Day 27 – Lamar, TX; San Antonio TX

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Bird count: 350 species

Until yesterday I had never heard of Refugio, Texas. After getting alerts that a Golden-crowned Warbler had been seen, I drove 200 miles hoping it would still be there. I arrived at the park to see a bunch of dejected birders leaving BUT they had seen a Tropical Parula!

A small group of us sought out the Parula and we were quickly rewarded. The crowd dispersed but I wasn’t finished. I had the whole afternoon so why not use it?

This was a pleasant town park and I had no real hopes that I would find the Golden-crowned. I saw movement in some vines and figured it was another Kinglet so I tried hard to take a picture but wait….I saw crown stripes!!!

Refugio is now forever etched in my brain as the place I got 2 life birds and rarities all in one! What a feeling!!!

I was now pretty close to the coast so I decided to spend the night in Fulton and try to see my first legitimate Whooping Cranes in the morning. As I scanned the eBird alerts, I saw that there was a Broad-billed Hummingbird as well, a couple miles from my hotel.

The Hummer was at a quaint cottage owned by Chuck Lucas, a super nice guy who invited me in and had a guest book for birders! This is one of the things I love about birding! People can be so generous when they have a rare bird on their property.

My luck continued at Goose Island State Park where I was directed to nearby fields to look for the Cranes. Although they were far away, I was able to get decent looks. 2 for 2!!

I drove another 150 miles to Braunig Lake near San Antonio to find a Long-tailed Duck that was reported. This was a really, really tough find. It was alone in open water and there were ducks everywhere! I had almost given up on it. Glad I didn’t. 3 for 3!

Another 150 miles later, I’m in Laredo where I hope the rain tomorrow doesn’t spoil my plans. I am road weary and ready for wine!

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