About half a year ago, my wife and I decided to go on our first birding festival trip ever. I have been a birder for more than 30 years but have never taken advantage of guided tours of new areas outside of my home region of New Jersey. We, and very good friends of ours, selected the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival as a great place to start these adventures. In all, I had 25 life birds on this trip. 
The day trips we selected were:
Wednesday, November 5th:...Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park
Thursday, November 6th:....King Ranch-Norias Division
Friday, November 7th:..... Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
Saturday, November 8th:....Edinburg Wetlands and Quinta Mazatlan
Sunday, November 9th:......Estero Llano Grande Grand Tour

Please use those dates and locations above for reference with each photo. 

I must point out that for 6 1/2  years, I had been shooting with a Canon 40D and a 100-400 IS zoom lens. I received a brand new Canon 7D Mk II (finally) just 36 hours before we left for Texas and there was virtually no time at all to learn the camera. Now, a month later, I am still learning as this camera is many steps up from what I used previously. Therefore, making rapid adjustments was not yet intuitive or automatic with my actions. Focus is not what it will probably be in just a few weeks, and neither was exposure. Still, with my awkward fumbling, this camera has allowed me to improve on what I could do in the past, and will most likely continue to improve the quality of photography in the future. As for the weather…3 sunny days out of 15 in Texas, with rain or drizzle, and dark skies much of the time. 

Finally, something that we learned about such trips. When you are in the field with 40 participants and 3 or 4 excellent guides, you can’t linger in one spot for very long to get that ‘GREAT’ shot, and you can’t expect everyone else to stand aside so you can have the best view. Therefore, many, many of the birds were at great distance…much further than I would have wanted or might have been able to obtain with more time. All shots were hand-held, which may attest well to the image stabilization and exposure capabilities of this wonderful new camera (despite my fumbling for that quick shot.)
    Rich Wolfert, December 1, 2014


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  1. Bullet  FRONT PAGE

  2. Bullet  BIRDS & BIRDING  

  3. Bullet    The Birds of Israel, 10/2013

  4. Bullet    RGVBF Texas Birding, 2014

  5. Bullet  WEATHER  

  6. Bullet  THE BACK PAGE 



  1. BulletBIRDS

  2. BulletBUTTERFLIES (49)

  3. BulletDRAGON & DAMSELFLIES (10)

  4. BulletINSECTS (129)

  5. BulletMOTHS #s 0001-4702        |

  6. BulletMOTHS #s 4703-7648    (490)

  7. BulletMOTHS #s 7649-12233      |



  1. Bullet  ODDS & ENDS

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  3. Bullet  SKY & SPACE

  4. Bullet  TICK PAGE


1 # of species

Rio Grande Valley -

Birding Festival

Harlingen, Texas, November 5-9, 2014

Dancing Reddish Egret

There are 2 pages of photos, 186 in all. Use this menu to navigate to each page.

ALL photos and text Copyright 2004 - 2014 Richard Wolfert

All rights reserved.

For more information about the festival go to:

Highly recommended!