South Texas Ramble

Pictures from a Birds and Butterflies trip to South Texas from October 26-31, 2011

During the last week of October, 2011 my friend Rebecca and I took a fabulous trip in search of birds and butterflies centered around Alamo in south Texas. Rebecca had been there on several previous trips and had detailed notes that proved quite useful in deciding where to go and what to look for. From our base at the Alamo Inn B&B, we took day trips to a number of good sites for bird and butterflies along with a few other interesting creatures. The Alamo Inn B&B provides wonderful accommodations at a reasonable price. The owners do a fabulous job of making one feel at home, provide a wide variety of breakfast options and snacks for the road, and are well-informed about birds and butterflies in the area. They have a well-deserved reputation for catering to birders from around the world.

Places we visited included Laguna Atascosa NWR, South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, Santa Ana NWR, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, Frontera Audubon Center, Estero Llano Grande State Park, and Resaca de la Palmas, with multiple visits to the National Butterfly Center of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). The NABA National Butterfly Center is pretty amazing, with extensive gardens planted to attract a large variety (more than 300 species) of butterflies, numerous feeders, and best of all, several local experts (such as Jan and David Dauphin) usually present to help locate and identify what you are seeing. Euphorbia and plumbago seemed quite attractive to butterflies at many of the sites we visited.

Despite the long drought and rumors that butterfly numbers were way down this year, overrall we saw nearly 70 butterfly and 120 bird species during our six day trip. The following pages show some of the pictures from the trip. This page has pictures of dragonflies, damselflies, and a few other critters and bugs. Page 2 shows some of the fabulous birds we were fortunate to see, and the remaining three pages have pictures of some of the incredible butterflies from the trip.

Click on any of the thumbnails to view a larger version in a separate window.

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Dragonflies and Damselflies

Black Saddlebags
(Tramea lacerata)

Black Saddlebags
(Tramea lacerata)

Black Saddlebags
(Tramea lacerata)

Black Saddlebags
(Tramea lacerata)

Blue-ringed Dancer
(Argia sedula)

Blue-ringed Dancer
(Argia sedula) 

Dancer
(Argia sp.)

Golden-winged Dancer
(Argia rhoadsi)

Common Green Darner
(Anax junius)

Common Green Darner
(Anax junius)

Common Green Darner
(Anax junius)

Carmine Skimmer
(Orthemis discolor) 

Desert Firetail
(Telebasis salva)

Eastern Amberwing
(Perithemis tenera)

Four-spotted Pennant
(Brachymesia gravida)

Roseate Skimmer
(Orthemis ferruginea)

Roseate Skimmer
(Orthemis ferruginea)

Roseate Skimmer
(Orthemis ferruginea)

Roseate Skimmer
(Orthemis ferruginea)

Great
Pondhawk
(Erythemis vesiculosa)

Red-tailed
Pennant
(Brachymesia furcata)

Variegated
Meadowhawk
(Sympetrum corruptum)

Eastern
Pondhawk
(Erythemis simplicicollis)












A few pictures of critters and bugs and such that didn't fit anywhere else.

Ant
Swarm
 

Armadillo
 
 

Ladybug
 
 

Harlequin Flower Beetle
(Gymnetis caseyi)

Tree
Sap
 

Texas Unicorn Mantis
(Phyllovates chlorophaea)






How can that be?

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