Saturday, January 5, 2013

A visit to Estero Llano Grande State Park…

Llano Estero State Park 097

Neotropic Cormorants and the Black and Yellow Crowned Night HeronsWith the weather being a bit dreary here in the Rio Grande Valley we really haven’t been doing much since it has been drizzling with temperatures in the 40’s F. Therefore I decided to pen a blog about a trip we took a few weeks ago over to Estero Llano Grande State Park in nearby Weslaco, Texas. The short 30 minute drive delivered us to a state park that probably resembles what Bentsen Palm State Park looked like before it was inundated with flood waters a couple of years ago.

There is a $5.00 per person entrance fee to the park but since we have the annual park permit for Texas we got in free. This state park has several wetlands and ponds as well as a wildlife-viewing deck with boardwalks near the main building. There are also over 5 miles of trails taking you through the wetlands and through the typical Rio Grande Valley vegetation.

Llano Estero State Park 091Llano Estero State Park Ring-necked Duck

The wetlands and small ponds provided excellent spots for viewing wintering aquatic birds. During our hike we spotted many interesting birds including all three teals (Green-winged, Blue-winged and Cinnamon). We also saw Llano Estero State Park 098Ring-necked Ducks, Northern Pintails, Shovelers, Mottled Ducks, Black-bellied Whistling Ducks as well as Least Grebes, Neotropic Cormorants and the Black and Yellow Crowned Night Herons.

This is a fantastic park to visit for taking a stroll and getting a feel for what the Rio Grande Valley once looked like before agriculture found its way south to these fertile lands. After enjoying our day we left the park and stopped by to visit a large flea market we heard about called the Don-Wes Flea Market. Now we aren’t really flea market people but it was fun to meander through and look at all the “treasures” being sold that day. The best part of the visit was stopping by the food court where there was a small band playing some Texas style music entertaining the crowd gathering at picnic tables eating BBQ and/or various fried food fare. We really enjoyed listening to their pickin’ and grinnin’…

Flea Market 3Flea Market 2


  1. Once this weather breaks for the better, we plan to revisit the state park. We had a wonderful time there last year. The birds were all out in full force.

  2. we are waiting for the weather to get better too, soon we hope.

  3. Every time I read your posts about this portion of Texas, I want to go there ... now. But, we're going to stick to our plan to limit our westward journey this year.