I’m getting closer to making good on my threat to hit the road in earnest. Texas is calling. My goal outbound is to connect with some friends in Arizona and perhaps chase a few birds along the way before I tackle all those Texas miles. I have no delusions of seeing all that Texas offers, but I’ve dreamed of exploring Big Bend and the Lower Rio Grande Valley for decades.
My preparations started with a trip to AAA for maps, but was sorely disappointed that there was only a state map for Texas available. Such a map is a far cry from the minimum requirement for navigation. I will navigate with Google, but that requires an internet connection, and I’ve read that some of my targets in Big Bend will not have any service, so I purchased a NatGeo map for that region. Feeling I needed more information, I bought some books. So far “A Birder’s Guide To The Rio Grande Valley” seems to be a great resource, but I picked up a couple more about the Texas Coast just in case (“A Birder’s Guide To The Texas Coast” and “Finding Birds On The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail”). These will be my companions on the trip, and I expect they’ll be of help finding worthwhile encounters with avifauna and other wildlife.
I’d like to get as many meetings with birds that I can, while working my way to the Gulf Coast down the Rio Grande. There are so many new (for me) birds I hope to meet. I suspect the timing of my trip will be earlier than optimum for some of the birds, but such is life!
Whooping Cranes are birds I’ve heard about for over 60 years and I plan to travel the Texas coast at least as far as Aransas NWR. While the cranes will be the primary lure, I look forward to meeting as many gulf birds as I can, capturing their images as I go. I will actively resist all navigation that subjects me to freeway driving, and find as many two-lane blacktop options as I can. If anyone reading this wishes to chime in on promising places to visit, I would be most appreciative.