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Gallery of Texas 2016 images

TEXAS FEBRUARY 2016

Nick has just returned from a birding visit to Texas, one of the best birding areas in the USA. Here are a few of his photos (NB he is still a fledgling photographer only!) which we hope might whet your appetite to join us on our tour to Texas which we are proposing for 2017. We're sure you will take your own much better photos! More details on our 2017 tour to Texas including a full itinerary will appear on the Birding Abroad website soon.

Texas is the wintering grounds of the world's rarest crane, the Whooping Crane. A superb half day boat trip into the coastal marshes at Aransas provided great views of Whooping Cranes.

A wealth of different wildfowl, herons, waders, gulls and terns were also observed at various locations along the gulf coast. Here both American White and Brown Pelicans are seen together. The fields were full of wintering Snow and Ross' Geese with Sandhill Cranes never far away.


All the reserves visited have great facilities, including boardwalks out into the salt and freshwater marshes. Useful for getting great views of the birds and staying well clear of the Alligators!.

Further to the south-west in Texas, the Rio Grande valley provides an opportunity to see some species more closely associated with Mexico. Several great birding reserves were visited here, providing species such as Least Grebe, Green Jay, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Great Kiskadee, Green Kingfisher and Altamira Oriole.

Birding towers with canopy walkways, and feeding stations, provide good opportunities to observe the bird life. Typical species included Crested Caracara and White-tailed Hawk, various sparrow species including Olive and Lincoln's were noted. Roadrunners always provoke a smile whilst just as peculiar is the skulking Plain Chachalaca.

Some species like to hide away and remain camouflaged, whilst others advertise their presence with brilliantly bright plumage. Common Pauraque (a relative of the nightjars) and Vermilion Flycatcher are examples.

The tour begins and ends in Houston, where a visit to the NASA Space Centre is part of our proposed tour. This is the home of Mission Control from the Apollo moon landings, through the 'Shuttle' era to the modern day International Space Station.

The pine woods north of Houston provide our last birding of the tour, where several species of woodpecker are found, including America's rarest (Red-cockaded Woodpecker) if you accept that Ivory-billed is now extinct. We then say farewell Texan style.

 
LANCE DEGNAN
14 Fiddlers Drive, Armthorpe
DONCASTER, South Yorkshire, DN3 3TT.
Tel: 01302 835094 email: lance@birdingabroad.com
NICK WHITEHOUSE
18 Cucklington Gardens, Muscliff,
BOURNEMOUTH, Dorset, BH9 3QS.
Tel: 01202 514575 email: nick@birdingabroad.com