It is great to be back. However, I am ready to go again. I just don’t get enough of the Big Bend area of west Texas. But here we are back in San Angelo again. I noticed that while I was gone I had visitors to my blog from three more countries. Up to 127 now. I didn’t realize how many countries there are. Also I have had 53,245 hits. Rats, I was going to give a prize for the 52, 674th hit. Missed that. Okay, we’ll think about a prize for whoever gets hit number 55,183. 🙂
So anyway, after we stayed in a motel at Marathon, Texas on Sunday night, we headed south to Big Bend National Park on Monday morning. The park entrance is about 30 miles south of Marathon, then it is another 50 miles or so the park headquarters. BBNP is a huge park. About 800,000 acres. At the park headquarters at Panther Junction, we visited the ‘facility’, then checked the nature trail nearby to see if there was any wildlife. It was quiet except for a Canyon Towhee scurrying through the cacti.
We then headed to the Rio Grande Village campground which is about 40 miles east of the headquarters. Did I tell you that BBNP is a huge park? We weren’t planning on camping there but it is a hot spot for birding. There is also a great nature trail and a really neat wetlands area. The nature trail takes you through native vegetation of various cacti and other desert plants, and eventually up atop a butte with a magnificent view of the Rio Grande River and the village of Boquillasa across in Mexico.
In Rio Grande Village campground, the “snowbirds” were beginning to leave. That is what we call the people from the north who fill up the campground in the winter with their motor homes and RVs. With them leaving there are more open spaces to roam around to look for birds and wildlife. We saw several birds, including a Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (Polioptila melanura) that was another ‘lifer’ for me. Number 243, thank you very much. I had reported it originally as a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, but my good friend Linda White alertly caught my error, after she examined some of my other images of the bird. We also saw a Great Blue Heron in the wetlands area of the nature trail.
This Brewer’s Blackbird was photographed at the motel in Marathon, Texas, early in the morning before we left. The early morning sun accentuated the irredescence of his colors. More tomorow.
Beautiful photos, love the canyon and blackbird. I would be what you call a “snowbird” LOL 🙂 Keep ’em comin’!
A ‘snowbird’ is nothing to be ashamed of,we met a lot of them on our trips. Thanks for the comments, Sheila.
Bob you always have so much fun on your outings! My Bob and I need to get out more I think. I have heard you mention the term “lifer” before and my guess is that it means it is the first sighting. Am I correct in that assumption? ~ Lynda
You are right, Lynda. It was my very first sighting of that bird. Thanks for the comment. And yes, you need to get out more, such fun.! 🙂
Hahaha! Need to find a Goosesitter for my girls, Polly and Little Dorrit first. Know any good ones? 😉 ~ L
Not off hand. I’ll do some checking. 🙂
“Did I tell you that BBNP is a huge park?” – isn’t everything big in Texas? 😉
Your Brewer’s Blackbird looks a lot like the grackles that have been terrorizing my bird feeders recently. I suspect they are related!
It just seems that way. 🙂
At first I thought it was a Grackle, as we have that all over the town here in San Angelo.
Interesting account of what sounds like a fun trip Bob. That looks like some wide-open country. Loved the photos, esp the one of Boquillas. I’m assuming you have an RV of some kind, despite the motel stay at Marathon…
There is a lot of open country in the desert, but the center-piece of the BBNP is the Chisos Mountains. High peaks, canyons, numerous trail to some amazing sights. Numerous other mountain scattered around, too. Quite diverse. No, we don’t have an RV. After our stay at Marathon, we stayed in a little cabin in Study Butte, outstide the west park entrance. We could have opted to stay in the mountains, too. There is a beautiful lodge there.
Great photos., Bob. Loved the second one – “look into the infinite” 🙂
Thanks, Nandini, I appreciate it. 🙂
Wow, that pic above makes me think that me and the hubby need to visit Texas – at least once. Wow, I had no idea it was that beautiful.
As we say in Texas “Ya’all come, ya hear?”
Thanks for the comment, Teresa
Sounds to me like you and Anne had a great time!!!
We definitely did have a great time. Will be doing it again in September. 🙂
Amazing images, and I can almost feel the heat in the pic of the Canyon. Looking forward to the next instalment!
Thanks, Jo. I appreciate your comments. 🙂
Great shots..love the Curved-bill Thrasher..he was really singing away, and the lighting on the Blackbird is awesome..These guys along with the ravens are a real challenge to paint, to capture the irredescence of the feathers. We still have snow on the ground, and Sunday Morning, looking out the window of Church, I saw two large birds in the snow, and immediately assumed they were Canadian Geese which we have a lot of and they are migrating in now, but two my astonishment as I looked closer, they were a pair of Blue Heron..and a jogger went by and they took to the air, and what a sight to behold. Naturally no camera..but I will leave those shots to you..I think we probably are going to have an early spring in Colorado..lots of signs with different birds appearing. Have a great day and looking forward to, tomorrow’s post!!
Wow, that is an amazin story about the Herons. I hope that you get to see them again. Thanks for the comments, Syl.
A wonderful post Bob, from your description this sounds like a great place to visit!
It definitely is an exciting place. You must come down, and bring Ron with you. 🙂 He says you are his sidekick. 🙂
Loved the Mexican town shot.
Yes, it makes the canyon look so imposing. Those canyon walls are, by the way, 2000 feet high. Thanks for the comment, Bruce.
Very nice account of your first outing, nice pictures too! 🙂
Thanks, H.J., I appreciate it. 🙂
Those are beautiful birds!
Thanks, Nathan, for visiting my blog. I was reading about you on your bio, and I am from your neighboring city of Muskegon. However, I haven’t live there since 1955.
That is a nice area. I worked up there a little this summer. Thanks for looking at my blog!