Windy weather was forecast for the next few days after today; consequently, today afforded an opportunity to visit Salaneno and some serious birding before we travel to central Arkansas for Christmas. Last year, the land trust group to whom the area had been “willed” closed it because of liability issues (3 members of their board are lawyers) foreclosing the opportunity of hundreds, if not thousands, of people to view spectacular birds. A few days ago, we heard that the land trust was negotiating with the US Fish andWildlife Service to take over the area, and we wanted to see it first hand. Kay, Lorna Graham, and I drove to Alamo to pick up Jerry and Karen Smith, after which we all rode to Salaneno to begin our viewing at the Rio Grande River where we saw several species of water birds and a couple Ospreys. In the “center”, I began salivating seeing all the orioles. We were gratified to see Altimira Orioles, Hooded Orioles, and Audubon Orioles. And Lorna spotted a “black” bird behind a Greater Kiskadee, and properly identified it as a somewhat rare Ani. We also saw Green Jays, Ladderback and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Thrashers, Olive Sparrow, Orange-Crested Warbler, and others I did not identify. Regrettably, I did not change the settings on the camera for shooting on a tripod, and the photos are not as good as they should be.
From there we drove to Falcon Lake State Park. In their infinite wisdom, Texas State Parks opted to place so many restrictions on their birding volunteers in terms of feeding and collecting/accepting donations for bird feed that they did not return, severely limiting easy opportunities to see many species of birds. We did see a Bobwhite Quail, but nowhere near the number of species we saw last year.
We returned back to the RV resort to download photos and rest! We had dinner with a large group from the RV resort at PF Chang’s, and it was excellent. A young retired couple, “new” to our circle, unfortunately had their truck stolen from the parking lot at the restaurant, putting a damper on the evening.