2021-02-06 Edinburg Scenic Wetlands

Plain Chachalaca - Ortalis vetula
I’d been catching glimpses of Chachalacas on visits to other birding venues this winter, but here they were more cooperative. I had an errand to run in McAllen Texas on Saturday and took the opportunity to meet a new birding location in the area, called the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands. What a lovely place!

It takes a little over an hour of freeway driving to reach Edinburg (Texas) from my camp in Brownsville. The reserve encompasses 40 acres, but most of the trails available for exploring are within a 0.8 acre patch nearest the visitor center. Contained in this small section is almost a mile of trails winding through native vegetation and water features, with interesting birds around every corner.

Saturday I stayed 3 hours (noon to 3pm) at the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands. This is not a large reserve, but like Goldilocks found Baby Bear’s bed and porridge, it was just right! There were large water bodies on the reserve, but many of the interesting birds near the ponds and canals were either too far away to photograph, or obscured by dense foliage. However, the feeding stations were well stocked and provided me with some of my most satisfying photo-ops. Inca Doves and Chachalacas had eluded me this winter on the other reserves I’d visited, but were readily available to my camera here. I may have gone overboard taking pictures of them.

By day’s end, I’d met and photographed the following species: Anhinga, Black-Crowned Night-Heron, Cattle Egret, Curve-Billed Thrasher, Great Egret, Inca Dove, Long-Billed Thrasher, Northern Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird, Orange-Crowned Warbler, Plain Chachalaca, Purple Martin, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, and Snowy Egret.

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