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The Big Bend and Hill Country tour puts you right in the middle of Scissor-tailed Flycatcher country! Here's one from our first day of tour, shortly after leaving San Antonio. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Amazing vistas, gorgeous sunsets, a number of specialty birds, and an impressive selection of other critters... all of those things make the Big Bend & Hill Country of Texas fascinating places to visit. Whether it's the Colima Warbler or Black-capped Vireo, the Gray Vireo or the Lucifer Hummingbird, this tour really does hold a number of gems.
We started out in San Antonio but it didn't take long to start seeing interesting birds. Whether it was the Scissor-tailed Flycatchers at the rest area, or the Harris's Hawks alongside the highway, the trip was off to a good start. We ended in Del Rio where a trick candle plagued a birthday cake and Lesser Nighthawks danced across the dusk sky.
Our first full day of birding started right in Del Rio where the duck pond was abuzz with Chimney Swifts, Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, lots of swallows, and a variety of other goodies. Our next stop, the Vega Verde Road, was full of birdlife and we tallied some south Texas specialties like Olive Sparrow, Long-billed Thrasher, Couch's Kingbird, Painted Bunting, and even a couple of fantastic White-collared Seedeaters! The drive west was highlighted by a stop at the Pecos River where, besides an impressive selection of shorebirds, we were treated to views of Rock Wren, White-throated Swift, and Hooded Oriole. We continued west to Big Bend National Park where, for the last hour or two of the drive, the impressive sky-touching vista grew ever larger in the fading light.
We awoke the next morning to a beautiful night sky in Big Bend! After breakfast, we drove to Blue Creek Canyon where we took a stroll up into the dry creekbed and saw the rare Lucifer Hummingbird, the sharp-looking Black-throated Sparrow, and bonus sightings like Grasshopper and Rufous-crowned sparrows. A visit to the Sam Nail Ranch oasis gave us a quick Varied Bunting before heading back for lunch. The afternoon at the Dugout Wells was warm but filled with Bell's Vireos, Scaled Quail, and even a migrant Marsh Wren!
Taking advantage of a good forecast, we decided to make the hike up the Pinnacles Trail on our second day in Big Bend. On the ascent, we enjoyed the friendly Mexican Jays, a variety of tanagers, flycatchers, and vireos. We finally struck gold when a Colima Warbler was found singing shy of the pass! Eventually, we continued up and over the pass and down towards Boot Springs for lunch. Eating a picnic in the company of Cordilleran Flycatchers is never a bad thing! The shade of the canyon was a welcome sight as we continued birding, finding Blue-throated Hummingbirds and additional Colima Warblers as well. We got back to the cabins that afternoon tired but happy!
Our final full day in Big Bend was spent exploring some additional birdy spots along the Rio Grande. The Rio Grande Village was hosting a Common Black Hawk and Gray Hawk that we all saw well despite some wind! The campground was alive with Clay-colored Sparrows, Vermilion Flycatchers, Inca Dove, and even a White-faced Ibis. An afternoon visit to the wastewater pond was quite birdy with sightings including Scott's Oriole, Varied Bunting, a hoard of Pine Siskins, and even a rare Cassin's Finch.
Our final morning in Big Bend found us at the Cottonwood Campground where we enjoyed a brief encounter with a Lucy's Warbler, a regal Great Horned Owl, and a wide variety of migrants like Northern Parula, Painted Bunting, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and Bullock's and Orchard orioles. We made a quick pause at the Santa Elena Canyon overlook before moving on to the Davis Mountains where we were greeted by Cassin's Kingbirds galore. That evening, we even witnessed two Elf Owls at a nest hole!
We explored more of the Davis Mountains the next morning before heading for Balmorhea Lake to the north. Always a birdy spot, this migrant trap was hosting a variety of new waterbirds and shorebirds for our list such as Willet, Baird's Sandpiper, Clark's and Western grebes, a lingering Snow Goose, and even a stray Laughing Gull. Meanwhile, the nearby cattails were hosting Soras and Virginia Rails that, occasionally, would chirp and grunt. From there, we headed back to the east, to the Hill Country.
Neal's Lodges, our home for the remaining few nights, was a great jumping off spot for visiting Lost Maples SNA, home to the range-restricted Golden-cheeked Warbler. To say we got good looks at this warbler would be an understatement! The variety of other warblers and vireos was impressive as well; Yellow-throated Warblers, Indigo Buntings, Yellow-throated Vireos, White-eyed Vireo, and even a Black-capped Vireo put in brief appearances. Some White-tipped Doves were heard and then seen, and even an Eastern Screech-Owl glared at us from its day-roost. That afternoon, we studied parulas along the river and were "rewarded" with several hybrids. That evening, even a Chuck-will's-widow did a leisurely lap around us!
Our final morning took us towards Brackettville where we added Dickcissel and Northern Bobwhite among the lush grasslands, and had a stunning look at a well-behaving Gray Vireo. It was here that we had outstanding luck with a Black-capped Vireo that decided to pop out and perch in the open allowing scope views! Later that day, Fort Clark Springs hosted a number of new species such as Canyon Wren, Eastern Bluebird, and Eastern Wood-Pewee. The evening show in Concan was not one to forget! After our awesome food brought by Tiara and John, the Frio Bat Cave exploded with bats around dusk and we witnessed the better part of 13 million bats exiting the cave! The local Red-tailed Hawks nabbed a few, a visiting Swainson's Hawk had tough luck, and a Striped Skunk had a different idea altogether and instead headed for the cave opening.
This tour was made a lot more enjoyable by having such a fun group along and Chris and I really enjoyed showing some of Texas to all of you. Major thanks goes to Karen for having everything in order from our Austin office and to Tiara and John for meeting us with such a great picnic dinner! Until next time, good birding!
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna autumnalis)
SNOW GOOSE (Anser caerulescens)
BLUE-WINGED TEAL (Spatula discors)
CINNAMON TEAL (Spatula cyanoptera)
NORTHERN SHOVELER (Spatula clypeata)
GADWALL (Mareca strepera)
AMERICAN WIGEON (Mareca americana)
MALLARD (NORTHERN) (Anas platyrhynchos platyrhynchos)
MALLARD (MEXICAN) (Anas platyrhynchos diazi)
It was a bit of a surprise but this Snow Goose was a late straggler at Balmorhea Lake in western Texas. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
GREEN-WINGED TEAL (Anas crecca)
REDHEAD (Aythya americana)
LESSER SCAUP (Aythya affinis)
RUDDY DUCK (Oxyura jamaicensis)
Odontophoridae (New World Quail)
NORTHERN BOBWHITE (Colinus virginianus) [*]
SCALED QUAIL (Callipepla squamata)
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
WILD TURKEY (Meleagris gallopavo)
PIED-BILLED GREBE (Podilymbus podiceps)
The mornings in Big Bend are crisp, (sometimes) cool, but usually gorgeous. Here we are as we approach Blue Creek Canyon, the home of the rare Lucifer Hummingbird. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
WESTERN GREBE (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
CLARK'S GREBE (Aechmophorus clarkii)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
NEOTROPIC CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax brasilianus)
AMERICAN WHITE PELICAN (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
GREAT BLUE HERON (Ardea herodias)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
SNOWY EGRET (Egretta thula)
GREEN HERON (Butorides virescens)
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Before the hike up for the Colima Warbler, we thought it best to gauge the mood as energetic while we still could! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
YELLOW-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON (Nyctanassa violacea)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
WHITE-FACED IBIS (Plegadis chihi)
Cathartidae (New World Vultures)
BLACK VULTURE (Coragyps atratus)
TURKEY VULTURE (Cathartes aura)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
NORTHERN HARRIER (Circus hudsonius)
COOPER'S HAWK (Accipiter cooperii)
COMMON BLACK HAWK (Buteogallus anthracinus)
HARRIS'S HAWK (Parabuteo unicinctus)
GRAY HAWK (Buteo plagiatus)
While it's not a bird, we did enjoy glancing down once in a while to see what other creatures were around us. For example, here's a Pronghorn Clubtail at Lost Maples SNA. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK (Buteo lineatus)
SWAINSON'S HAWK (Buteo swainsoni)
ZONE-TAILED HAWK (Buteo albonotatus)
RED-TAILED HAWK (Buteo jamaicensis)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
VIRGINIA RAIL (Rallus limicola) [*]
SORA (Porzana carolina) [*]
COMMON GALLINULE (Gallinula galeata)
AMERICAN COOT (Fulica americana)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
BLACK-NECKED STILT (Himantopus mexicanus)
This Eastern Screech-Owl at Lost Maples SNA probably thought it was more camouflaged than it actually was! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
AMERICAN AVOCET (Recurvirostra americana)
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis dominica)
KILLDEER (Charadrius vociferus)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
BAIRD'S SANDPIPER (Calidris bairdii)
LEAST SANDPIPER (Calidris minutilla)
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos)
WESTERN SANDPIPER (Calidris mauri)
LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus scolopaceus)
WILSON'S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor)
Greater Roadrunners, like this one in Big Bend, were a common sight as they darted through the desert vegetation. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
SPOTTED SANDPIPER (Actitis macularius)
SOLITARY SANDPIPER (Tringa solitaria)
WILLET (WESTERN) (Tringa semipalmata inornata)
LESSER YELLOWLEGS (Tringa flavipes)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
LAUGHING GULL (Leucophaeus atricilla)
FRANKLIN'S GULL (Leucophaeus pipixcan)
RING-BILLED GULL (Larus delawarensis)
FORSTER'S TERN (Sterna forsteri)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
BAND-TAILED PIGEON (Patagioenas fasciata)
These Coppery Dancers, a type of damselfly, were at home along the river at Neal's Lodges in the Hill Country. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE (Streptopelia decaocto) [I]
INCA DOVE (Columbina inca)
COMMON GROUND-DOVE (Columbina passerina)
WHITE-TIPPED DOVE (WHITE-TIPPED) (Leptotila verreauxi angelica)
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica)
MOURNING DOVE (Zenaida macroura)
GREATER ROADRUNNER (Geococcyx californianus)
EASTERN SCREECH-OWL (Megascops asio)
GREAT HORNED OWL (Bubo virginianus)
The rock "boot" that gave Boot Canyon its name! Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
ELF OWL (Micrathene whitneyi)
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LESSER NIGHTHAWK (Chordeiles acutipennis)
COMMON POORWILL (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii)
CHUCK-WILL'S-WIDOW (Antrostomus carolinensis)
CHIMNEY SWIFT (Chaetura pelagica)
WHITE-THROATED SWIFT (Aeronautes saxatalis)
BLUE-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Lampornis clemenciae)
LUCIFER HUMMINGBIRD (Calothorax lucifer)
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus colubris)
One of the "wow!" moments of tour when this melanistic Golden-fronted Woodpecker flew in at Fort Clark Springs! Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
BLACK-CHINNED HUMMINGBIRD (Archilochus alexandri)
BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD (Selasphorus platycercus)
BELTED KINGFISHER (Megaceryle alcyon)
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus)
GOLDEN-FRONTED WOODPECKER (Melanerpes aurifrons)
LADDER-BACKED WOODPECKER (Picoides scalaris)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
CRESTED CARACARA (Caracara cheriway)
AMERICAN KESTREL (Falco sparverius)
MERLIN (Falco columbarius)
This Crested Caracara posed nicely for guide Chris Benesh and he managed this awesome shot.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
Tyrannidae (Tyrant Flycatchers)
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (Contopus cooperi)
WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus sordidulus)
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE (Contopus virens)
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax virescens)
DUSKY FLYCATCHER (Empidonax oberholseri)
CORDILLERAN FLYCATCHER (Empidonax occidentalis) [*]
BLACK PHOEBE (Sayornis nigricans)
EASTERN PHOEBE (Sayornis phoebe)
The Vermilion Flycatchers in Big Bend didn't mind an audience! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
SAY'S PHOEBE (Sayornis saya)
VERMILION FLYCATCHER (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus cinerascens)
BROWN-CRESTED FLYCATCHER (Myiarchus tyrannulus)
GREAT KISKADEE (Pitangus sulphuratus)
COUCH'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus couchii)
CASSIN'S KINGBIRD (Tyrannus vociferans)
WESTERN KINGBIRD (Tyrannus verticalis)
SCISSOR-TAILED FLYCATCHER (Tyrannus forficatus)
LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE (Lanius ludovicianus)
One of the stars of the show was the Black-capped Vireo, this one near Brackettville. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Vireonidae (Vireos, Shrike-Babblers, and Erpornis)
BLACK-CAPPED VIREO (Vireo atricapilla)
WHITE-EYED VIREO (Vireo griseus)
BELL'S VIREO (Vireo bellii)
GRAY VIREO (Vireo vicinior)
HUTTON'S VIREO (Vireo huttoni)
YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (Vireo flavifrons)
PLUMBEOUS VIREO (Vireo plumbeus)
RED-EYED VIREO (Vireo olivaceus)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
WOODHOUSE'S SCRUB-JAY (Aphelocoma woodhouseii)
This Pronghorn didn't seem to be going anywhere fast! We enjoyed stunning close looks at this plains species. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
MEXICAN JAY (Aphelocoma wollweberi)
COMMON RAVEN (Corvus corax)
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW (Stelgidopteryx serripennis)
PURPLE MARTIN (Progne subis)
BANK SWALLOW (Riparia riparia)
BARN SWALLOW (Hirundo rustica)
CLIFF SWALLOW (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)
CAVE SWALLOW (Petrochelidon fulva)
Paridae (Tits, Chickadees, and Titmice)
CAROLINA CHICKADEE (Poecile carolinensis)
BLACK-CRESTED TITMOUSE (Baeolophus atricristatus)
It was a beautiful day in Del Rio and it got even better when we located several White-collared Seedeaters! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
VERDIN (Auriparus flaviceps)
Aegithalidae (Long-tailed Tits)
BUSHTIT (Psaltriparus minimus)
RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta canadensis)
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH (Sitta carolinensis)
ROCK WREN (Salpinctes obsoletus)
CANYON WREN (Catherpes mexicanus)
HOUSE WREN (Troglodytes aedon)
MARSH WREN (Cistothorus palustris)
CAROLINA WREN (Thryothorus ludovicianus) [*]
BEWICK'S WREN (Thryomanes bewickii)
CACTUS WREN (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)
This Rock Wren didn't mind us admiring it from just a few feet away at the Pecos River Overlook! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER (Polioptila caerulea)
BLACK-TAILED GNATCATCHER (Polioptila melanura)
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET (Regulus calendula)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EASTERN BLUEBIRD (Sialia sialis)
TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE (Myadestes townsendi)
HERMIT THRUSH (Catharus guttatus)
Mimidae (Mockingbirds and Thrashers)
CURVE-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma curvirostre)
LONG-BILLED THRASHER (Toxostoma longirostre)
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)
The sunrises were nice but the sunsets weren't bad either! It was a nightly tradition to look outside from dinner and be greeted by a view like this. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AMERICAN PIPIT (Anthus rubescens)
CEDAR WAXWING (Bombycilla cedrorum)
PHAINOPEPLA (Phainopepla nitens)
Parulidae (New World Warblers)
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH (Parkesia motacilla)
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia)
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER (Oreothlypis celata)
COLIMA WARBLER (Oreothlypis crissalis)
LUCY'S WARBLER (Oreothlypis luciae)
As this Golden-cheeked Warbler foraged quietly in front of us, our mouths hung open and cameras clicked. What a photographic bird! This was an encounter with a specialty I'll not soon forget. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
NASHVILLE WARBLER (Oreothlypis ruficapilla)
MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER (Geothlypis tolmiei)
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT (Geothlypis trichas) [*]
NORTHERN PARULA (Setophaga americana)
YELLOW WARBLER (Setophaga petechia)
YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER (AUDUBON'S) (Setophaga coronata auduboni)
YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER (Setophaga dominica)
BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER (Setophaga nigrescens)
TOWNSEND'S WARBLER (Setophaga townsendi)
Perhaps the bird of the trip for many was the Colima Warbler. It sure was a hike but we were rewarded with awesome looks at this range-restricted species. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
GOLDEN-CHEEKED WARBLER (Setophaga chrysoparia)
WILSON'S WARBLER (Cardellina pusilla)
PAINTED REDSTART (Myioborus pictus) [*]
Thraupidae (Tanagers and Allies)
WHITE-COLLARED SEEDEATER (WHITE-COLLARED) (Sporophila torqueola sharpei)
Passerellidae (New World Buntings and Sparrows)
CASSIN'S SPARROW (Peucaea cassinii)
GRASSHOPPER SPARROW (Ammodramus savannarum)
OLIVE SPARROW (Arremonops rufivirgatus)
CHIPPING SPARROW (Spizella passerina)
CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (Spizella pallida)
Not all parulas are straight forward! This particular bird from Neal's Lodges is actually a hybrid between Tropical Parula and Northern Parula! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
BREWER'S SPARROW (Spizella breweri)
BLACK-THROATED SPARROW (Amphispiza bilineata)
LARK SPARROW (Chondestes grammacus)
LARK BUNTING (Calamospiza melanocorys)
DARK-EYED JUNCO (GRAY-HEADED) (Junco hyemalis caniceps)
WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW (Zonotrichia leucophrys)
VESPER SPARROW (Pooecetes gramineus)
SAVANNAH SPARROW (Passerculus sandwichensis)
LINCOLN'S SPARROW (Melospiza lincolnii)
The Rufous-crowned Sparrow is usually fond of grassy, rocky hillsides. We found this one on our Blue Creek Canyon hike. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
CANYON TOWHEE (Melozone fusca)
RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROW (Aimophila ruficeps)
SPOTTED TOWHEE (Pipilo maculatus)
Icteriidae (Yellow-breasted Chat)
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT (Icteria virens)
Cardinalidae (Cardinals and Allies)
HEPATIC TANAGER (Piranga flava)
SUMMER TANAGER (Piranga rubra)
WESTERN TANAGER (Piranga ludoviciana)
NORTHERN CARDINAL (Cardinalis cardinalis)
PYRRHULOXIA (Cardinalis sinuatus)
One of the sharpest-looking of all the sparrows must be the Black-throated Sparrow. We saw these often in dry, deserty regions. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus ludovicianus)
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
BLUE GROSBEAK (Passerina caerulea)
INDIGO BUNTING (Passerina cyanea)
VARIED BUNTING (Passerina versicolor)
PAINTED BUNTING (Passerina ciris)
DICKCISSEL (Spiza americana)
Icteridae (Troupials and Allies)
YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus)
We were in Del Rio when this male Painted Bunting materialized right in front of us. From the group came many "oohs" and "ahhhs"! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
EASTERN MEADOWLARK (Sturnella magna)
ORCHARD ORIOLE (Icterus spurius)
HOODED ORIOLE (Icterus cucullatus)
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE (Icterus bullockii)
SCOTT'S ORIOLE (Icterus parisorum)
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius phoeniceus)
BRONZED COWBIRD (Molothrus aeneus)
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD (Molothrus ater)
BREWER'S BLACKBIRD (Euphagus cyanocephalus)
This Coyote was seeking water and shade (like we were!) at Dugout Wells in Big Bend. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
COMMON GRACKLE (Quiscalus quiscula)
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE (Quiscalus mexicanus)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
HOUSE FINCH (Haemorhous mexicanus)
CASSIN'S FINCH (Haemorhous cassinii)
PINE SISKIN (Spinus pinus)
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Spinus psaltria)
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH (Spinus tristis)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]
BRAZILIAN FREE-TAILED BAT (Tadarida brasiliensis)
If you joined us after dark, you may have seen Chris stoop down to check out scorpions. Here's a Striped Bark Scorpion that he photographed nicely. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
NINE-BANDED ARMADILLO (Dasypus novemcinctus)
EASTERN COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus floridanus)
DESERT COTTONTAIL (Sylvilagus audubonii)
BLACK-TAILED JACKRABBIT (Lepus californicus)
TEXAS ANTELOPE SQUIRREL (Ammospermophilus interpres)
MEXICAN GROUND SQUIRREL (Spermophilus mexicanus)
ROCK SQUIRREL (Spermophilus variegatus)
FOX SQUIRREL (Sciurus niger)
GRAY FOX (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
Although keeping a safe distance, participant Tom Wheeler photographed this curious Black-tailed Rattlesnake in Big Bend! Almost a week later and half a state away, people approached Tom and said "Oh, you're the one with the rattlesnake photo!".
COYOTE (Canis latrans)
NORTHERN RACCOON (Procyon lotor)
STRIPED SKUNK (Mephitis mephitis)
WILD BOAR (Sus scrofa) [I]
COLLARED PECCARY (Tayassu tajacu)
SPOTTED DEER (Axis axis) [I]
MULE DEER (Odocoileus hemionus)
WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus)
PRONGHORN (Antilocapra americana)
The Concan Bat Cave was truly a memorable experience. A beautiful evening welcomed roughly 13 million Brazilian Free-tailed Bats as they departed their roosting cave, headed for a night full of hunting insects! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
BLACKBUCK (Antilope cervicapra) [I]
BARBARY SHEEP (Ammotragus lervia) [I]
BLACK-TAILED RATTLESNAKE (Crotalus molossus)
SPINY SOFTSHELL (Apalone spinifera)
GREATER EARLESS LIZARD (Cophosaurus texanus)
Some other introduced mammals were seen including:
ELK - Seen in the Davis Mountains.
WILDEBEEST - Introduced! At least they're safe from crocodiles in Texas.
ZEBRA - Captive at a game farm.
SCIMITAR ORYX - Also introduced for hunting. The magnificent, curved horns were quite impressive!
Totals for the tour: 219 bird taxa and 21 mammal taxa