RFI: Texas and North Carolina
Gerald Broddelez asked me to post the following RFI for him .. Jon
Dear all, I ll be visiting texas and n’carolina next august and would appreciate any mammal watching sites and key species anyone can recommend. Bobcat and Red Wolf are my priorities. Any info on bats and/or bat specialists etc is also very welcome. Many thanks Gerald
I have been to the Alligator National Wildlife Refuge numerous times. I have only heard wolves once in 2000 and that may have been from a pack that was kept in a breeding compound. The Refuge has a wildlife drive off of Route # 66 near Mantoe and the Outer Banks. At dawn or dusk you are almost sure to see black bear since there is a Dare County land fill adjacent to the drive. It’s worth the trip.
If you can make it to NC a tad early there is an organized bat survey in the mountains 7/31-8/4. Up to twelve species are possible, including Indiana and Gray Myotis. More info is at
The photo blind at Laguna Atascosa NWR had a Northern Pygmy Mouse at dawn and dusk when I was there. A couple Hispid Cotton Rats were there at dusk. There are at least five huge Southern Plains Woodrat nests around the blind and the visitor’s center. I couldn’t turn one up but they are likely there.
If you can spend a night on South Padre Island there are Gulf Coast K-Rats in the sand dunes north of the city. The orange morph is pretty distinctive.
A couple birding pals found Mexican Ground Squirrels at the main building at Bentsen-Rio Grande.
LOL, I know what you mean. I spent two days there trying for that Oriole and didn’t see the squirrels. But a staff biologist said they are resident there, and my pals know Eastern Fox pretty well so I doubt they got it wrong.
They’re supposed to be a cinch at Balmorhea SP, which is in the middle of nowhere, TX.
If you’re in the Texas Hill Country, the evening bat emergence at Frio Cave near Concan is an incredible spectacle. About 10 million free-tailed bats emerge, possibly the largest mammal concentration on the planet. Cave myotis are also there and easy to see, and I have heard that ringtails are also possible (but we didn’t see any).
You have to go with a guide. It is worth setting this up as an individualized tour rather than their group departure, but it’s a fantastic bat flight in any case: http://hillcountryadventures.com/frio_bat_flight_overview.html
Just as a data point, Brian Patteson’s pelagic trips out of Hatteras, NC had Gervais Beaked Whales yesterday and a very cooperative pod of False Killer Whales the day before, both great ABA ticks.
Also reports of offshore Bottlenose Dolphin, Spotted Dolphin (presumably Atlantic but he never says anything about Pantropical) and Pilot Whales (probably Short-finned).
The latter three are pretty common on those trips.
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I have visited Bentsen Rio-Grande on two separate occasions, and both times bobcats were reported daily during the time periods I was there. This is also where I had my lifer.
Aransas seems to be good as well, but I have never been.