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Author Topic: Texas With the Stocks - 2010  (Read 53895 times)

Betty Brewer

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2010, 10:08:56 PM »
Linda,

Sorry that Dean had to back down narrow streets in dark.  Terry said to  remind you that you are retired.  Consider  driving fewer  miles in a day.  If you get in at 2pm  you will have several hours of  daylight to find your space.   Have a good time there anyway.

I did get a chuckle  out of your descriptive story.

Betty
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2010, 08:52:49 PM »
DAY 9—March 21—Port Isabel
   It was a good day!  We drove about ½ hour to Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. Laguna Madre is one of five known hypersaline bays in the world, and its unique seagrass beds provide nutrients and nurseries, as well as stabilizing the coast from erosion.
    As we entered the photo area of the patio in front of the Visitors’ Center, we saw halves of grapefruit stuck on trees and lots of birds eating from them.  A nice Texan told us that the sleek, shiny, jet-black birds were grackles (picture 1) and the small pheasant-like bird was a chachalaca (picture 2).  The VC had a short 6-minute film and a few exhibits.  A lady came in and excitedly told us about the ocelot that had run in front of her car as she and her husband drove the LA NWR’S 15-mile long bayshore drive.  The refuge is home to the majority of the remaining ocelots in the U.S., and they only think there are less than 30.  It  is the national center for ocelot conservation and recovery.  They also have bobcats, jaguarundi and cougars, but we were told that the cats sleep during the day and are rarely seen since the drives are only open from dawn to dusk.
   We walked the trails around the VC and saw lots of birds.  I really wanted to get a picture of their GREEN jays, but they don’t stay still for more than 10 seconds, and most of the time when we saw them, they were in flight.
   We drove out to the alligator pond with high hopes. There are 3 native resident alligators.  We saw something that looked like a log at the far end of a long pond which we told was an alligator (picture 3).
   The 15-mile drive was very pleasant.  There seems to be a rule that if we know what the bird is, we can’t get a picture.  But, we got lots of pictures of unknowns, and I hope that I have figured them out using my birding book.  If anyone can identify them, please let us know.  We saw what I think is a Harris Hawk eating something on the beach (picture 4).  There were several others that looked just like him.
   Out in the water we spied the Great Egret, (picture 5) which I had seen before in San Diego, CA.  There were many of them fishing in the shallow water. 
   The cottontail entertained us for several minutes as he stood up as tall as he could on his hind legs and yanked the leaves off a tree and ate them (picture 6).  We were stopped in our car, just a couple of feet from him, but he was intent on eating.
   The long-billed curlew (picture 7) is aptly named.  Dean patiently followed him with the camera to get a picture of him without the tall sea grass obscuring the view.
   The semi-palmated plover (picture 8) saw us and posed.  We saw beautiful ducks, but they were far away.  They had striking colors, and I think they are shovelers (picture 9).  After we left, we saw a Harris’s Hawk (picture 10) just by the side of the road.
   As we were unloading the car back at the coach, Dean heard a splash right behind the motorhome.  He grabbed the camera and ran to get a picture of the brown pelican (picture 11).  I loved the expression on his face!  Days like this are why we travel!  Awesome!

Miles traveled: 0
Temperature:  High of 75°
Stayed at Long Island Village & RV Park
« Last Edit: March 23, 2010, 09:08:35 PM by Dean & Linda Stock »
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2010, 09:06:17 PM »
Day 9 page 2,

More photos
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2010, 09:15:29 PM »
Day 9 page 3,

I got the photos in the wrong order.  The attached photo was supposed to be the fifth picture.  The duplicated picture is photo # 6.

Sorry about that.

       Dean
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2010, 09:21:49 PM »
Day 10—March 22—Port Isabel
   We got off to a great start as Nellie (our GPS) took us directly to the Harlingen Convention and Visitors Bureau @ the Chamber of Commerce.  The lady was very informative and gave us a lot of brochures.  She told us that the Harlingen Thicket Bird Sanctuary was not worth seeing and saved us a trip.
   The history of the Harlingen Cemetery reminded us of how our racial views have changed.  The graveyard was segregated into Mexican, American, and Negro sections with a separate area for babies.  After 1947, grave sites were no longer allocated by race or ethnicity.  The grave of Joe Callandret showed him as “AN OLD FASHIONED LOUISIANA NEGRO” and said the headstone was “ERECTED BY HIS FRIENDS AND ADMIRERS OF THE CAUCASIAN RACE.”
    We went to the Harlingen Arroyo Colorado/Ramsey Nature Park address that I had, and the GPS repeatedly mal-functioned and we made a big many-block circle.  I used my new maps to navigate to the address, only to find that we were at the park offices in the Civic Center, not the park.  We found the park on our map and managed to find it.  The ratio of insects to birds is about 10,000:1.  Every now and then we would hear ONE bird call.  The feeders were empty, and we decided this was a dud. 
   I had seen an ad for the TX Travel Info Center and that they had free birding and butterfly guides.  This would be a good one-stop info center for the whole Rio Grande Valley, but they were out of the free guides.  They told us that all the other possible places were also out, too.  Bummer!
   We decided to go to a movie, and we looked up the theatre in Harlingen on our GPS.  We called the number to find out what was playing and when, only to find that the number is no longer in service!  So, we came home and posted.  Tomorrow will be a good day; I have lots planned.

Miles Traveled: 0
Temperature: High of 80°
Stayed at Long Island Village and RV Park
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2010, 09:45:33 PM »


I grew up with Blou Wildebeste, Gemsbokke, Blesbokke and all those beautiful South African wild animals. You have them labeled correctly!

Mariekie

Mariekle, than you so much.  It's nice to know when I'm successful.  I was a teacher, and it offends my sense of responsibility to possibly pass on incorrect information.  Thanks so much!

Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2010, 12:11:30 AM »
Day 11—March 23—Port Isabel
   We had a busy, exciting day filled with lots of discoveries.  We started at Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco, and it is the richest wildlife area we’ve seen.  It was what I had pictured the Gulf area would be.  There were wonderful ponds and an alligator lake.  We lingered at each pond and discovered more and different birds. Many of the birds we saw today were at multiple sites, so I combined the pictures to give the best picture of each bird.  I need help identifying #9, 11, 13, 15, and 18.
   Estero Llano is on my MUST SEE list.  Admission to each of the parks today was $2 for me and $1 for Dean (he’s a senior).  At Estero, f you reserve two days in advance, they will take you out with an expert who has a scope in a multi-seat golf cart, and the price Is free!  I think we saw everything there was to see on our own.  There were lots of knowledgeable birders here, and almost everyone we met was from Canada.  We were both thrilled at all  we saw here.  Estero has scheduled 8:30 walks on Wed., Sat., and Sun., and they have lots of special events.  Call ahead, and ask what’s up.
   We passed Fat Daddy’s BBQ & Burgers, ¼ mile south Business 83 on FM 1015 (956) 969-3668.  It had a full parking lot (a good sign!), including a couple of Border Patrol cars.  We hung a U-turn and came back for lunch.  We both had the barbequed “chopped pork”, which was really shredded, and it was out-of-this-world.  People we passed in the parking lot were all very pleased with their meals, particularly the chicken-fried steak.  I will DEFINITELY COME BACK on this trip and buy a pound or two for later.  One meal would feed two people easily.  There were lots of other people there who are RVers and come to the area for extended periods.  They gave us lots of good information.
   We then went to Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen. There is a beautiful 1930’s large adobe home with Spanish architecture and nature trails and it reflects lots of love and attention.  It is extremely well maintained.  The feeders were full.  It is a small, serene urban oasis with tropical gardens, native plants, butterfly attractors. Trails were extra wide and paved or gravel.  We saw lots of chachalacas, red-winged blackbirds, and two very well-fed squirrels with gorgeous tails, who just sat inside the food trays and enjoyed the free lunch.  We also saw a gorgeous kiskadee with a bright yellow belly, but couldn’t get a picture.  They are anxiously awaiting the parrots, parakeets, and hummingbirds who are usually in by now.  I’d come back here on another trip.
   We went about 20 minutes down the road to the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, an amazing lake which was full of a variety of waterfowl.  We didn’t have to walk far on trails; everything was in the lake right outside the Visitor’s Center. But, it was loaded with marine birds.  This is a pretty quick stop—30 minutes to an hour, but well worth the drive. 
   The restroom at Edinburg was immaculate.  I only mention this because I have discovered the importance of carrying my own TP and some of the sites, especially Laguna Atacosa, were really bad.
   What an amazing day!
Picture 1--brilliantly colored red-wing/ tri-colored winged blackbirds & chachalaca    share    a feeding tray
Picture 2--BIG Texas turtles
Picture 3--cinnamon teal on a log
Picture 4--Shovelers dancing on top of the water in a courting ritual
Picture 5—A great egret & snowy egret share a roost
Picture 6—Tri-color heron
Picture 7—Blue heron
Picture 8—Striped alligator
Picture 9—Cute brown unknown
Picture 10—Well-fed squirrel with gorgeous trail
Picture 11--Large brown birds—we saw lots of these
Picture 12—Herons & snowy egret share a roost
Picture 13—Tall black bird with orange beak
Picture 14—Blue teals in flight
Picture 15—Unknown ducks in flilght
Picture 16—Cinnamon teal
Picture 17—Beautiful male shoveler being chased by two ladies.  Bigamy?
Picture 18—Unknown different ducks

Miles Traveled: 0
Temperature: 80°
Stayed at Long Island Village
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #37 on: March 25, 2010, 12:16:45 AM »
Day 11 page 2,

More photos.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2010, 12:23:22 AM »
Day 11 page 3,

More photos.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

elkhartjim

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2010, 08:50:42 AM »
Linda,

On your return trip, consider a stop at Pedernales Falls state park.  Its about 8 miles east of Johnson City (  http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/parkguide/rgn_hc_014.phtml ) .  The reason I suggest this is the birding is fantastic there.  They have just built a new bird blind and the viewing of the birds will be extremely close. 

Of course you are in a great area to view the spring migration.  We have a birding trip planned to Fennessey Ranch in Rockport in April.

Have fun and enjoy our great state.

Jim
Jim & Judy
38' Bounder DP
2005 Jeep Wrangler Sport

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #40 on: March 25, 2010, 11:19:24 PM »
DAY 12—March 24—Port Isabel
   On a scale of 1-10, today was an 11.  We started out at the Visitors’ Center, where they had this lovely sand castle in the foyer (Picture 1), as well as good information.  Then we went to the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center in South Padre Island, an amazing wildlife refuge.  Located right on the Laguna Madre Bay and its mudflats, it is a favorite feeding spot for migrating birds.  We thought we had seen most of the shorebirds over the past few days, but we saw so many here we hadn’t seen before.
   As we exited the Visitors’ Center, we saw black-bellied plovers feeding (Picture 2).  They don’t have black bellies now because they have their winter plumage.  They were very busy hopping from place to place with a run-stop-run pattern than reminded me of the children’s game Red Light, Green Light.
   The high-stepping curlew (Picture 3) was also very active.    We looked further out in the water (the shore extends out in a flat plateau for a long way) and saw the king of the bay, a Great Blue Heron (Picture 4).  We’ve seen lots of these before, but this one had an “attitude”; no one came into his territory—he was the Mohammed Ali.  He actually walked with a swagger, something we’ve never seen them do before.
   The water was full of these mud catfish (Picture 5).  We could see them easily, so they must have been the main course for many of these birds.
   The snowy egret (Picture 6) was also very actively fishing.  I admire their graceful feathers that remind me of a delicate ballerina.
   The tri-color heron (Picture 7) played Hide ‘n Seek with us, in and out of the grass.  He will become more colorful as it gets closer to mating season.
   The Great Blue Heron (Picture 8) watched over the ibises.  They were out in the water, but he just stood guard.
   The Ibis (Picture 9) was practicing his courting dance.  However, the ladies weren’t interested.
   There was a pretty tricolor heron (Picture 10) feeding in the grass.  Is that a bunny in the background?
   The reddish egret  (Picture 11) is not common.  We were surprised to see him sitting on this signpost watching us.
   The colors on the mallard (Picture 12) were vivid, and he knew he was handsome!
   The blue on the wing feathers of the blue-winged teal irridesced in the sunlight (Picture 13).
   Three was too much company as the moor hen (Picture 14 with the orange beak) horned in on the blue-winged teal’s date.
   Dean doesn’t agree, but I think this guy with the blue beak (Picture 15) is a ruddy duck.  So many of these birds don’t have the right colors yet, but the expert birders tell us that this will change, and the ruddy duck is the only one in my book with a blue beak.
   Sitting in the midst of lots of teals, this black-necked stilt stood out (Picture 16)
   The laughing gull (Picture 17) didn’t make any sounds.  I wanted to hear him make his laughing sound.
   We have seen roseate spoonbills before, but these were much pinker, probably because of what they eat (Picture 18).  Dean out-waited them, and they did come out from the tall grass eventually.
   These two black-bellied whistling ducks (Picture 19) were devoted to each other.  We were told that when they fly, they make a whistling sound.  Earlier, we had been told that they were really silly-looking because even though they have webbed feet, they can be seen perching in trees.
   These cattle egrets (Picture 20) look like they are wearing fluffy tams on their heads.  Two of them looked like they were arguing with each other.
   The black-necked stilt (Picture 21) had great balance.  He stayed on just that one leg for the whole time we watched him.  I’d have fallen over in 10 seconds!
   Snowy egrets (Picture 22) are one of my favorite birds because they are so delicate looking.  It is rare to see one out of the water, and this one posed!
   We will definitely come back to Texas next year, just to visit this center again.  It was AWESOME!

Miles Traveled: 0
Temperature:  High of 81°, with rain in the early morning
Stayed at Long Island Village
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #41 on: March 25, 2010, 11:24:38 PM »
Day 12, page 2,

More photos.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #42 on: March 25, 2010, 11:30:36 PM »
Day 12 page 3,

More photos.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

mariekie4

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2010, 11:18:44 AM »
Linda,

I really enjoy your posts with all the pictures! Don't you just love Texas? Certainly one of my favorite States - specially the Hill Country and the Gulf Coast area. Big Bend is a must-see as well, as far as I am concerned.

Enjoy your trip, you seem to be a keen bird watcher.

Mariekie
If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.       George S. Patton.


2007 Winnebago Journey 35'
2011 Jeep Liberty

ArdraF

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2010, 01:21:09 PM »
What a neat variety of birds!  Dean must have the patience of Job....

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #45 on: March 26, 2010, 09:18:21 PM »
Day 13—March 24—Port Isabel
   This trip has either been awesome or awful—we don’t seem to find any middle ground.  Yesterday was heavenly.   Today was…
   Today we went to Sabal Palm Audubon Center & Sanctuary in Brownsville.  Unfortunately, it has been closed because the border fence runs through the middle of it now.  We learned that at times the fence is 5 or 6 miles from the border.
   We thought this would give us extra time at Resaca de la Palma State Park, one of the World Birding Center’s parks about 4 miles outside of Brownsville.  We followed the advice of the GPS and took a rutted dirt road past the new high school, only to find that it dead-ended a mile and many bumps later at the rear boundary of the state park, and there was a padlock on the gate.  We turned around and asked an electrician who was leaving the high school (not open yet), and he told us to go one street down to Carmen and turn.  We did, and we bumped past weedy farms for a couple of miles and finally arrived at paved road, and an oasis.  If we had not relied on the GPS and had instead come in via FM 1732 from US 83, it would have been gorgeous black pavement all the way.
   You had to take a tram to get inside the park, and it was a 45-minute wait for the little tram.  While waiting in the Visitors’ Center, we decided to go on the 0.2 mile trail outside the VC. They have drained all the water and there were no bird feeders; they say they are trying to make it as nature has had it in past years.  No food in the birdfeeders, no water for birds to drink, therefore, no birds---but, LOTS of mosquitoes and other biting insects, who found me to be quite delicious.  We went back to the visitor center, and they said at this time of day (3:30), the birds would be in the bush.  We decided to forego the tram trip and came back home.
   Today was awful & I am really itching from the bites; therefore, tomorrow should be wonderful!
Miles Traveled: 0
Temperature:  High of 81°, with rain and wind in the early morning
Stayed at Long Island Village
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Wendy

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #46 on: March 26, 2010, 09:34:52 PM »
Love the bird pictures. Maybe Texas isn't so bad after all :)
 
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #47 on: March 27, 2010, 08:24:59 AM »
  Terry said to  remind you that you are retired.  Consider  driving fewer  miles in a day.  If you get in at 2pm  you will have several hours of  daylight to find your space.   

I did get a chuckle  out of your descriptive story.


Betty, we drove hard to start with because we left about 3 weeks late, and we wanted to see everything.  We had to skip western Texas, and I wanted to get here before the birds migrated.  At the rate we were going, we were going to get here in time for the FALL migration.  We don't have any more long days planned.  I like to set down early and hate to drive after dark.

I told my story because I'm sure most RVForumers could relate, and I thought it might trigger their own memories of experiences they have had (and maybe just a little bit because I was mad and wanted to vent).  After 3 days here, I wrote a note to the "Contact Us" on the park's website.  I wanted to commend the security guard who stayed with us throughout the whole ordeal and helped us back into the space in the dark.  The manager of the 1024 space RV park stopped by and apologized and gave us $10 at the coffee shop.  The breakfasts were between $4-$5, so it paid for most of our breakfast yesterday, which was pretty good.  Despite the high price ($260/wk.) and snafu, I would come back here again.  Yesterday, crossing the little bridge that leads to the park, I saw one or two dolphins.   

Linda

Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #48 on: March 27, 2010, 08:41:59 AM »
Linda,

On your return trip, consider a stop at Pedernales Falls state park.  Its about 8 miles east of Johnson City (  http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/parkguide/rgn_hc_014.phtml ) .  The reason I suggest this is the birding is fantastic there.  They have just built a new bird blind and the viewing of the birds will be extremely close. 
  We have a birding trip planned to Fennessey Ranch in Rockport in April.


Hi, Jim!

Glad to meet you!  When we come  to Austin later in the trip, we will see how our time is working out.  If not, it will go on my list of places to go to next time.  We will definitely come back to Texas for another trip.

We will also be in Rockport in April.  We haven't put dates on our itinerary, but it goes--(1) here (2) Corpus Christi (3) Port Aransas (4) Rockport.  I will look up Fennessey Ranch and learn more; thanks for the tip.

Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #49 on: March 27, 2010, 08:53:49 AM »
Don't you just love Texas? Big Bend is a must-see as well, as far as I am concerned.

Enjoy your trip, you seem to be a keen bird watcher.

Mariekie

I hate a love (most of the time)/hate relationship with Texas.  We will be back.  South Padre Island is in my top 5 places I've ever visited (including New Zealand and Europe).

I really am enjoying the bird watching, but I can't claim the title of bird watcher.  I am the rankest of amateurs with a couple of books.   That's why I am hoping someone will recognize my unnamed critters.  When the birds don't match their pictures in the book, I am lost.  But, we have met so many birders, and they have been especially helpful--the Canadians most of all.

Glad you are enjoying it!

Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2010, 08:57:48 AM »
Dean must have the patience of Job....

ArdraF

Dean can be stubborn (sometimes good, sometimes not).  Sometimes it's a matter of "I AM going to get your picture!"  It almost becomes a game that he will win.

We saw another pretty blue coach the other day, but it wasn't as pretty as yours. We were reminded of you.  Hope to see you at Hop-Skip-Jump.

Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #51 on: March 27, 2010, 01:56:01 PM »
We're signed up and looking forward to seeing everyone again.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

mariekie4

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #52 on: March 27, 2010, 04:17:32 PM »
Linda,

If you plan to stay in the  Port Aransas area, we can recommend Mustang Island State Park. It has 26 sites with water and electric (50 amp). Coming from the Brownsville area, you can access it via the JFK Causeway to TX 361. This park is located on the Gulf and we love it.

Mariekie
If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.       George S. Patton.


2007 Winnebago Journey 35'
2011 Jeep Liberty

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #53 on: March 27, 2010, 06:04:55 PM »

If you plan to stay in the  Port Aransas area, we can recommend Mustang Island State Park. It has 26 sites with water and electric (50 amp). Coming from the Brownsville area, you can access it via the JFK Causeway to TX 361. This park is located on the Gulf and we love it.

Mariekie

I will call right away and try to book it.  Thanks for the tip!

Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Wendy

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #54 on: March 27, 2010, 06:53:18 PM »
Linda, you can make reservations for Texas state parks on reserveamerica.com - you don't need to call, just jump on the computer !!
 
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #55 on: March 27, 2010, 08:11:02 PM »
DAY 14—March 26—Port Isabel
   Today as we crossed the small bridge that leads from the RV park, I saw a dolphin jump out of the water twice!  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  What a great way to start a good day!  Later, the locals told me this happens all the time, but I still was thrilled.
   We went to the Gladys Porter Zoo in  Brownsville.  It is rated a gem by AAA, and it has made the top 10 zoos in the U.S.  It had about 60 exhibits of endangered and unusual animals.  We have been to lots of zoos, and this one had a lot of animals I’m sure I’ve never seen before.
    It was very sunny when we arrived a little before noon, and it was siesta time.  The walkways were shaded by great trees.  Often the labels were non-existent or general.  They would give you information about birds in general, but not name the specific bird you were looking at.  If anyone knows any of the unknowns, would you please let me know?
   One unusual animal family we saw was a mandrill mother, father, two teens, and a baby.  I wish we could have been able to take a picture through the glass. They had beautiful faces with bright red nose and mouth, and black stripes on his white cheeks.  Their rumps were baby blue, light pink, and hot pink.
   Many of the animals were sleeping.  The spectacled bear (picture 1) was especially relaxed.
   The wattled crane (picture 2) posed for his picture.
   We thought the bontebok (picture 3) was especially beautiful and is rarely seen in zoos.  Their numbers dropped to slightly more than a dozen when 2 South African Dutch families gave them sanctuary on their farms.  They’re making a slow comeback..
   The Dama Gazelle (picture 4) is a vanishing species.
   We’ve seen the Bongo Antelope (picture 5) before, but they were awake.
   In picture 6, is this guy with red pouches protruding from his cheeks some kind of a guinea?  He isn’t in my bird book for Texas.
   This unknown duck (picture 7) was beautiful when the sunlight hit his feathers and turned them from what I thought was black to a shiny forest green.  Does anyone know what kind he is ?
   This unknown black large bird (picture 8) had such a weird beak and scale-shaped feathers.
   The Kudu (picture 9) is one I think we’ve seen before, but he was so handsome.
   The Arabian Oryx (picture 10) is a vanishing species.
   This monkey (picture 11) posed for us and enjoyed listening to me talk at him.
   Can anyone identify this black-and-white duck (picture 12).
   This double-wattled cassowary (picture 13) had a hurt foot, but when I asked him to come pose for a picture, he came from the rear of the enclosure to see us.  He had shade back there, and he came out into the sun.  I really liked him.
   This tree kangaroo (picture 14) hopped from limb to limb.  He can jump 30 feet, and he can drop 60 feet for the ground without hurting himself.
   Who is this unknown duck (picture 15)?
   This wild bird (picture 16) flew in as we were leaving, and he had such bright colors!  At one point he perched on the side of a tree, and I think he might be a  Gila woodpecker.
   There were lots of wild birds at the zoo.  The great egrets were making a deep call and gathering twigs.  We saw lots of whistling ducks, long-tailed grackles,  and laughing gulls.
   One of the cool things about this zoo is the close proximity to the animals.  I could have reached out and touched a flamingo.  I was eyeball-to-eyeball with a one-armed orangutan mother.  I must have passed inspection because she let her baby come over to the window and climb up to also look me over.  They had a wonderful free-flight exhibit where military macaws and blue and yellow macaws flew from branch to branch or across the lengthy cage.  The colors you see when they fly are five times more spectacular than the colors you see when they are at rest, which are impressive.
   Both of us were concerned about the small enclosures and lack of stimulating toys and activities that we’ve seen in other zoos.  Overall, however, we would definitely recommend this zoo.  Admission was about $20.
Miles Traveled: 0
Temperature: 80°
Stayed at Long Island Village
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #56 on: March 27, 2010, 08:14:53 PM »
Day 14 page 2,

More photos.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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  • Posts: 1195
Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #57 on: March 27, 2010, 08:20:26 PM »
Day 14 page 3,

More photos.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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  • Posts: 1195
Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #58 on: March 27, 2010, 08:52:17 PM »
Linda, you can make reservations for Texas state parks on reserveamerica.com - you don't need to call, just jump on the computer !!
 
Wendy

WENDY, YOU ARE AN ANGEL!  I never check back on the Forum after I post, but tonight I did.
 I feel like such a "newbie" still.  This website will go into my files for sure.  I am on my way to the site.

Linda
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Wendy

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Re: Texas With the Stocks - 2010
« Reply #59 on: March 27, 2010, 09:42:54 PM »
Even if you don't make a reservation at reserveamerica.com, it comes in handy to see size of sites, maps of campgrounds, etc. And, yes, I am an angel  ;D
 
Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug