To join Greg on one of these tours visit BigYearTours.com or call 888-875-9453

In 1998, Greg zig-zagged 130,000 miles across the USA, while trying to hold down a full-time job, aspiring to reach at least 700 species of birds in one calendar year. "The Big Year," a novel by Mark Obmascik detailed his travails alongside two competitors. The book was later turned into a movie of the same title that starred Jack Black, Steve Martin and Owen Wilson!

Texas Rio Grande Valley – Day 3

Getting low tire fixed in the rain near McAllen, TX
Getting low tire fixed in the rain near McAllen, TX – photo by Greg Miller

 

Never a trip goes by without having to face a few obstacles. We woke up to pouring rain this morning dampening our plans to go to Estero Llano Grande. So we checked radar and decided we would try to catch a short dry spot in Cameron County–the county just east of us. As soon as we pulled out the check tires light came on. We stopped at a gas station to check the tires. One of them needed air. Next we stopped at a tire shop and had the tire checked for leaks. None were found. Yay!

Along Route 100 east of San Benito we saw White-tailed Hawks, Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, White-tailed Kites, and <…drumroll…> a couple Aplomado Falcons! Seeing these birds pretty much wiped out the minor hardships we encountered earlier.

We birded in eastern Cameron County including South Padre Island. What a great place for herons, egrets, terns, skimmers, and shorebirds! We racked up quite an assortment of species.

On our way back to the hotel this evening we encountered a stunning sunset. A picture hardly does it justice.

Sunset on I-2 westbound between Harlingen, TX and McAllen, TX
Sunset on I-2 westbound between Harlingen, TX and McAllen, TX – photo by Greg Miller

 

I got a pic of almost everyone looking my direction this evening. What a great crew of birders!

 

Our group at the end of a successful day
Our group at the end of a successful day – photo by Greg Miller

 

All the new additions today boosted our trip list up to 123 species. Despite having a good variety of species, we only added a single species to the year list for Big Year Tours. Our year total now stands at 538 species. The new bird? Aplomado Falcon. Yah. That is a pretty satisfying addition to the list and a totally great experience to see this species in real life!

Our back up plans today to avoid spending too much time in the rain were pretty successful. Tomorrow’s chance of rain is much less. So hopefully we’ll get to head to Estero Llano Grande tomorrow.

 

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