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2020-03-22 Passing Through Harlingen Texas

Black-Bellied Whistling-Duck - Dendrocygna autumnalis
As I was leaving Harlingen Texas and heading to Brownsville, I looked at the birding opportunities that might be in town. By chance I noticed several Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks gathered along a canal. I had to stop.

In Harlingen Texas, where I stayed Sunday night, I noticed Red-Crowned Parrots. So I did a little research and read about a neighborhood where they’d been seen before. I set a course and drove there, but they never showed. Instead I saw and photographed Great Kiskadees. The images I captured were not stellar, but I enjoyed getting to know these boisterous birds a little better. Later when I decided my vigil was unlikely to yield any more fruit, I set a course for Brownsville and got under way.

Before I got a mile into my trip, I passed a canal in town and saw Black-Bellied Whistling-Ducks lined up along the banks. I pulled into a nearby parking lot and wandered out to meet them. I spent three quarters of an hour with them, making very slow advances until I reached a distance that seemed appropriate. This was another “first meeting” for me and it brightened my day.

This post completes the stories and images I’ve stored up getting to Brownsville, where I’ve been laying low for the past week (plus). Atascosa NWR is near to my present location and when I last checked, was open to explore. My van (RV) is my home and I’ve been keeping to myself (sheltering in place) this entire trip. Social distancing has been my modus operandi even before the present day crisis. Many of the higher profile locations I had my heart set on when I embarked on this trip have closed down. Even if I see not one more birding location on this expedition, it has been a remarkable run. Meeting Texas and her citizens has been a splendid experience for me.

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