|Street view of the 15 acre Frontera Audubon in Weslaco, Texas|
|Frontera's Visitor Center Patio|
I was immediately in love with the place. The trails were naturally soft, foot friendly, the stretches to navigational signs were short, and best of all, a lovely canopy formed from the thickets made the trails shadowy - cool - in short, totally 'Claire friendly'. Before long I arrived at the spot where the Blue Bunting had most recently been seen.
The thicket was pretty ordinary and notable only by the nearly invisible shallow, human-made pond in its center. In front of the area sat four grim looking birders. I dared not speak, but sat on a bench next to them, and like them, stared grimly at the thicket - to no notable avail.
Eventually I spoke, asking about the target Bunting, and was told it had shown earlier in the day, and hadn't been seen since. Uh.. huh. Rats. I rose, and decided to further investigate. Off down the trail I went.
There was no lack of bird-life in the woods. A noisy flock of the parrots which only the evening before had been lifers for me, flew by overhead. There were also several rest areas with jumbles of feeders filled with titmouses, numerous Northern Cardinals, little Buff-breasted Hummingbirds and noisy Chachalacas.
|Ovenbird - difficult to photograph through thick foliage, |
that hopped around, and drew quite a viewing audience
|A chuffy little Olive Sparrow, moving about like a mouse in the underbrush|
|The little Bunting was a lovely deep cobalt blue with black feathers around his eyes and bill|
|He had quite an excited audience watching his every move|
|One last view of that cheeky right profile and little blue boy was off again!|
I walked around a bit more in hopes of perhaps spotting the three other birds I wanted to see at this site, but when they were a no show, I headed for the exit. On the way I met a birder who asked about the Bunting and I filled him in on its probable locations. He filled me in on where he'd just viewed another rarity, a White-throated Thrush. The bird was quite near the same refuge where I saw the Northern Jacana yesterday. Hum... suspect I know where I will head off to in the morning!
|The miracle of the|
Christmas Blue Bunting