Thursday, February 16, 2017

Walk Report: Estero Llano Grande State Park

Hello, everyone.

A few days ago we drove over to Estero Llano Grande State Park, just south of the city of Weslaco. The turn-off is clearly signed and there is parking.

We flashed our spiffy annual pass and got our little paper bracelets and walked up and down and around. It was very enjoyable. Flocks of the Snowbirds were there, of course, with their big camera rigs, and they had plenty to see.

View toward east from observation deck at entrance. Many ducks! Boardwalk in
background goes around pond to rest of area.
 This pond was wide! Many of the birds were wading instead of floating in it.
View toward west from the same deck.
 There are several other ponds around, and various types of habitat: grasses, scrub, tall cattails, etc.

One of the alligators, relaxing in the mud.
I especially got a charge out of the "alligator etiquette" section on the visitors' map. The first rule, paraphrased, is "Don't make them angry." A wise rule! There is a wooden observation deck at the pond the alligators like, so the visitor has a chance to see them in their element. There were benches there, too. In fact, there are a great number of conveniently located benches along the many paths.

This park has a great abundance of riverine type birds. There were "small" herons, spoonbill, various cranes and ducks and grebes, and assorted small birds. There were even a couple of young ibis wading around in the pond by the wood deck. There was one bird house, not occupied, in a pond. Other than the seed feeder at the entrance, the park administrators are not using feeders. With the layout of ponds, with plants and resting logs, that they have created, they don't need feeders to have many birds to watch.