2022-09-20 Tuesday at Quinta Mazatlán

I spent most of Tuesday suffering for my art, under the heat and humidity that hung like a blanket over the 20 acre bird sanctuary in McAllen Texas, called Quinta Mazatlán. This property was once a 1930s estate for the wealthy, but when it came up for sale by auction in 1998, concerned citizens convinced … Read more

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 … Read more

2022-09-15 Thursday on the Island

As my time on South Padre draws near its end, I wish I could stay for months, instead of the weeks available in my time-budget. It is especially hard to think about leaving when a fresh supply of warbler species starts showing up.  Like most days here on the island, I began my morning at … Read more

2022-09-12 SPI on Monday

September days on South Padre Island can be hot as hell, with enough humidity to keep me dripping in sweat from dawn to dusk, and through the night. It can wear me down, and if not for the amazing birds I get to meet, I’d sooner stay under cover and in an air-conditioned space. But … Read more

2022-09-11 Sunday on South Padre Island

After breakfast Sunday, I stopped at Sheepshead, where I met a Northern Parula and a more typical female Blackburnian Warbler than the bird I met on Saturday at the SPI Convention Centre. When I left Sheepshead, I headed north to the SPI Convention Centre. There were few visitors of the two-legged variety, but a fair … Read more

2022-09-08 on the Island

Thursday and Friday I split my time between the SPI Birding and Nature Center, and the SPI Convention Centre. But it was my long day at the Convention Centre Thursday that proved to be the most eventful. The mornings each began at the Sheepshead Sanctuary, where I met my friend Mary. We left there after … Read more

2022-09-06 SPI Convention Centre

What can I say about the South Padre Island Convention Centre I’ve not said already? For me, last Tuesday had an added enjoyable dimension to my visit, when my friend Horacio showed up to bird with us. I first met him during the long spring I spent here in 2021 and appreciated how generous he … Read more

2021-05-02 SPI On A Sunday

I spent Sunday at South Padre Island (Texas) and couldn’t resist shooting flycatchers. For most of us interested in learning to identify birds, small flycatchers are among the most difficult groups of birds to identify in the field by sight alone. I enjoy the entire flycatcher family, but as we meet more of them, we … Read more

2021-04-29 Mini-Fallout at SPI

Thursday morning started off slow, and stayed that way most of the day, but ended with a flurry of activity, when a new batch of warblers fell from the sky. I arrived at the Convention Centre early, but I didn’t take very many pictures. The birds I met were lovely, and other visiting birders were … Read more

2021-04-20 SPI Tuesday’s Bright Sun

Addendum: I learned recently, with the help of more experienced birders, that the bird I identified as a Philadelphia Vireo was, in fact, a Warbling Vireo, and the guide I used for the original ID was misleading. Tuesday began with hardly a cloud in the sky, and barely a whisper of breeze. The crowds at … Read more