Thursday, January 24, 2012—Laguna Atacosa NWR

130124_E-3Today is Thursday, and that means it is birding day. Our trip today was to Laguna Atacosa National Wildlife Refuge, north of Port Isabel near South Padre Island. Jerry (in the photo) and Karen Smith, our leaders, invited me to ride with them, and I gladly accepted. They are among the elite birders in the nation, and one always learns something when accompanying them.

130124_EThis part of Texas has sustained a serious drought and remains in a drought situation. Consequently, there was little water in the lagoons, meaning few birds. An owl was conspicuous in the Visitor’s Center, and was definitely the most photographed bird today. In addition to birds, there was an occasional butterfly along the paths and trails.  We did see lots of birds in the flats along the shoreline, but they were too far to photograph. Altogether, we observed 69 species.130124_E-2 Bird identification, particularly shorebirds, is still very difficult for me as I forget from one week to the next.

We arrived back at the resort about 3:30 PM, too late for me to go to the store to get food for the annual palapa party. Kay had included some canned fruit for emergency purposes, and I added a banana, two apples, and some chopped pecans to make a fruit salad. We had hamburgers, and lots of salads and desserts—it may have been better than last year and was definitely better attended. Afterwards, the karaoke machine was cranked up and I began with a terrible rendition of Sixteen Tons. There were few singers at the beginning, and I did a credible job on King of the Road. Apparently, one of the guys thought he was a good singer, as he h0gged the microphone most of the rest of the evening, but his timing was poor and he was off key. To avoid further “hurting” my ears, I left early.

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