13 January 2014

Boca Chica State Park (Texas)

Over Christmas vacation, we wanted to visit a new place or two, and enjoy the beauties of the Gulf of Mexico.  Boca Chica State Park had been on our list for a few months already, for a few reasons:  It's free to visit there; it goes right up to the Rio Grande, which means you can see straight into Mexico; and it's said that many birds winter there, some coming south and stopping at the river while others come north to stop at the river. 

Now, I have to make a disclaimer.  We are not expert birders.  We are not even elementary birders.  We're probably in the birder equivalent of Pre-Kindergarten.  But if we're going to live in and near some of the best birding opportunities of our continent, we figure we had better begin learning and taking advantage of it, at least a little.

So, we grabbed some water, jackets, dried fruits, nuts, a book, and our brand new Adventist history story CDs (thanks, in-laws), and got in the car.  Oh, and toilet paper.  We grabbed some of that, too...or if we didn't, we should have.  You just never know.

The site I used to identify birds for this post (comparing my photos with their photos) is called Texas Birds 2.0.  I will definitely be visiting it again.

The Brown Pelicans were out in force.  We loved watching them fly in big flocks just barely over the tips of the waves.  Others seemed quite content to take a nap on the beach.

Great Blue Herons were equally plentiful and abundant, standing still except to escape those two suspicious looking humans wandering toward them across the beach. 

The Royal Terns were the least worried about my approach.  I probably stood about a foot away from this one.  They were everywhere, they were beautiful, they were not shy.

And you'll notice how he's standing in tire tracks?

If you go to Boca Chica, you'll pass lots of shore fishermen and women, with their vehicles, along the beach as you walk toward Mexico.  There are numerous garbage cans provided for any trash you need to discard, so you don't have to "pack it in, pack it out".  {Please don't join in the multitudes who seem to leave their garbage next to the cans instead.  The litter was our one disappointment in the beach.}  Also be aware that there are no bathrooms or outhouses.

You know you've arrived at the park when, if you were to drive any further, you would end up in the ocean.  Driving on the beach is allowed, but we parked to the side of the road's end, and simply walked the two or three miles to where the Rio Grande empties into the ocean.

Would we go again, and recommend that you go?  Absolutely!  The birds indeed were plentiful and delightful, even though we don't know all their names, and there's always something beautiful and refreshing about spending a quiet afternoon wandering next to the ocean waves.  We loved being out in nature, and being next to the water for several hours was even better.

1 comment:

  1. These bird pictures are GREAT! I continue to be impressed with what you are able to get with your phone. Good word!


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