RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge

                             Wednesday 3/27/2013

While still in Harlingen, TX, we took a drive east to go to another wildlife refuge.

The drive from Harlingen was about 30 miles.

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge

We were told by someone in the visitor center to take the very short walk behind the center to see the alligator. Do you see it?

With the extreme drought in this area, the pond that the alligator use to live in is all dried up,

So he moved into the water trough.

We finished the very short trail behind the center,

then headed for the Lakeside Drive in the car,

to Osprey Outlook.

Osprey Outlook

Not too many wildlife there.

This bird was really far out, so I could not get a good look or picture of it. Maybe a Tri -Colored Heron?

Next we drove to the starting point to drive the 15 Mile Loop.

Throughout the entire loop there are speed bumps to keep guests at a slow speed to save the lives of Ocelots

We saw some birds on the road ahead of us, so I had Joe creep slowly until they flew off.

Crested Caracara
We saw one of these in Rockland, Texas earlier this winter.

A viewing spot of the lowland.

and the cactus flower.

Across the road from the stopping spot, was a dried up wetland area.

The visitor center told us we would see alligator tracks in the mud of the ponds. We think these are their tracks.

Next stop was Plover Point Observation Deck.

Way off in the distance I spotted a Reddish Egret. We had never seen one before, so we wish it had been closer.

Without the zoom, this egret would be just a dot.

From this deck we could see South Padre Island.

A Great Blue Heron takes flight.

Looking south on the deck without the zoom.

Map of the refuge.

Where we were on our drive.

We continue our drive along the water and see more tracks. It was a bit cloudy and chilly that day, so no alligators were out.

Once again on our drive we spotted another Crested Caracara.

Once again Joe drove slowly up to it.

The tree that it was on was right next to the road.

I was very blessed to get these shots.

After a few pictures he decided he had given me enough poses, and he was off on the hunt again.

More alligator tracks.

Cactus along the water.

The flowers start out pink.

then turn yellow.

Opuntia aciculata

Then yellow orange when they open

Next stop, Redhead Ridge Overlook.

While I used the restroom, Joe found this old tortoise shell.

A short climb to the lookout from the parking lot.

There were no redheads to be seen. Maybe they all headed north already like so many of the snowbirds in our park have  done.

We did see another bird in flight.

Maybe another Crested Caracara.

Looking at Bayside Lake from the deck.

Zoom in to see South Padre Island from the deck

Trek back down the hill.

Further down the road we came to the Moranco Blanco Trail that we thought about doing for half of it.

It looked kind of boring, so we decided to pass. Besides we were told by the visitor center that mountain lions have been spotted from the refuge to Port Isabel to the south.

We leave Harlingen, Texas tomorrow, and will be staying at Choke Canyon StatePark for two nights off I-37, and then we will continue to Canyon Lake just north of San Antonio. Joe said that he read that internet service could be minimal in Choke Canyon, so I guess I'll do some reading.

To be continued: