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CROSSBILLS BIRDING

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					CROSSBILLS BIRDING
BILL DRUMMOND

TEXAS HILL COUNTRY, BIG BEND AND DAVIS MOUNTAINS
Wednesday, April 14 to Monday, April 26, 2010 Wednesday, April 14. You simply need to get to San Antonio. We will stay at one of the motels near the airport which provides courtesy van service from the airport. Thursday, April 15. We will have an early breakfast and leave for Lost Maples State Natural Area. We will see plenty of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers on the way. Our primary goal at Lost Maples will be to see and hear the Golden-cheeked Warbler. We will also be looking for Western Scrub-Jay, Bushtit, Green Kingfisher, Ladderbacked Woodpecker, and Painted Bunting. We will then head to Neal’s Lodge in Concan. We will have a relaxing late afternoon watching the feeders at the lodge. Neal’s has excellent birding right on their grounds. First of three nights at Neal’s Lodge, one of my favorite places in the world. Friday, April 16. We will have breakfast at Neal’s and then work our way to Kerr Wildlife Management Area. Our principal goal will be to see and hear the Blackcapped Vireo, an endangered species. We will also be looking for Bell’s Vireo, Scott’s Oriole, Varied Bunting, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Zone-tailed Hawk. Then we will work our way back to Neal’s by a different route. After dinner we will drive out to Frio Bat Cave where, along with Cave Swallows, we should see several million Brazilian Free-tailed Bats. Night back at Neal’s Lodge. Saturday, April 17. We will have an entire day at Neal’s Lodge having a relaxing day of general birding and concentrating on anything we may have missed. Usually we can find Yellow-throated Warbler and some migrants. It is fun birding around the grounds in the evening, too. It is a good time to see Armadillo and usually there are Chuck-wills-widows and even Whip-poor-wills calling. Night again at Neal’s. Sunday, April 18. We will have an early breakfast at Neal’s Lodge. We will have a last look around the grounds and then head west. There will be quite a few short birding stops along the way. We will be at the Basin of Big Bend National Park for dinner. As we enjoy a wonderful meal, we will see the sun set down through the Window, one of the most beautiful sights in the country. First of five nights at the spectacular Chisos Mountains Lodge at Big Bend National Park.

Monday, April 19. Right after breakfast, we will make the hike beyond Laguna Meadow to try to see and hear the Colima Warbler. At about the one hour mark, at very slow speed, we should be high enough to hear the Colima Warbler and with lots of sharp eyes, we should be able to see the male singing on territory. People may turn around there or continue the two hours more to Boot Springs, a good general birding area. We should all be able to see Blue-throated Hummingbird, Mexican Jay, Cordilleran Flycatcher, and Black-chinned Sparrow. Night again at Chisos Mountains Lodge. Tuesday, April 20. In the morning we will drive down from the Basin and go birding in Blue Creek Canyon and picturesque Santa Elena Canyon. We should see Bullock’s Oriole, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, and an assortment of hawks. Our main target will be Gray Vireo. We will spend time at the watering trough at Sam Nail ranch. Often a MacGillivray’s Warbler comes in to drink and there will be many other birds. We will have an early dinner and then drive to Rio Grande Village. There should be plenty of Vermilion Flycatchers and at dusk we will try to find the Elf Owl. Night at Chisos Mountains Lodge. Wednesday, April 21. This morning we will hike the Window Trail. It is excellent for Crissal Thrasher and sometimes there is a Lucifer Hummingbird. We should have fine general birding all day long and there will be various options in the afternoon. Night again at Chisos Mountains Lodge. Thursday, April 22. I will lead another hike for the Colima Warbler. If anyone has missed the bird on Monday, this hike will instead go on Wednesday and we will hike the Window Trail today. The Colima Warbler is such a rare bird that some people will want to see it again. We will have options for the other hot spots in the park: Sam Nail Ranch, Santa Elena Campground, or Rio Grande Village. Night again at Chisos Mountains Lodge. Friday, April 23. Right after breakfast we will leave the park. Near the west entrance is our best chance for Lucifer Hummingbird. Usually there are some coming to feeders there. Feeders are not allowed inside the park. We will then drive to the Davis Mountains to spend the night at Indian Lodge, one of my favorite places. There is usually a Black Hawk nesting there. and there should be plenty of Cassin’s Kingbirds. In the evening we will be out looking for Poorwill. It is one of the best places to see them. It is also a chance for Montezuma Quail. First of two nights at Indian Lodge in the Davis Mountains. Saturday, April 24. We will have the entire day in the Davis Mountains. There is excellent general birding, with a different set of birds. We will also have an option to go to the McDonald Observatory, famous for astronomy and a good spot for birds. Night again at Indian Lodge.

Sunday, April 25. After a couple of hours of birding around the grounds, we will head toward Del Rio. We will make selected birding stops on the way. We usually find Scott’s and Hooded Orioles. Night at Del Rio. Monday, April 26. We will be up early so we can make several quick birding stops on the way to San Antonio. The trip will conclude at the San Antonio Airport. You can book any flight that leaves from 12:45 PM or later. Cost considerations: $490 per person tour leader cost. A 10% discount applies to anyone who has taken a tour with me in 2009 or the south Texas trip in February of 2010. On any of my trips costs are not excessive and there is no tipping to me. Meals will be inexpensive and motels moderately priced. The maximum trip size will be 16. We will probably have four 4-door sedans and each person will pay 1/4 of the rental caar cost, making that relatively inexpensive also. People may make their own plane reservations or book through my agent, good friend Sharon Sindledecker. Her phone number is 978-957-4139; e-mail: tvlsharon@comcast.net To make a reservation, please send a check for $100 payable to William Drummond. All depostis are fully refundable if canceled prior to September 1, 2009 or fully refundable if your place is filled on or after September 1, 2009. This trip should feature a terrific combination of scenery and birding. Most people consider the Hill Country, Big Bend, and the Davis Mountains all among the most beautiful places in the country. Barbara did this trip with me two years ago and can’t wait to go back. 	 	 	 	 	 Sincerely,

	 	 	 	 	 	

	 	 	 	 	 	

	 	 	 	 	 	

	 	 	 	 	 	

	 	 	 	 	 	

Bill Drummond 159 Appleton Street North Andover, MA 01845 (978) 975-1167 WCDrummond@aol.com http://web.mac.com/crossbillsbirding


				
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