For my first post in this series, I've selected one of my favorite birding locations in the United States, Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco, Texas. Anyone that's ever birded in the Rio Grande Valley should know this park quite well as it's a great place to find all of the Valley specialties and has also hosted more than its fair share of rare birds.
I visited this park on my first trip to the Valley in 2010 and have been sure to go back at least once every time I've been in south Texas since. The park offers a fantastic diversity of habitats leading to its list of birds being long and varied. From ducks and wading birds in the impoundments to passerines in the tropical zone, this park offers a little bit of everything.
You can see a large number of species just by spending some time on the covered deck that is attached to the visitor's center. From that spot, you can see many herons, egret, ducks, and shorebirds.
|Least Grebes are commonly found just off the large deck at the Visitor's Center.|
|The impoundments at Estero Llano Grande can be a great place to photography waterfowl like this Northern Shoveler.|
|Although the photo might not be great, this was my lifer Rose-throated Becard. This is a rare bird in the Valley, but the Tropical Zone at Estero Llano Grande State Park is a great place to look for one.|
|This Common Paraque seemed to not even know that we were looking at it!|