Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bird Pals and Trips

You know, if you dug out your trusty Webster's dictionary and looked up the word "procrastinator" you'd find my picture right there.  'nuf said. 

I did make my trip to Texas in April for the spring bird migration.  It was a different trip in that my Birdlady friend couldn't go because of her health.  Unfortunately, her Parkinson's disease will no longer allow her to hold binoculars steady enough to view birds.  Her heart is broken as is mine.  She was and is such a mentor to me when it comes to the birding world. 
Birdlady in green fleece
She taught kindergarden and second grade all her teaching career so she knows how to impart information well.  Dang, I miss birding with her.  We rambled all over northwest Florida, southern Alabama and on trips to Texas, Mississippi and northern Alabama.  Many happy days were spent in the Blackwater State Forest on unnamed roads, not seeing another vehicle or person for hours at a time.  Our lunches were packed along and we ate wherever looked good.  

Anyway, my friend, Larry, was also along with us on most of those outings and he went with me to Texas this time too.  We didn't have much luck seeing raptors at all.  Then, one day on the way back up to our motel we were cruising along when I noticed "something" out in a field.  Since I was buzzing along about 65 mph at the time,  it took me a minute to get pulled over and stopped after I registered what it was.  I then threw the jeep in reverse and buzzed back down the road to get a good look.  Yeah, I made sure no traffic was coming behind me before doing that.  Anyway, it was a great horned owl being dive bombed by mockingbirds. 
Photo by Larry Goodman
Larry took this shot from the car.  It's obvious to me that they had a nest in that bush and they wanted no part of an owl being nearby.  

We usually also see Crested Caracaras some time on the trip.  I think it might have been the same day as the owl, but as we were scooting down that same highway toward the gulf, there on the shoulder of the highway was a caracara just strutting toward us on the ground like he owned the place.  Didn't even fly as we passed each other.  

We didn't see any unusual birds on the trip but we still enjoyed seeing the same old, same old.  We never get tired of them. 
Laughing Gulls 
Yellow crowned night heron 
Red-breasted Merganser
Rookery in full swing

Nesting birds decimate any vegetation under trees 


Black bellied plover

Great Blue Heron 

Least Bittern, little thing and a bugger to catch
One of our favorite birds that are just wonderful in their large flocks is the American Avocet.
American Avocet
And no trip would be complete without seeing the nesting swallows on the bridge over the Intercoastal Waterway.
Bank swallows

Lots and lots of swallows
At the end of Bolivar Peninsula where it meets up with Galveston Bay, here's the view across the way.   We do our very best to avoid looking in that direction.

So, who's up for a trip next April?

Y'all take care.