TEXAS APRIL 2012 Part 3

Neals Lodge near Concan makes a superb base for exploring the Hill Country of south Texas. Often birders do the 'valley' and skip this area. I cannot emphasize enough... DONT MISS THIS AREA! A visit to Hill Country will likely be the highlight of your trip!

This was a great year at Neals with several male TROPICAL PARULAS hanging around the large cypress trees that line the Rio Frio right by the lodge. The male below was particularly easy to see.

Tropical Parula male - Neals Lodge, Concan

Whenever I tell birders about the bat cave near Neals, the typical response is "what birds are there"? Well there are a few but the real highlight are the bats - and I have NEVER seen any birder who is disappointed with a visit. I have been there about ten times and always consider this a highlight of any trip. Simply put, it is one of the greatest spectacles you will ever witness! Below are a couple of images from this year's visit.

Brazilian Free-tailed bats at dusk - Concan

Brazilian Free-tailed bats in sunset - Concan

Hill country has a superb selection of BREEDING species which are not present in the lower valley of south Texas. And many of the species that are migrants or scarce breeders there, are much more easily seen and heard in Hill Country. A great example is the BELL'S VIREO. This bird is widespread and easy to find around Concan. The loud jumbly song of Bell's Vireo is a part of musical landscape of this region.

Bell's Vireo near Concan

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