First a couple days of driving, trying to catch up after the pothole incident. Then, our first week in Brownsville. It has started off slow because of a cold front where it is warmer in Calgary than here. As the week progresses so does the weather. As things improve we were able to get out and see the sights of Brownsville and do some wildlife watching as well.
Brownsville is very old and not particularly well maintained. In fact, we were supposed to stay here two weeks but after one we decided to move on to Galveston. Galveston was not on our original plan but we added it as we had done everything in Brownsville we wanted to do.
The weather here in Brownsville is not co-operating. At a high of 10 degrees Celsius, we are 4 degrees colder than Calgary and with a howling, cold wind. So we decided to try a museum in the downtown area and an old cemetery. Not all that exciting or photogenic. Next a quick trip out to South Padre Island. We may go back here another day when the weather is better.
Today we headed off to the Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area. This was quite pleasant because it is a little secluded and other than a few people fishing there were not many people. On the way we passed an under construction, SpaceX launch site. Then we drove on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico for several kilometers. The beach literally has millions of shells in the sand.
We were able to photograph some pretty cool birds today. A Turkey Vulture and several Harris Hawks. Also, a few Crested Caracara, a South American falcon. Strange looking birds. Orange and blue beaks and I'm pretty sure Donald Trump copied his hair style from these birds (sans the colour).
Today we were off to the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. On the way we stooped at the Palo Alto Battfield National Historic Site. The Palo Alto Battle (1846) was the first battle of the Mexican-American War. While the Americans were outnumbered, their artillery was more accurate and had a longer range than the Mexican guns. This turned the tide in favour of the Americans.
At the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge we saw lots of interesting creatures. First off was the Green Jay. Beautiful. And, definitely a Jay. Same cheeky attitude as our Blue Jay. Also, White Tipped Doves, Northern Mockingbirds, Great-Tailed Grackles, Northern Parula Warbler, a Kiskadee, a Chestnut Sided Warbler, an Eastern Yellowbelly Racer snake a Cottontail Rabbit, Least Grebes, Tri-Cloloured Heron and and American Alligator or two. As for the alligator, he was on the bank but as soon as I pointed the camera he became camera shy and scooted into the water where he kept a close "eye" on us. Her even smiled for the camera once!
Today we went to the Resaca De La Palma State Park & World Birding Center. While we didn't see as many birds, there were lots of butterflies. There were a couple ladies there who were obviously experts as they could name every one of them and were very excited about seeing a couple of them. We also took a tour with a very nice young lady Park Ranger. Didn't see too much, but she was very knowledgeable and the ride was very nice.