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Anzalduas Farewell

Thursday, December 6, 2012

On our last morning in Texas, we went to Edinburg Wetlands and Anzalduas Park, which looks right across the Rio Grande to Mexico. There were so many beautiful things at Anzalduas. I was hoping hard for scissor-tailed flycatchers, but we found other things. A kestrel, leaving a wire.

A glorious adult white-tailed hawk. Yum!

That bird in my previous post, heavily marked on belly and underwing, was a subadult.  This adult's immaculate and unlike anything else flying.

Bill spotted a fabulous serpent slithering away from us in the park: a Texas indigo snake!!

Liam and Phoebe wanted to get away from it!

It was about 4.5' long, quite thick, and not very fast.

But highly intelligent and suspicious of my motives. Which were merely to capture its fluid beauty. It refused to cross the pavement while I was following it, even though some riprap and shrubbery on the other side beckoned safety. It knew that it would be unable to travel fast on smooth asphalt, so it stayed in the grass and gravel where it could gain some purchase with its belly scutes. Smart serpent.

But the stars of the show at Anzalduas (at least when the scissortails aren't there) are the vermilion flycatchers. Oh, what a bird. This is a female, I believe.

Check out the back of that crown!!

O perfect and beautiful bird, like a phoebe that got into the makeup trunk.

We waited, and the perfect happened: a young male vermilion flycatcher landed on a painted post. Ahhh. What a lovely Anzalduas farewell.

And so goodbye to the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, and the wondrous birds of south Texas.


Oof! That indigo is a proper awesome beastie.


I'm in love with vermillion flycatchers, too! We see them in Central Mexico all the rime when we're there at our house. The one you've pictured, however, is the male. She is very dun colored on top with very, very little red. Check out some of the photos on the web and you'll see what I mean. Will have to check out Anzalduas sometime when we head down that way.

I love the confluence of color between the flycatcher and post. Gorgeous shot, Julie. With respect to the snake, I would love to encounter more of them in the wild, even though I rarely do. What a serendipitous encounter.

Stefanie is right - looks like you've got two young male Vermilions on your hands! Looove the Indigo Snake; I've yet to see another since I moved away from the RGV in '06 in spite of my annual pilgrimage... ah well, got my life Zick last time, so I can't complain!

have not been in TX in many years but we went to Anzalduas too and now I feel as if had another visit by reading your blog. Thanks.

Thanks guys for the correction. What I know about vermilion flycatchers you could put in an overturned thimble.

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