The migrant birds of spring are going to start passing through southern Texas in large numbers any day now. All we need are the right winds and the first big groups of birds will be showing up in the thickets, woodlands, and wetlands of Laguna Atascosa and other birding hotspots.
Even when the waves of spring migrants aren’t passing through, the rich habitats of southern Texas are still filled with excellent bird photography opportunities.
The Altamira Oriole is a perennial favorite for bird photography and one of several oriole species that occur in the Rio Grande Valley. Happily, this is a fairly common bird species in the area and a joy to photograph!
Northern Cardinals may be common birds in Texas but it ‘s hard not to take pictures of this truly stunning bird.
The Gray Catbird might lack bright colors but it makes up for that with a sleek, handsome look and calls that sound like the meow of a cat.
Whereas the Downy Woodpecker is one of the most common woodpecker species in other parts of North America, the small Ladder-backed Woodpecker replaces it in southern,central, and western Texas.
One of the moe common mammals is the attractive Mexican ground Squirrel.
This beautiful terrestrial squirrel is probably one of the more common prey items for the Aplomado Falcon.
Aquatic habitats in southern Texas also have their fair share of birds and animals. I see American Alligators on a regular basis, including big six footers now and then.
This one was a big gator on the lookout for any unwary wading birds and small mammals.
Various duck species add color to marshes and lagoons in southern Texas, including the likes of Cinnamon Teal, Blue-winged Teal, and Redhead.
Gulls, terns, and shorebirds are also a common feature of lagoons and coastal wetlands in southern Texas.
Ring-billed Gulls are the most commonly seen gull species and a good one to learn well to make it easier to find rare gulls.
Dowitchers are have very long bills and use them to feed with sewing-machine-like movements.
There are plenty of Spotted Sandpipers to see! This is the most common, widespread shorebird in North America and can be encountered on the edges of ponds, rivers, mudflats, and other wetland habitats.
Hopefully, my next post will feature shots of various migrants but even if I don’t manage to connect with spring warblers and vireos, there will still be plenty of photo opportunities.