Friday, April 18, 2014

A Common Loon on a Sunny Good Friday

At last a sunny morning without anything more pressing than to take a walk in my neighborhood with my camera. The target bird at this time of the year is the Common Loon which is uncommon  but are sighted in the early spring. There was only one Loon but the sun was warm and the breeze light so it was a pleasant walk. 


Birds of Prey - Ospreys of Oakwood

The last years we have seen Ospreys around Oakwood,  Edgewater Bay and the Channel of Fountain Lake. Hopefully they are nesting here also and not just migrating through. The last days as I go hunting for Loons I scare up 4 pairs of Wood-ducks and an Osprey.  Today I was my lucky day, from my backyard I saw mergansers, a loon and a pair of Osprey. When I first woke up the lake was full of White Pelicans and Cormorants.
 Here is when I first scared the Osprey out of the trees. Wish I could see him sitting.
 Between the Osprey and trees are White Pelicans.

   The pair of Osprey flew over
Edgewater Park and by the public dock and over the lake. 

Aloe Farm and Aurora Colorado Ramsey Park

Our road trip to the Aloe Vera Farm (3/18) with Jim and Judy was a windy affair. It was a gorgeous day but the wind was steady at 25 mph. Getting there was a challenge but it was worth the drive as the grounds were beautiful. Jim and Judy from Decatur, Ill are birders who turn to butterflies also. Jim is into photography which about a half of us are. It is a wonderful way to identify and species and record the trip. Now since cameras photos are so available, experts want proof of their birders sightings. The Aloe Farm is a bed and breakfast with such a serene setting (except for the wind). There are flowers, there are insects and with insects there are birds. I can not identify flowers especially those in Texas, remember, I only sleep with the gardener. Enjoy!

Hooded Oriole

White-striped Longtail

 Palm fronds blew down, minutes before the path was clear. (Judy and Gunnar)

 Decorating for Easter

             We had a great meal at Tuckers BQ in Lyford. Then on our way to Harlingen's Aurora Colorado  Ramsey Park. It is a great little local park that a Minneapolis (Hovland) retired band teacher work at when he lives in Harlingen half the year. 

Loons Are Back

How lucky are we to see Loons for a week on Fountain Lake. The Common Loons stop to feed in the lakes in Southern Minnesota in their migration north to the cooler lakes in Northern Minnesota and Canada. The Loons winter as far south as Texas but not in the Lower Rio Grande River Valley. It has been a year since the lakes farther north were iced and we had the pleasure of their company for two weeks. This a LINK to some great photos from last year.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Estero Llando, Saying Good-byes 3/23

After our belongings were packed up and ready to take to the Honda, we drove to Estero Llando Grande State Park.  It was our destination 3-5 times each week for photo classes, scheduled walks and our walk through the park. It was humid and warm when we arrived but misty and cool by the time we left. I sat with May in the Tropical Area by the hummingbird feeders, while Rick, Gunnar and Benton chatted near by. We had a few hummingbirds sitting and feeding but it was a dreary day for lighting. Jim and Judy happened by so we could say our farewells to them and Karen and Dale also. Estero is the best birding park with wonderful volunteers. See you next year. 

                                           Immature Buff-bellied Hummingbird

 Black-chinned Hummingbird male

 Ruby-throated Hummingbird male

Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird in poor lighting.

     George and his family came by as they were looking for the bathroom and then birds. George and his mother (whom home schools him and his two sisters) came to photograpy classes. He is 10 years old and has a camera similar to Gunnar's, which he bought from the prize money he won from a  photo contest last year. His family is delightfully centered on their children with their children's interests in learning. RoseAnn and Jerry from South Padre told us about a boy with a camera and this family.  So they are know in the birding circles from Mission to South Padas well as Estero Llando Grande. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is one of George's younger sisters.The lovely flowers from the Orchid Tree were  picked off the ground. The flowers matched her blouse perfectly.

Edinburg Wetlands Last Walk

Edinburg's Annual Plant Sale and Butterfly Walk was in full swing on Saturday,  March 22nd.  We said our good byes to Javi and Monica until next year. They both were very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable as was Marisa the director and Loni. It was not too birdy, actually only saw a dozen birds total bur bumped into Mike Rikkard again. Missed the Green Kingfisher but it was seen earlier.

              Vesta Crescent 
  (female - dot on forewing)

Gulf Fritillary 
                                                                             Pipevine Swallowtail


                                                        Red Admiral 

Smiley girl dressed for the occassion.