Sunday, February 22, 2009

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge

On Sunday we went to the Laguna Atoscosa National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is on the mainland looking out onto Laguna Madre then on to South Padre Island.


“The south Texas landscape is a unique blending of temperate, subtropical, coastal, and desert habitats. Mexican plants and wildlife are at the northernmost edge of their range, while migrating waterfowl and sandhill cranes fly down for the mild winters. This combination makes Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge world famous for its birds, and home to a mix of wildlife found nowhere else.

Laguna Atascosa NWR is the largest protected area of natural habitat left in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, an oasis for wildlife with few alternatives. The refuge's 45,000 acres become more valuable with each acre lost to development--valuable to wildlife and valuable to those who enjoy wildlife in wildlands.”

“Bayside Drive: This semi-paved, 15-mile, one-way loop passes through thorn forest and coastal prairies before reaching the Laguna Madre. The shelter at Redhead Ridge Overlook and numerous pullouts allow for nature photography and viewing. Note: Restrooms and drinking water are not available along the route.

Lakeside Drive: It's only a short 1 and a half miles out to the lake that gives the refuge its name. Atascosa means "muddy" in Spanish, which describes the shallow lake on windy days. The lake is an important resting and feeding area for the more than 20 species of waterfowl that winter here. Osprey Overlook features two permanently mounted telescopes for a closer look.”

Some photos:

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