Saturday, March 05, 2016

Estero Llano Grande World Birding Center

Photos by Barb B

Our guide was John.

The dead tree is a Banyon tree. They will take over a whole city if given a chance. This one was purposely killed to save the oak.

 Sego Palm is very common in the valley
 This birding center is a former RV park. The owners daughter sold it after her fathers death. People with mobile homes could stay as long as they chose but if they ever leave they cannot return. This is why many cement pads are visible. It is also why there are many plants growing that are not native to south Texas. RV residents would visit garden centers and buy $5 pots of flowers and then plant them. They are no longer watered so just like the residents who were grandfathered in they too can stay as long as they can survive on their own. So this part of the birding center has an abundance of exotic plants not native to Texas

This photo is made larger so you can see the Chachalacas at the base of the tree. Chachalacas are named by the sound they make. We have some south of Magnolia park and we frequently hear their raucus cha-cha-lac-a.

This is a spiny lizard and it blends in very well with its surroundings.

A live Banyon tree

 This is a date palm. We have some of these in Magnolia park. One is on Cottonwood street.

John is showing us a butterfly vine. Their flower resembles a butterfly.

This is a Texas bluebonnet. Not a native of south Texas it grows abundantly in Hill Country.


Soft shelled turtles

  I do not remember the name of this bird. John assured us it would not move because they are nocturnal and sleep in the day. It didn't move.

Spanish dagger (Yucca) John said he had one of these go right through his finger. He said he did not feel a thing. They are razor sharp.

This is another nocturnal bird. And it is a ground feeder. I had to be shown where it was located. Kay Stilson is the one who spotted it first. Hint- It is smack dab in the middle of the photo.

Crape myrtle?
 Papa alligator

Mama alligator

Pack rat nest. They make it near a cactus for protection.

The cactus are starting to bloom. This is a native of south Texas.

 Bougainvilla- Not a native plant.
 Nancy H. who was in the tram ahead of us.
 Shrimp plant.
 Tiny sandpipers and other wading birds.
We had a great time and I would go again.

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