Monday, March 22, 2010

Resaca De La Palma

Each year Michelle and I spend our vacation running around taking pictures, I am not sure that this is what Michelle considers a "good time", but each year she continues to let me plan the vacations. Typically we like to head to Yellowstone each spring but every two or three years we decide to take a winter vacation and head some where warm. This year we decided to visit south Texas.
We had been to south Texas once before but it was way back in 2004, back when we were shooting with film, so we decided that it was about time for another visit. We arrived in Brownsville, TX at around 1:00pm on Saturday. Since the Brownsville airport is so small, it only has 2 gates, it did not take long for us to get our luggage and rental car and be on our way. Since we still had a couple hours of light we decided to make a stop at the Resaca De La Palma State Park.
The Resaca De La Palma is located north of Brownsville and was some what on the way to South Padre Island, where we stayed for the first couple of days. It is also one of many locations in south Texas that has ties with the World Birding Center.
The first thing that we noticed was how green things were. Texas is not usually known for being lush and green but southeast Texas is not as arid as most of the rest of the state. Since they had had a lot of precipitation in December and January it was even more green then normal. There is also the fact that we had flown in from Minnesota where every thing was, at that time, still covered with snow so I am guessing that almost anything would have seemed lush and green to us.
I saw three life birds while we were at the Resaca De La Palma all of which are fairly common in south Texas. The great kiskadee, pictured above, Couch's kingbird, pictured above the kiskadee and a least grebe, which I saw but did not get pictures of at this location.
The park is built around a resaca, which is a former channel of the Rio Grande River that got cut off when the river changed its path. This oxbow style lake supplies moisture to the area and is the life source of much of the surrounding habitat. The resaca is also home to different types of waterfowl like grebe, coots, kingfishers and blue-winged teal, pictured above.
Most of the parks 1,200 acres are undeveloped. Texas ebony and unacua trees dominate the wooded areas providing critical habitat for birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects.
Unfortunately leaving the trails was not recommended, so I was not able to get into some areas to get a closer look at some of the birds and insects. With only a couple of hours to play, the park closed at 5:00pm, I probably would not have had enough time any way. As it was I had to grab a ride on the 4:30 tram to get back to the visitors center before closing.

12 comments:

Carver said...

That looks like a great park to visit and you got some wonderful shots.

Sylvia K said...

What a great vacation! It is indeed one of the lovelier places in Texas (I was born and lived there for a number of years). Your photos are gorgeous as always, wonderful captures!! Hope you have a great week!

Sylvia

marcia@joyismygoal said...

Oh that was nice I loved the clear bird pic My sister used to live in Brownsville so we have been a few times and to Matamoros as well

Perry said...

Great captures! I visited Brownsville 26 years ago and I didn't notice any birds! :-) (I didn't have my camera with me then either....)

J Bar said...

Your nature shots are always great.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Wren said...

It's lovely! and to think, all I knew of Brownsville before this was the famous town dump.

Congrats on the lifers, and the great photos.

Andree said...

What an inspiring post. You always make me feel that I can get those shots. The birds are simply gorgeous. I'm interested in the word resaca. In New Hampshire the natives call those ox bow lakes "horse shoe ponds." (One word or two? Who knows!)

Jenn said...

Sounds like a great vacation. The birds are lovely, especially love the close up shot of the bee.

Randi said...

It sounds like you had a great visit at this park. Your photos are terrific as always!

Anonymous said...

thx u very much, i learn a lot

LadyFi said...

How lush and warm it all looks! And what delightful yellow-breasted birds!

Pam said...

Lucky you! It looks like you picked a winner for birding. You shots are wonderful, I'm jealous but I will keep this place in mind.