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Rio Grand Valley & Galveston bird chase ~ Feb 22nd - 23rd 2003.

Purple Sandpiper After an 81/2 hr all night drive, a group of us arrived in the valley to do some chasing. Our first stop in the Valley was to get the Golden-crowned warbler which has spent the winter at the University Pan Am in Edinburg. This was the 114th day it had been there. We arrived at approximately 7:15 and got the bird within minutes for great views!
The main purpose of this trip was to get the Blue Mockingbird that has been spending the winter in someone's garden. This was our next stop and once there we waited for 31/2 hours but the bird did not show up for us. However there were other birds and lifers waiting for us so we moved on. That one will just have to wait for another trip. From the Mockingbird spot in McAllen we drove north to "La Sal Del Rey" where some Red-necked Phalaropes had been seen. This time we were rewarded with 3 of them! Then on to Santa Anna for the Tropical parula which we heard and then saw at its usual spot near "Willow 1." After this we stopped by Bentsen SP where there were all the usual valley birds and a great view of a Hook-Billed Kite".
The next morning we decided to drive 51/2hrs to Quintana near Galveston to try and find the Purple Sandpiper that had been reported there a week or so earlier. Well, it was still there, much to our relief! Very cooperative, flying about 15 feet ahead of us along the Quintana jetty.
Last stop of the trip with just one hour left before our drive home, was at Russ Pitman Park in Houston for the Calliope Hummingbird which had been reported coming to sugar feeders. Well, we got lucky with this one too! Tiny little thing, an immature male with pretty pale rufous sides, a squared off tail and streaked throat. A nice ending to a great trip and we were now ready for the 5hr drive home to Fort Worth!

Eastern Screech Owl
Eastern Screech Owl

Just sleeping away...

Harris hawk
Quite content to sit there, giving us good looks.
Harris Hawk
Curve-billed Thrasher
Curve-billed Thrasher
The Thrashers were coming in to eat orange halves placed in the trees.
Great Kiskadee
Always nice to see these bright colored and noisy birds!
Great Kiskadee
Great Horned Owl
Great Horned Owl.
This was taken through a scope and I only got the face part, but the owl was sitting on a nest with a baby owl.
Such clumsy & noisy birds!
Blue-wing butterfly
Blue Wing Butterfly.
This is the closest ID I can get to this butterfly with my field guides. The butterfly looked more purple than the "Sapphire blue" the book describes but a Blue Wing does extend into S. Texas and around the Pharr area. If not a Blue Wing, then probably a close relative.
Purple Sandpiper
Very cooperative for some great looks, hopping in and out of the rocks when the tide washed over them.
Purple Sandpiper
Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

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