Monday, April 8, 2013
Texas is blessed with more than 630 species of birds, some of them colorful, tropical migrants that return to the state or pass through as the weather warms and food becomes more plentiful. Even those unfamiliar with birding can have fun spotting such easily identifiable species as northern cardinals, green jays, kiskadees, painted buntings, roseate spoonbills and brown pelicans. Beginning birders may want to download Introduction to Birding to learn what to look and listen for.
The Lone Star State is home, too, to the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, the nation's first, and the 17th annual Great Texas Birding Classic being held from April 15 to May 15.
Each region in this sprawling state - from Gulf Coast beaches to the mountains of Big Bend -- offers a different birding experience and a variety of resident specialty bird species. To learn about the varied birding opportunities, birding facilities and birding eventsat a Texas State Park near you follow this link. To find a birding event near you, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife calendar of events here.
A can't-miss birding opportunity for beginning and accomplished birders alike awaits at the World Birding Center headquarters at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park in Mission. Bentsen is one of three Rio Grande Valley state parks that double as WBC sites. At Bentsen, visitors can hike or ride bicycles to see a dazzling variety of birds, many of which visit from Mexico and points further south. Bird feeding and watering stations and photo blinds throughout the park, as well as a two-story hawk watch tower, provide excellent birding vantage points.
A dozen other Texas State Parks have been designated as having the "best birding blinds" that offer prime perches for viewing and photographing our feathered friends: Abilene, Blanco, Brazos, Devils Sinkhole, Falcon, Fort Parker, Franklin Mountains, Goliad, Lake Mineral Wells, Palo Duro Canyon, Pedernales Falls and San Angelo.
To learn about some birding basics and what you should bring on your birding adventure, watch this Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's "Basics of Birding" video.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The 30-year-old park has 133 RV sites and 18 park model cabins. Don and Jan Tardy acquired it in May. “I like the concept of Jellystone Park and I want to emphasize the fact that we are a park that caters to families,” said Don Tardy.
Jellystone Parks are known for offering family activities that include crafts, games, “hey rides,” birthday parties, and daily appearances by cartoon character Yogi Bear.
The Tardys run the park with their adult children Colt and Bree Perrin. They already have a head start on the family activities and amenities, including two salt water swimming pools and a fishing pond stocked with perch, bass and brim. And they have other plans.
“We’re about to add five more cabins and we have plans for other activities, including laser tag and a zip line,” Don Tardy said. “We will also put in a beach around our pond and add paddle boats, which we hope to have done by summertime. We also hope to eventually have a train.”
Whispering Pines also has four large meeting rooms with separate kitchens to accommodate large groups. Other amenities include basketball, horseshoe, ping pong, shuffleboard and volleyball courts, a camp store and a poolside cafe.
Posted by Staff Report at 12/18/2012 08:11:00 AM
Monday, December 17, 2012
Last month, Palo Duro Canyon State Park inaugurated a new Cliffside trail that climbs 600 feet and offers breathtaking views of one of Texas’ most beautiful parks. The opening brings Palo Duro’s total to about 40 miles of hike, bike and equestrian trails throughout the 30,000-acre Park south of Amarillo. The park's campground has water and electric hookups.
Posted by Staff Report at 12/17/2012 12:28:00 PM