Thursday, May 22, 2014

Number 42: Estero Llano Grande State Park

It seems like stalling, and I admit, it is.  Though we visited our park number 42 weeks ago I am just now finishing the post.  Why so long to tell you all about Estero Llano Grande State Park?  The birds.

Altamira Oriole
The birds!  We documented 57 different species of birds on our walk through this park with two wonderful Rangers and a couple very knowledgeable birders.

They spotted birds that I would have walked by without noticing.

American Avocet
The problem came when I got home from the park, downloaded all my photos, and began the process of labeling what we saw.

Buff-Bellied Hummingbird
I didn't catch all 55 birds on camera, and not every shot was as clear as I would have liked, but what I did have took a lot time.  Thus, the stalling began.

Indigo Bunting
There were so many!  And I know so little.

White-Rumped Sandpiper
And to further complicate things (going back to the barely a novice thing) so many of the birds look alike.

Stilt Sandpiper and Pectoral Sandpiper
But over time, with the help of the park through Facebook and other bird enthusiasts at work, I have been able to sort my pictures to share.

Our experience at number 42 might make this my favorite park: but at the very least, it's one of my best experiences at one.

Green Heron; look closely
It doesn't have the breath-taking canyons like Palo Duro or amazing fall color like Lost Maples, but what it did have was spectacular and I can't wait to go back in another season and see more.  I am especially interested in the ducks next winter.

Fulvous Whistling Duck
If you go, please take the bird walk tour.  It's the best of what the park has to offer.