Travis Reverses Course

Just hours after most Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival leaders and participants boarded planes and loaded into cars headed out of town, a Rose-throated Becard was found at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

What else for a Binocular on a serious Big Year to do, but to reverse course? Nearly the instant he touched down in Wisconsin, he was boxed back up and caught the first flight right back to south Texas.

Of course, the becard was uncooperative for the hour and a half that I had to search before work last Tuesday- he was a no-show. Sorry, Travis. Travis anxiously awaited the end of my work week (Tue-Sat), and was rearing and ready to go this morning well before dawn.

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The view on the drive from my house to Santa Ana this morning- a typical south Texas sunrise.

A half hour after arriving, Travis and I caught a glimpse of the young male Rose-throated Becard in an orange-berried granjeno tree in the picnic area. Check! My initial instinct was to immediately go run and try for another year bird for Travis, but we restrained, and I’m glad we did — the bird gave us much closer looks!

becard, rose-throated, santa ana-2

Though an undesirable angle, this photo of the Rose-throated Becard is uncropped.


Travis at Santa Ana NWR, TX

Travis at Santa Ana NWR, TX

Travis requested a quick catnap before chasing another life bird. Then, onward to UTPA in Edinburg, where a Tropical Parula has been spending at least a few weeks. It took almost two hours, but we got the bird!

Tropical Parula

Tropical Parula

What a gorgeous life bird for Travis, and an ABA bird for me.


- photos & post by Tiffany Kersten

Tiffany Kersten  Leica birding Pro Staff USA

Tiffany Kersten is a member of the Leica Sport Optics Pro birding team in the US. She specializes in interpretation and education and is the current Supervisor of Environmental Education at Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen, Texas (a world birding center).