HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — 2022 was a remarkable year in the South Texas outdoors, from breathtaking sunrises in early January to majestic White-tailed bucks cloaked in frigid fog of late December.

Irrepressible spring pitas heralded in early spring, while wintering waterfowl lingered in the land of the yucca.

Along coastal wildlands, sunny mornings coaxed impressive alligators out to soak up warmth and begin patrolling Rio Grande Valley waterways beneath the watchful eye of a Merlin.

Red-crowned parrots began hanging around in March, and this one regularly shared the backyard feeder with a red-lored, while the yellow-headed preferred to dine alone. Soon, friends began dropping in to enjoy the peanut party, and by summer the platform regularly filled to capacity.

Songbirds, like this Cape May warbler, flocked to wooded lots on South Padre Island during their annual spring migration northward, and this vivid scarlet tanager nestled comfortably among sheltering mesquite leaves.

Amidst the throngs of colorful migrants, a resident Mangrove warbler lent his song to the season.

Meanwhile, in the brush country, fawns began appearing in late June and early July, and within a few days, the spotted rascals were up and about following mom, occasionally pausing to nurse and receive a thorough grooming.

Brown pelicans raised young in record numbers in the Lower Laguna Madre, and this island out from Laguna Vista hosted some eighty nests.

With summer slowly shifting toward fall, White-tailed bucks browsed in bachelor bands as their antlers swelled to full development.

Early fall brought more than 2,000 Brown pelicans to historic roosting islands in a remote corner of Bahia Grande, and soon tens of thousands of migratory waterfowl arrived to winter in southernmost Texas.

It was a memorable year in the South Texas outdoors, as you just never know what might appear in the Magic Valley…I’m looking forward to sharing 2023 with you.