Sunday, August 23, 2015
Birding "THE MAX" Max A. Mandel Golf Course, Laredo - August 23, 2015
Note that Red-billed Pigeons are secretive in the summer. I'm more used to seeing them flying up and down the river at Salineno and similar areas. The pigeons today were perching low in mesquite and other trees to feed. They did perch in dead trees, but relatively small ones, not choosing exposed high perches like they do in winter. I was also surprised to see one on a gravel bar in the river drinking. Numbers of Red-billed Pigeons usually decrease markedly in the LRGV about Labor Day, so we don't know how long these birds will stay into fall.
It's best to arrive early in the summer (check the website for the time the gates open http://themaxlaredo.com/). Park and you will be met by staff with a golf cart. Take the cart and drive up to the store to pay for the cart before venturing out on the course. Be sure to tell them you're birding and not golfing. We headed out to the second half of the course first, working our way from hole 18 to the ravine between hole 18 and 14. This is a good area in summer for Red-billed Pigeons feeding on Snailseed vine fruits. We also had Clay-colored Thrush in this area. Another good area for Red-billed Pigeons is near the tee at hole 9, at least summer 2015.