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Rio Grande Valley Birding

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Old Monday 6th April 2009, 21:27   #1
j0hnguy
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Rio Grande Valley Birding

Hey everyone.

In just over a month I'll be going on a dedicated 8 day birding expedition to the Rio Grande Valley in southern TX. I've been researching prime locations, but I thought I'd try my luck here at Birdforum to hear from any seasoned travelers that might provide some input.

Anyone have any suggestions as to what areas are must-visit?
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Old Monday 6th April 2009, 22:06   #2
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If you go before May 15, you should visit Sabal Palm Audubon Center in Brownsville. Beginning May 15, the sanctuary will be closed for about six months. And, the border wall may bisect it or render it totally off limits.

Do you know about the Texbirds listserv at http://moonmountaingroup.com/texbirds?
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Old Monday 6th April 2009, 22:53   #3
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oh wow, I heard something about this. I'll actually be arriving on the 11th, so I should be able to take advantage before they close it up.
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Old Monday 6th April 2009, 23:52   #4
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You might also want to search BF for trip reports for or info on south Texas as well as check the Texas subforum. The Great Texas Birding Trail is available online so also check out their south Texas locations.

Definitely a great place to bird.
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Old Tuesday 7th April 2009, 02:37   #5
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The advice you have gotten so far is good. Check out Texbird and the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Lower Texas Coast. Everybody has their favorite places. Mine are: Sabal Palm, Laguna Atascosa, Estero Llano, Santa Ana and South Padre Island. A good strategy would be to decide on your target birds, check the bird lists of the various places and go to the places you are most likely to find them.
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Old Tuesday 7th April 2009, 09:12   #6
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I was very disappointed in my last trip to the Valley with both Quinta Mazatlan and Estero Llano Grande. Both were heavily pruned, Quinta had two water features out of service, and as a result birds were few and far between at both locations.

I would not pass on a chance to visit Frontera Audubon.
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Old Tuesday 7th April 2009, 11:52   #7
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Thanks for all the advice.

There's so many lifers to be found down there I don't even know where to begin!
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Old Tuesday 7th April 2009, 12:33   #8
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If you would like to send me a pm with some of your targets, I can try to give some more specific advice. I was there two weeks ago and six weeks ago, and hit many of the prime locations.
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Old Tuesday 7th April 2009, 21:09   #9
Mike Richardson
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It might be worth buying a copy of the new ABA Birdfinding Guide 'A Birder's Guide to the Rio Grande Valley' if you don't already have it.
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Old Wednesday 8th April 2009, 10:36   #10
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It would definitely be worth buying the Rio Grande bird finding guided. If you are thinking about going to Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge and points north (including King and other ranches in Kenedy County) you will need to buy the ABA Texas coast bird finding guide.
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Old Wednesday 8th April 2009, 11:52   #11
Clive Watson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Microtus View Post
If you go before May 15, you should visit Sabal Palm Audubon Center in Brownsville. Beginning May 15, the sanctuary will be closed for about six months. And, the border wall may bisect it or render it totally off limits.
Just out of idle curiosity, do you know why? I've been to Sabal Palms once, fantastic place, stunning views of many of the specialities at the feeders there. I hope it is as good as it was when it re-opens. I'd love to go back now I've got better camera gear.

I remember we saw a Black-throated Blue warbler there in front of the visitor centre which I understood at the time was quite a good record for that area. The warden was certainly quite sceptical when we reported it. It was a full summer male though, not much doubt about it!
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Old Wednesday 8th April 2009, 12:29   #12
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"National Security". AKA the border fence.
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Old Wednesday 8th April 2009, 13:31   #13
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Hmm this bird finding guide sounds like a very worthy investment. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Humminbird - I would definitely love to hear any tips you could provide.
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Old Wednesday 8th April 2009, 16:56   #14
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Send me a pm with your list of target birds and I will gladly share where I have found them (if I have found them).
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Old Sunday 12th April 2009, 04:57   #15
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I would suggest Bentson-Rio Grande Valley State Park outside of Mission and Falcon Lake State Park outside of Roma. Both have many species of birds that you won't find in other parts of Texas or the rest of the country.
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