We are pleased to offer a four-day pre-trip this year to the
Rio Grande Valley, home to many specialty birds
that can only be found in deep South Texas.
Our lodging for this trip is the Alamo Inn (click here to visit their website!), a birder- centric lodge in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley. It includes breakfast. The leader is David Sarkozi, a well-known Texas birder who started birding in high school after reading Ken Kaufman's 1973 big year. David has since become a fan on Big Days and Big Years. He has served as president of the Texas Ornithological Society and worked on its executive board for 16 years. He recently retired from the University of Houston where he worked for 35 years.
The cost of this trip includes transportation, experienced leader, entry fees, and lodging for Sunday thru Tuesday night that comes with breakfast. It does not include lunches or dinners. The cost per person is $795.
There is a minimum of four for this trip to make, and a maximum of eight to make this a very birder friendly trip. Accommodations are inclusive of a 3 Night stay at Alamo Inn.
It does not include Friday night or Tuesday night. Other arrangements
will need to be made for these days.
Below is our expected itinerary and we’ll make every effort to get all these birds, but we will remain flexible and chase rarities that show up!
We’ll meet at the Botanical Gardens at 6:45 am on Saturday, April 17. The gates of the gardens will be locked every night to protect your vehicles. Pack as light as you can to make the ride more comfortable.
Estero Llano Grande
Day One- Saturday, April 17
From Corpus Christi we head to Brushline Road to search for brush country species like Bullock’s Oriole, Common Ground-Dove, Greater Roadrunner, White- tailed Hawk, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Verdin, and Pyrrhuloxia. With some luck we may have a chance at a Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl.
The next stop will Estero Llano Grande State Park to look for Hooded Oriole, Green Jay, Common Pauraque, and Buff-bellied Hummingbird. Then we’ll check into our rooms and rest up a bit before checking out roosting areas for Green Parakeets. Finally, after a long day, dinner.
Bentsen State Park
Day Three- Monday, April 19
We’ll head “up valley” early and spend the morning at Salenino on the Rio Grande looking for Morelette’s Seedeater, Audubon’s Oriole, Altamira Oriole, Muscovy Duck, and Red-billed Pigeon. After this stop we’ll check the Starr County Park for Clay-colored Sparrow, Red-billed Pigeon, and Black-tailed Gnatcatcher. After a picnic lunch in Falcon State Park we’ll search for Vermillion Flycatcher, Ash- throated, Flycatcher, Scaled Quail, Chihuahuan Raven, and Black-throated Sparrow.
Falcon State Park
Day Two- Sunday, April 18
Starting close to home, to give people some rest after a long travel day, we will head to Bentsen State Park. Here our target birds are Green Jay, Plain Chachalaca, Altamira Oriole, Clay-colored Thrush, Great Kisskadee, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Gray Hawk, Ringed and Green Kingfisher, and Buff-bellied Hummingbird. After one state park what could be better than another and we’ll visit Estero Llano Grande again and look for Green Kingfisher, Least Grebe, Inca Dove, Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet, and Buff-bellied Hummingbird.
After lunch we’ll check out Anzalduas County Park, where you can look NORTH into Mexico! We’ll target Black Phoebe and Gray Hawk before calling it a day and rest up for dinner.
Day Four- Tuesday, April 20
On our last day we will head out early to search for Botteri’s Sparrow and Aplomado Falcon. Then head for Padre Island to look for migrants plus shorebirds, gulls, and terns. After a late lunch we’ll head back to Corpus Christi in time for a short rest before the end of tour dinner.