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This report comes a little late due to wifi failure last night.

The Hobble Wobble gang decided to spend what looks like the last perfect weather day of the week birding Estero Llano Grande SP.  For old-timers, this fairly new park has really become a gem, far surpassing our expectations of it from our first visit.  At that time the incorrectly graded ground caused the trail to be flooded when pumping began to fill the resaca [Spanish for oxbow lake].

This state park, admission $4, is one of the RGV World Bird Center sites.  It and other favorite sites from our Texas birding trips are described in the ABA Lane guide series for the Rio Grande Valley.  Each year, I update information about these sites in an email site guide I send to Mobirders on request.  It is several pages, may not be of use to many, but is written with the first-time Valley birder in mind.  I'll revise it on my return to Columbia and send it on request of trip planners.

Birds seen at Estero have included a Northern Jacana seen at close range by four Missouri birders in 06.  Groove-billed Anis are sometimes there.  Cinnamon Teal are regular, and it is one of the best places to see pauraques sleeping on the ground just a few feet away--if you can spot this incredibly cryptic critter.

There is a large deck from which birders can view the resaca.  Yesterday the January list of birds seen from the deck had 57 species on it.  We watched a Sora about 15 feet from us.

We were concentrating on searching the tropical zone portion of the park, hoping for a look at the Black-throated Gray Warbler (a little version of a chickadee in coloring, with a yellow spot by the eye).  This western warbler is often in The Valley--one or more reported each winter, we've sometimes seen it at Santa Ana NWR or at Anzalduas county park, but not this year.  We didn't find it, but did see a second Tropical Parula and got good looks at the White-throated Thrush [Robin in older field guides] on two occasions.

The best news of the day came with a phone call from Kathleen and Harold Anderson.  They had been denied entrance at the Bentsen RV park when they first arrived to see the Black-vented Oriole.  They got there the afternoon of the one day access was denied birders.  Yesterday they returned and spent the afternoon without anyone seeing the bird before the time all birders were to be out of the park.  As they were leaving, someone looked up at the coral bean tree: the bird was there!  All were allowed to stay and see it.  Among the group were Tommie and Ron Rogers, who had driven in from Chattanooga just to see that bird.

If any of you decide to come for this Class 5 rated ABA bird, do follow the RV park manager's requests to the letter so access will continue for those who follow.

The cold front has hit here--wind, spitting.  We may hole up for a while.

Edge Wade
Brownsville, TX
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