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 4

Our group on the deck near the visitors center at Estero Llano Grande State Park
Our group on the deck near the visitors center at Estero Llano Grande State Park – photo by Gabriel Lugo

 

We began our day at what is probably now my favorite place to bird in the Lower Rio Grande Valley–Estero Llano Grande State Park near Weslaco, TX. If I had only one South Texas site to visit, this would be it. It is really a remarkable place to visit!

Always a crowd favorite is finding the cryptic-looking, super-camouflaged Common Pauraque. It is South Texas cousin to the Whip-poor-will. Here is one right next to one of the many paths that traverse the park.

Looking at a Common Pauraque at Estero Llano Grande State Park near Weslaco, TX
Looking at a Common Pauraque at Estero Llano Grande State Park near Weslaco, TX – photo by Greg Miller

 

In the afternoon we drove to a set of fields near Rio Hondo northwest of Harlingen, TX. There among hundreds of Killdeers we were able to find a quite a few Mountain Plovers. From there we hustled back to Quinta Mazatlan and found Clay-colored Thrush. And the finish to our day was at the Green Parakeet roost in McAllen, TX. It was quite the spectacle this evening with thousands of Great-tailed Grackles coming in to roost and among them dozens of Green Parakeets.

We tallied 90 species on the day bringing our trip total to 146 species. Our year total is now 544 species after adding another 7 species to our list today. Yah. I love Estero Llano Grande.

 

 

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