TEXAS - KING RANCH
On April 14th I joined the day tour of King Ranch led by researcher Tom Lanschied (sorry if I spelled your name wrong Tom). Tom was a fantastic guide, with a great sense of humour, and he really produced the birds. He also provided some great stories of the rich social history of this fascinating place.
Our four main targets here were Northern Beardless Tyrannulet (which was nabbed right away when we first exited the vehicles), Audubon's Oriole (again a pair picked up quickly only an hour into the tour - an often difficult species), Tropical Parula (it took us until early afternoon to get good views but it was worth the wait) and finally THE bird that everyone wants here - the FERRUGINOUS PYGMY OWL. We tried several sites for this bird before one responded. We walked in on it and got superb scope views for about five minutes before it moved away.
The day on the ranch is really a worthwhile experience. Tom provided a rich commentary on the remarkable history of the area. This beautiful King Ranch quarter horse was one of several we came across on the day.
Its great to have access to these habitats and the birding is really quality. Both the guides I have had here have been top notch and the full day trip is good value due to the high quality of the experience and the birds. A visit to King Ranch is highly recommended!