2022-09-16 SPI on a Friday

Friday, after my morning visits with the birds at Sheepshead and later at the SPI Convention Centre, I took a break from the worst of the midday heat, and retired to my campsite across the road from the SPICC, where I found shelter under the air conditioner in my RV, and I could work on the images and stories of my time on the island.

Prior to leaving the Convention Centre in the late morning, some friends showed up that I’d not seen since the 2021 Spring Migration here on South Padre, and we had the chance to swap stories on our respective adventures. Todd, Ava and I had been keeping in touch via Facebook, but what a nice surprise it was to visit with them in person. They live now in Harlingen, but told me of their recent adventures in Arizona. They pointed out that the information I shared on my website under a section called “Birding Destinations” proved useful as research on places to visit. The pages offer information on places I’ve found interesting as I’ve rambled in search of birds. Their interest was in the Arizona pages. It was great to learn that someone was able to use the stories I’ve been sharing on my website the way I intended.

When the sun began its descent toward the west, I took advantage of the afternoon light and paid a second visit to the Convention Centre. I found it a struggle to capture warbler images, so I walked out to the boardwalk hoping to meet migrating birds in a different light. A bright male Blue Grosbeak appeared briefly, but with the sun behind him, I couldn’t get a shot before he lit out for parts unknown. 

There are two boardwalks that traverse the wetlands between the Convention Centre and the Birding and Nature Center next door. While they don’t connect, they run next to each other along a portion of the walk. When I reached that section of the boardwalks, another nature lover who I’d met earlier in the week at breakfast, recognised me and we carried on a pleasant conversation, reminiscent of how in the TV show, Tim the Tool Man Taylor and his neighbor Wilson might have done; me on one side and my friend Earl on the other. It was lovely.

I’ve fallen madly in love with south Texas, and keep meeting people here that reinforce that feeling. Some of the folks I meet have lived here most of their lives, and others are more recent arrivals. Still others are temporary visitors such as myself. The bond we all seem to share is a love of nature. 

My day on this Friday visit to South Padre Island produced meetings with Black-Bellied Whistling-Ducks, Blackburnian Warblers, Hooded Warblers, Least Sandpipers, Northern Parulas, Olive-Sided Flycatchers, Red-Eyed Vireos, Roseate Spoonbills, Wilson’s Warblers, and some birds too shy to have their pictures taken.

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