by Bryce W. Robinson
South of Brownsville, along the Rio Grande, sits an Audubon sanctuary named Sabel Palms. It is one of my favorite places thus far. The trails feel very tropical, the birds are spectacular, and the other visitors are characters. I am odd in the world of birding, especially in the special places such as Sabel Palms. I am odd because I am young.
I came to Sabel Palms with one bird on my mind, the Crimson-collared Grosbeak. To see this bird would be a personal first, a treat to expound upon the bounty of fortunate birding experienced thus far. Asking around, I discovered that a female had been hanging about that day, so I posted up to patiently wait. And sure enough, the beauty revealed herself. Only birders understand the thrill of a life bird, of an exotic life bird, of a quest fulfilled. I’ll tell you as much as this, and let you the reader understand that this bird was special. I felt the purity and love of birding in the moment while experiencing this bird. A highlight, to be understated.
Another bird that was busy about the forest that morning was the Clay-colored Thrush. This bird is a new favorite. They are a very large Turdis, much larger than the American Robin of the north. I was fascinated by their habits, and fell in love with their song. They, along with a host of others, provided some music that helped build the experience of traveling about Sabel Palms. I council the birder, the reader, the adventurer, the inquisitive, I council you, to travel to the valley of the Rio Grande, and visit the Sabel Palm Audubon Sanctuary. A place for birds, aged birders, and beatniks indeed.