Texas Volume Three: Salineño

On our last day in Texas Audrey and I woke up in a Holiday Inn in Rio Grande City, about 100 miles west of Brownsville.  Breakfast started well before sunrise so we had plenty of time to get our money's worth.  I was already halfway through a warm cinnamon bun when we noticed this fancy machine:

You push a button and it makes you two pancakes which pop out the right side.  Audrey claimed they were better than what she had for dinner at the airport that evening. 

Finally it was time to grab some extra muffins and bananas and head west to Salineño for our last big birding adventure.  The target birds at this location were Red-billed Pigeon, White-collared Seedeater, and Audubon's Oriole which I had thought would be a lifer.  It was not.  Oops.

We arrived at the birding location and found it completely deserted.  Perfect since we both had to pee.  I went off to a quiet little spot only to have a helicopter fly over me with my pants down.  Heya.

 The area was lovely and packed with birds.  A Red-billed Pigeon flew over us almost immediately and we noticed more perched up the river.  We followed a short dusty road until it ended, then bushwacked our way towards the pigeons.  This area was the best birding of the trip.  White-collared Seedeaters were kindly singing out in the open.

Olive Sparrows were singing out in the open for once, though "out in the open" for them still means at least two branches in the way.  

Our target Audubon's Oriole made its presence known with its song, then perched at the top of this tree. 

Target birds have never been so easy.  We kept finding more birds so we kept on birding through the scratchy shrubs and up and down mini canyons. 

Snowy Egrets 


 Super distant... Summer Tanager I assume?

 Lesser Goldfinches

Gray Hawk which thankfully flew by us at close range later on

We finally caught up with the perched Red-billed Pigeons we had seen earlier.

We decided to turn around and work our way back towards the entrance, taking our time to look at bugs and birds and flowers. 

 We found both Altamira and Hooded Orioles on the way back, but no more Audubon's.

Hooded Oriole

 Lincoln's Sparrow

 Overall Salineño exceeded expectations!  We had been warned that it could be a bit sketchy but we had no trouble and saw no other humans.  Full eBird checklist here which I forgot to mention includes a Green Kingfisher finally!  It flew by us a couple times but never perched out in the open. 

Good times!!


  1. What a fantastic adventure you are having, and such amazing birds , half of which I hadn't come across before.
    All very interesting, will look in again, Gordon.

    1. Thanks, Gordon! It was indeed a fantastic adventure.

  2. I am so installing a one-minute-pancake machine in the tiny! Also, I want to steal that photo of me trying to get ticks in the Texas outback. :)

    1. Steal it! I'm sure there is room for a pancake machine in there.

  3. MORE great birds I'm itching to see, but no ticks please.. summer tanagers nest here as well but have not arrived yet, I always look forward to their arrival. Pancakes for breakfast and dinner....yum.

    1. I only got one tick the whole trip, which I didn't find until I was home.

  4. Fuck you got pigeon and seedeater that easy? Need both for ABA.

  5. Burning with jealousy! Awesome birds!

  6. Wow! You got everything, including green kingfisher? and pancakes? Wow! I am proud of how fast you are kicking out the blog posts. Also, great photo of Audry getting ticks, and that cool weird insect!

    1. I need to kick them all out quick before I go on another adventure! Audrey loves ticks almost as much as pancakes.


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