The weather was not ideal for our trip down to the LRGV. Using Harlingen as our base, we hit Bensen-Rio Grande, Estero Llano and Santa Ana NWR over the course of the extended Christmas weekend. We were able to see plenty of the Black-vented Oriole, who put on a show at the feeders near the Nature Center at Bensen. However, we did strike out on the Rose-throated Becard, Golden-crowned Warbler and Crimson-collared Grosbeak. The curious find of the trip was a female Painted Bunting hanging out near the hummingbird feeders at Estero Llano.
We want to thank Mark and Joanie Hubinger for taking us around at Santa Ana in the muck... including the sizeable trek to Cattail Lakes to see the Mountain Bluebirds. The female was present, but the male was not... leading us to question if something might have happened to him since they had always been seen together since their discovery.
We're fairly certain that we'll be going back to the LRGV next weekend to kick off Our Big Year 2012 if the rarity sightings continue. Seems like the logical place to start... weather permitting! Stay tuned!