Thursday, 31 March 2016

Texas 16 - Early reflections

Just arrived home. Unfortunately I don't "do sleep" on planes which doesn't help on a 10 hour overnight flight. Throw in an early morning trip to Sabine Woods and a change at Heathrow, that meant 24 hours plus without sleep.
As I sit here in my chair wondering what time/day it is, I thought I'd share a few initial thoughts and pics of my trip with you.
Mixed results as always with my target birds. The star bird was seen which was a BIG relief. I like to think I earned it with a 7 hour search in 90+ temps...
A typical patch of the thicket at Frontera Audubon

The Common Crane and Northern Jacana weren't to be as already reported. to give you an idea of the distances involved, these two birds were 625 miles apart! We'd travelled initially to Brownfield for the Crane from Houston which was a distance of 583 miles. It rained for 4 solid hours (like being at home). this was after failing to reach my target Greater Pewee in Bear Creek Park due to the park being underwater...
GPS co-ordinates not much use here!
I knew the Crane might be difficult but eBird gave hope with repeated sightings at the same location the week prior to my visit. Alas it was not to be and it wasn't reported again subsequently. A sample of what I was up against...
Let me know if you spot it in there somewhere!
The thing that became almost farcical was that when I was scoping large numbers on the deck I could see just as many flying past in the background!!
A fantastic spectacle to behold and appreciate however.
Trying to catch wintering stragglers is always fraught with risk but it makes things interesting. My success with the Blue one was slightly tempered by the departure of the Jacanas. Only slightly though.
The celebrity Calliope Hummingbird near Austin was a great experience, if another Texas tick dip! Lorna was quite a character and we had a great evening chatting to her and her friends. Alas, Clyde had already got the urge and left earlier than last year!
The elusive Flame-coloured Tanager at Refugio was a very frustrating TT dip. I made two attempts at different stages of the trip. The bird was seen on both occasions briefly...but not by me. I did connect with the Greater Pewee however.
Countless sites were tried for the Golden-crowned Kinglet (another disappearing winterer) to no avail. Bucket loads of Ruby-crowns were seen. Maybe one day/trip?
I guess that's the meat of it for now. I'll post some more on the trip when I've recovered.
Three images picked at random that you might enjoy...
White-crowned Sparrow, Brownfield
American Kestrel, Galveston Island
Roadrunner, Bentson
Stay tuned...


Pam said...

The missed birds are a good reason for another trip I say! I hope you've caught up on some sleep now!

Alan Whitehead said...

Still struggling with the jet-lag to be honest Pam

Pam said...

It's takes a while doesn't it!