Rio Grande Valley Trip

Sarah and I went with our friend Billi on a short but exciting trip to the southernmost part of Texas. We focused on birds, but enjoyed a lot more. We identified about 130 species of birds on the 2.5 day trip, and 33 of them were lifers for me.

A bird that I'd been looking forward to seeing since the first time I saw it in a fieldguide, the Green Jay (Cyanocorax yncas) was every bit as beautiful as I expected.

This happened to be the nearest of a few American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) that we were fortunate enough to see at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, where we also got to see the endangered Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) on their wintering grounds.

These Texas leaf cutting ants (Atta texanus) were an unexpected treat at our first campsite, on the Rio Grande in Salineno, TX.

I thought it fitting to have our first sighting of the Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Rana berlandieri) on the Rio Grande (their range extends over 300 miles from the Rio Grande).

Definitely one of my favorites from this trip, this Texas Tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri) was right out in the open, munching on grass at Bentsen Rio Grande State Park.

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