission to all five Birding Centers in the Rio Grande Valley is free. We've driven through the campground and often thought it would be a nice place to stay.

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