Well, it’s been an AMAZING few days in the Rio Grande Valley and I still have a few more days of hard-core birding left!
I am beyond thrilled with the birds I’ve ticked here so far. I have my “Texas A-team” with me and the plan is to leave No. Bird. Unseen. And with this crew, we’re actually gonna make that happen!
Meet Team Texas:
- Gabriel Lugo– fellow Wildside Nature Tours guide, came ALL the way from Puerto Rico, just to lend a hand. NO bird slips by Gabriel.. that’s for SURE. Gabriel chauffeured the team the entire week for hours on end..from Amazon Kingfisher to Aplomado Falcon to Northern Jacana and back, several times!
- David Stekoll– Uncle David has joined me once again to ‘tear up’ Texas for Mom’s Big Year. I’m SO super thankful to have another serious birder in the family! He’s the BEST! And fortunately, he’s still talking to this Yankee after driving across Texas for Mom’s Big Year(Austin to Big Bend and back) with me for 7 days in May. Lol! We got 86 birds on that trip… It was EPIC!
- Martin Hagne– reigns from the Texas Hill Country and has been an indispensable part of several Mom’s Big Year adventures. He knows the ‘ins and outs’ of Texas birding and birds – especially the entire Rio Grande Valley- like the palm of his hand! Martin joined the Mom’s Big Year – Arizona edition in August and has so kindly spent hours helping to plan the Mom’s Big Year itinerary.
And very special thanks to Greg Miller this week -and beyond- for his constant support, guidance and for serving as a major resource to me throughout the entire year. I certainly could not have done it all without him. Mom’s Big Year was actually his idea! A shout out to Raymond VanBuskirk for his updates on some local targets this week and to Rich Kostecke for re-finding the Amazon Kingfisher on Tuesday while we were there!
Our first day here we drove the 3.5 hours to Laredo to test our luck. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a shot at the Amazon Kingfisher! And…. WE GOT IT!
This is only the 3rd time EVER that this bird has been seen in the US… so it’s considered a MEGA-rarity in ‘birding speak’.
As if things couldn’t get any better, in just two days, I’ve added several new birds to my year list, including Sprague’s Pipit and Northern Jacana.
After lunch today, I was walking out of ‘Fat Daddy’s’ roadside restaurant near Estero Llana Grande and a frail-looking old-timer in a cowboy hat said a polite and chipper “Hello! How are you?!” as I exited. Basking in the successes of the day so far I responded, “FANTASTIC, how are you?!”
He enthusiastically replied, as only a Texan could,
“I’m finer than frog hair!”
Well, the way this week has been going so far…That makes TWO of us!
3 thoughts on “Finer than frog hair!”
Great on your Amazon Kingfisher!! I love reading your posts. It’s like looking 10-15 years into my (hopefully) future. Cheers, Nancy!
We met at the Acadia Birding Festival in Maine this summer–I was there with my 17 year old son and we were on one of your field trips. We were looking for your contact information (I lost your card!) and I found this post. We just decided last night to go to the Laredo Birding Festival as his “Senior trip” this year. I was excited that when I found your blog the top post is about Laredo birding!! I can’t believe you saw the Amazon Kingfisher–what a thrill that must have been! My son would like to communicate with you if there is a way he can reach out–on Facebook or via email, etc. Thanks!!
Yes– I totally remember you guys!! Glad you found me! He’s going to love Laredo. I’m trying to figure out the best way to exchange emails without either of us getting spammed. Try my full name (if you have it) – all together- all one word at yahoo.com. let me know if you have any problem! I’ll be on travel and running these next few days.. so don’t panic if you don’t hear back immediately. or tap me again! 🙂