Monday, November 07, 2005

Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival 1

Tomorrow marks the beginning of another travel adventure: a two-week trip to attend two festivals. Tuesday's flights will put me in Harlingen, Texas, for the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival.

WildBird has participated as a sponsor in previous years, but this is my first opportunity to attend the well-regarded event. Well regarded by whom? Optics reps, field trip leaders and speakers, that's who. Those folks attend many events during one calendar year, and they know what makes a good festival. They like RGV, so I want to experience it for myself.

It won't be my first time to visit the lower Rio Grande Valley, however. The Great Texas Birding Classic has taken me to the area, as did the 2004 Birder of the Year trip with Jody Hildreth and his lovely wife, Kelly. During the latter trip, I fell in love with Green Jays--what beautiful birds! You can read Jody's account of that trip, chockfull of Mexican strays, on page 6 in the May/June 2005 issue of WildBird. Those fellows above are the Swift WildBirders, our team in the 2005 Classic: Pete Hosner, Matt Hafner, Michael Retter and Ken Behrens.

By the way, the deadline to vote for the 2005 Birder of the Year is DEC. 1. Please participate by sending in your ballot, which appears on page 39 in the November/December 2005 issue (no photocopies, please!).


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