Thursday, March 03, 2011


Green Jay, seen at Santa Ana NWR last year

It's the night before my big trip to Texas, so I'm packing and getting things ready. I have my clothes for tomorrow all set out, and my bag is packed. I'm charging my camera battery, ensuring I have all the phone and battery charging cords, gathering my Sibley's Eastern Birds and my Peterson's Western Birds (you never know in Texas!).

I just checked the forecast in the Valley (again): 70s and 80s -- what a change from here, where it's about 20 right now. I've packed shorts and some cargo pants, short sleeves and long sleeves, just in case.

AB is hard at work on her review of the literature section of her comprehensive exams, so I'm trying to be quiet! It's tough, though -- I'm very pumped about going.

I know -- a Jim Beam and Coke ought to take the edge off! Mmmmm.

I'm a little worried about how many sales I'll miss at work when I'm gone. I'm taking my work phone with me, and I've got a few people on the fence who are supposed to call me back in the next couple of days, so I'm hoping I'll be able to make sales (by phone) while I'm gone. Plus my work phone is a Blackberry, so I can play little Solitaire games and stuff on it while I'm bored on the plane or in the airports (my personal cell is not a smart phone).

I just checked the ABA Rarities and Texas Needs list to find the following potential lifers still hanging around in the places we'll be birding:
Rufous-backed Robin (NABA International Butterfly Park, Hidalgo)
Black-vented Oriole (Bentsen-RGV State Park, Mission)
Scaled Quail (Falcon State Park, Starr)
White-tailed Hawk (around Cameron and Willacy counties, where I grew up)
Aplomado Falcon (Laguna Atascosa NWR, near Rio Hondo)
Sandhill Crane (Sabal Palm Sanctuary, near Brownsville)
Mountain Plover (near Lyford)
Marbled Godwit (Laguna Atascosa NWR, near Rio Hondo)
Dunlin (South Padre Island WBC, SPI)
Short-billed Dowitcher (South Padre Island WBC, SPI)
Wilson's Snipe (Sabal Palm Sanctuary, near Brownsville)
Gull-billed Tern (Laguna Atascosa NWR and SPI WBC)
Sandwich Tern (South Padre Island WBC, SPI)
Eurasian Collared Dove (SPI)
White-tipped Dove (Estero Llano Grande SP, near Weslaco, and Valley Birding Center, Hidalgo)
Green Parakeet (Valley Birding Center, Hidalgo)
Red-crowned Parrot (Valley Birding Center, Hidalgo)
Groove-billed Ani (Bentsen)
Green Kingfisher (Bentsen and Santa Ana NWR)
Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet (Santa Ana NWR)
Hutton's Vireo (Friedrich Wilderness Park, near my parents' house in San Antonio)
Chihuahan Raven (Cameron County)
Clay-colored Thrush (Bentsen, Santa Ana, and Valley Birding Center)
Golden-cheeked Warbler (Friedrich Wilderness Area)
White-colored Seedeater (San Ygnacio, Zapata County)
Pyrrhuloxia (Bentsen)
Blue Bunting (Bentsen)
PAINTED BUNTING! my nemesis bird! (Santa Ana!)
Yellow-headed Blackbird (Hidalgo County)
Black-vented Oriole (Bentsen)
Hooded Oriole (Salineño)
Audubon's Oriole (Salineño)

Now -- I realize that I sometimes get a little over-excited and set my expectations a little too high.... but I figure these birds are there now. Maybe I'll won't see them all, but I'm bound to see some! And there are enough birds all around that my little bird-brain should be kept quite busy seeing what I see.

I'll be peeping and snapping and checking my guides and having fun -- and after all the birdy goodness comes family goodness. We're seeing big (and only) brother Ricardo in Kingsville, and big sister Raquel is taking some time off to hang out with me and Birding Mommy and my pop too. I'll see my nieces and my nephew, and I'll be in the place where I grew up.

I'm really looking forward to hitting a Sonic and having a fresh lemon slush and some French fries.


Felicia said...

This sounds like a most excellent trip! I hope it turns out to be everything you hoped for. How lucky you are to have family in one of the nation's best birding spots--can't wait to read your upcoming posts!

Rabbits' Guy said...

Lemon Slush??? Ohhhhh .. fugeddabod da boids - get me a lemon slush!

Beth said...

Have a wonderful trip - can't wait to read all about the lifers and the adventures. And good luck to AB on the exam!


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Have a blast Delia!!!! I'm looking forward to reading all about it.

Larry said...

Have a great time and don't worry about those sales. Your renewed energy and enthusiasm will bring in new sales when you get home.I love anything lemon.