2022-09-19 Edinburg Scenic Wetlands

Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron - Nyctanassa violacea
Yellow-Crowned Night-Herons, both adults and juveniles, liked to hunker down in shady places at the edges of the water at the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands.

Monday, when I finished getting the warranty work done on my RV in Weslaco, I drove to Edinburg and paid a visit to the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands only 21 miles away, part of a network of birding destinations called the World Birding Center. I arrived to find nobody attending the front office, and no way to pay the $2 entry fee for seniors. So I carried on and took my camera gear into the reserve to meet any birds that may offer me an opportunity to gather images.

One thing I’ve learned to appreciate about south Texas is the foresight shown by their citizens, and their willingness to set aside tracts of habitable lands for wildlife, especially for birds. Edinburg and McAllen are neighboring communities, centered on some of the highest priced land in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The Edinburg Scenic Wetlands is relatively small, by Texas standards, but its presence provides an island of habitat, where there might just as easily have been a mall, a housing development, or worse, a golf course. Instead, there is a delightful oasis for man and beast.

If there were migrating warblers present during my visit, they hid well. Even the residents teased me with fleeting glimpses. I’d have enjoyed getting good pictures of the Clay-Colored Thrushes that scurried through the dense foliage along the trails weaving through the wooded section of the 40 acre property. But my goal is to accept the meetings that I’m offered, and enjoy those creatures that allow me to capture their images.

My visit may have been ill-timed, both for the time-of year, but also the time-of-day. I suspect I missed out on some of the residents, who thought it wise to rest in the shade, and out of my view. Despite the handicap, I was happy to meet Black-Bellied Whistling-Ducks, Black-Crowned Night-Herons, Buff-Bellied Hummingbirds, Long-Billed Thrashers, Hooded Orioles, Least Grebes, Plain Chachalacas, Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds, Ruddy Ducks, and Yellow-Crowned Night-Herons.

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