Thursday, 22 March 2018

Beaucoup de Birding

We have been going out birding a lot these past few days. The weather has been glorious - warm and breezy with brilliant sunshine. We see a lot of the 'usual suspects' but I can't not take pictures of them because I know in a month, I won't be able to.
Common Buckeye
Gulf Fritillary
Red Admiral
Red Admiral with wings closed
Monarch with wing damage
Spotted Sandpiper starting to show spots
Roseate Spoonbill
Pectoral Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs
Osprey with forward-facing prey - very aerodynamic

'Horse-crippler' cactus
Fiery Skipper
Skip and I went to the Convention Center this morning.
Elusive Marsh Wren
Texas olive in bloom
Then went next door to the Birding Center to join the Bay Area Birders. In the parking lot was this 'Antique' 1978 VW pop-top Westfalia van, named 'Valentina', belonging to the Birding by Bus couple, Marc and Eliana. They left Miami last month and are on their way to Alaska. They have a staggering number of birds on their world life lists (1500 and 1508 respectively). They joined us for our walk around the boardwalk.
First thing we saw was this yellow-crowned night heron, out in the open.
I took a shot of our group, looking back towards the Birding Centre. The woman in front was only trying to crouch out of the way.
Up on the wire was the male Belted Kingfisher - no rust on the chest like the female.
Out on the flats was this American Golden Plover.
This was one of several Sora sightings today.
Across from the bird blind was the Green Heron.
All puffed up.
Then we saw this medium-sized gator.
Not sure what kind of eggs these are but some critter enjoyed their interiors.
We see lots of these blue crabs.
Another Sora sighting.
Lesser Yellowlegs - the bill is about the same length as the head and is straight.
Our third gator sighting by the last bird blind.
American Golden Plover in another location.
Back at the butterfly garden, this 'Horse Crippler' cactus (Echinocactus Texensis) has lots of blooms.
We have a pot luck dinner at the home of one or our birding couples. They back onto a little lake at the gold course so we hope to see some birds in the early evening.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Birding Near San Antonio

Skip and I stopped at Mitchell Lake Audubon Center on the way into and out of San Antonio last weekend. It was overcast but we got some good pics of birds.
Black-crested Titmouse
Female Red-Winged Blackbird
Female Cardinal and male House Finch
White-Winged Dove
Skip and blooming aloe
Aloe blooms
House sparrow
Purple Martins
Carolina Wren

Huge Huisache tree in bloom
American Kestrel
Purple Martin
Long-Billed Thrasher
Long-Billed Thrasher
White-Crowned Sparrow

Bluebonnet - state flower of Texas - a species of lupin
Monarch Butterfly showing wing damage