Hurricane Alex, in July 2010, damaged most, if not all, birding sites along the Rio Grande. The river went from being 300 feet wide to 2 miles wide in places. The Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge’s tram and bicycle road is largely under water, along with a lot of their land. Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park has only recently reopened. It’s tram road is open, but many trails are closed. No javelina’s have been seen in the park since the hurricane and subsequent flooding, but javelina footprints have recently been spotted.
The Santa Ana Refuge will let nature take it’s course and let any water evaporate naturally. I like it with more water. There are newly created swamps that are at times full of birds. The cacophony of bird sounds in these areas must at times be like what is heard in Louisiana and Florida swamps.
Was thrilled to be able to get pictures of a green kingfisher in a new swamp area at the Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge. Think the background noise of all the other birds made it possible for me to get the pictures of it fishing.
On a sad note, I had planned to visit La Sal del Rey, part of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Wildlife Refuge system, but saw there was an advisory not to go there alone. A volunteer at the Santa Ana Refuge told me she went there with a group and heard gun shots. The Wildlife Refuge feels it’s not safe for individuals to go there alone. The Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge has a Border Patrol station connected to it. You sometimes see armed agents walking the grounds.
Saw the above large snake in the same swamp the kingfisher was in.