Monday, March 8, 2021

The Birds at Hugh Ramsey Nature Center in Harlingen, TX

Sparky has been to Hugh Ramsey Nature Park in Harlingen quite a few times now. The cactus were severely affected by the frost and a drought. They are dead and dying, and there is a pungent smell in the air. But, spring is here in the Rio Grand Valley, and little buds are starting to come back to life after the severe cold spell that lasted about three days a couple of weeks ago.... 

There are several nature paths that take you all around the park, going by ponds, evergreens, and protected areas where lots of birds congregate. There are ponds covered with duckweed, and although the scenery there looks pretty, Sparky hasn't seen any birds or ducks. The ponds attract kingfishers during the year, but none have been spotted so far. 

The trail paths are NOT handicapped friendly, are uneven, and there is a tiny bit of elevation change as far as navigating the ups and downs with some of the paths being very rutted. Some of the bird blinds are in sorry shape but still function. 

There is a new one, though, that was an Explorer Scout project. It looks really nice.

Altamira oriole
However, despite the bleak grayness of the landscape and the decaying cactus, Sparky returns again and again, because it's a nice place to get a little walk in, and there are several spots where there are bird feeders, suet cakes and treats for the birds, so they flock to these feeding areas. Some of the birds Sparky has seen are: the tufted titmouse, the Altamira oriole, hummingbirds, green jays, and various warblers.

Can you tell the oriole is one of Sparky's faves? Sparky also saw a juvenile indigo bunting (she thinks) at the feeders today...
juvenile indigo bunting?

And the tufted titmouse is a very small, fast flitting bird, so it was great to capture it quickly, even if it is a little bit blurry!

Tufted titmouse

There are ALWAYS chachalacas at the park...those bigger birds that run like road runners quickly through the bush to get from one place to another. Sparky thinks Chachalacas would make a great Mexican restaurant name here in Texas, haha. (She just likes saying the name a lot, laughs Eldo.)


Another cloudy and windy day at the preserve....Fun to see these different birds that are so specific to this part of the country...Sparky likes this park more and more as she explores it. We'll see you around next time in maybe a different location!

Hugh Ramsey Nature Preserve

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