South Texas- Palm Forest 2003

Palm forest.

Gulf Coast Ribbon Snake

Tiny Woodhouse Toad.

Resaca boardwalk




Time and Place: February 17th, 2003.  Sabal Palm Forest, Cameron Co., Texas.  Mid-morning to mid-afternoon.

Weather:  Sunny with a few clouds; temps reaching the mid 80s F.  Clouds building with a fifteen minute downpour later.

Others present:  Bill Sielschott (father in law); daughters Ember and Molly.

My yearly trip to the palm forest.  I looked in vain for another glimpse of the Speckled Racer, but did manage to see a nice Gulf Coast Ribbon Snake out swimming across the resaca.  Another species for the life list!  Watched it for some time with binoculars from the bird blind.   Poking around palm frond debris I managed to stir up some small Four-Lined Skinks, but they proved too quick to photograph, quicly burrowing out of reach.  I also came across a tiny Woodhouse's Toad, another first.  Three new species in one afternoon - not bad!

From the resaca boardwalk we spotted a couple really nice Redeared Sliders in the water, along with a Rio Grande Leopard Frog.  South Texas Redears have gorgeous carapaces!  Birds were in abundance; Kiskadees, Solitary Sandpipers, a small group of Groove-billed Anis.  On the daytime moth front, I saw a number of Eight-Spotted Foresters along the resaca banks. When reptile life is absent, or the desired species fails to make an appearance, there's always plenty of other wildlife to observe at the palm forest.

Herp species observed:

Gulf Coast Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis proximus orarius)
Four Lined Skinks (Eumeces tetragrammus tetragrammus)
Redeared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
Woodhouse's Toad (Bufo woodhousii woodhousii)
Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Rana berlandieri)

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