Sanibel Island, Florida July 2019

A short three and a half day trip turned into six days thanks to Hurricane Barry.  I was scheduled to run over to Sanibel Island, Florida to have a quick meeting with a restaurant manager only to realize my pathway home was blocked by Barry.  What do you do on a resort island with nothing but time?  You go birding. Here are some of the photographs I took while I was there. It was around 95 degrees on both of these days, but I managed to see my first wild manatee, a green iguana and many thanks to Victoria at the Anchor Inn & Cottages for pointing out “King” the old “man” in the pond.

YCN Heron 1

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Brown pelican 3

Brown Pelican fishing behind a Reddish Egret.

Antique shop

I love antiques and this store has been here for over 30 years…it’s one of the funnest antique stores I’ve ever been in.

DD boardwalk

This is the Shell Mound Trail at the Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge. Don’t walk in here unless you have long sleeves and long pants on.

Brown pelican 2

Brown Pelican fishing.

YCN Heron 4

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

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Joey enjoying his view as we drive across the bridge.

Iguana 1

Iguana.

fish 1

A fish jumping. I waited a long time to catch this shot.

Manatee 2

The bst shot I could get of this manatee.

YCN Heron 2

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

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Green Heron hunting.

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Red-faced Ibis hunting.

Gator 1

A giant alligator.

Ding Darling 1

The rare 16 Petal Daisy…just kidding, it’s a pretty flower I wanted to take a picture of.

Ding Darling

Palm frond.

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Thousands of crazy fish.

Iguana 3

The same iguana, but he noticed me.

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A Double-crested Cormorant in front of a Reddish Egret (both trying to catch fish) and the Brown Pelican watching behind them.

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Green Heron hunting.

YCN Heron imm 1

Juvenile Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Sanibel Island 1

Traveling to Sanibel Island.

Sanibel Island 5

Sanibel Island

Inguana 1

“King.” He is a living dinosaur.

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Green Heron hunting.

YCN Heron 6

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

YCN Heron 3

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

DD Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret

YCN Heron imm 2

December Birding in North Texas

A feral pig hunt was on. It was a warm Saturday morning and the signs said, “Stick to the trails!”  I stuck to the trails (and kept a watchful eye for crazy pigs). This was the first day I took out my new camera, the Sony RX10 vi. It’s a lot of camera and more settings than I’ll ever need but I tried a few things on the following photos. The location as the Lewis Lake Environmental Learning Area (LELLA.org). It’s a large nature preserve that is very popular with the locals. It has a forested area, marshes, a river and open fields.  The bird species found here is astounding. I will certainly be going back.

A Walk In The Woods at the Fort Worth Nature Preserve

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of old, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It’s always such a treat to walk in the woods. The vivid reds and blues between the branches and the where there were bright greens now are rich browns and silence but a wrestle of the turning leaves and the crunch of fallen beneath my feet. A Marsh Wren came out to say hello (image below) as did a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a Yellow-rumped (Audubon) Warbler. I always remember my walks in the woods no matter how short or how long.

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Spring Migration Trip Texas to California 2019

A random collection of photos of my trip to Yreka, California from Sanger, Texas.  Click on a photo for the slide show. These were taken with my new Sony XR10.

Autumn Birding in Texas

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Crunching of brown and yellow leaves under foot, with no other sound. The sky so blue, makes you think of why blue is the rarest color in nature, yet it’s as vast as the sky above us. The bright yellow of the Cedar Waxwing seems as bright as the sun when in the darkened forest. It seems there is more color in autumn than there is in spring. I walked through the Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center in Denton, Texas one Saturday morning and discovered why it is one of the best birding hotspots in Texas.  Just two thousand acres, small for such a title but large for a city park. The photos above were taken there, except the mushrooms and the photo of the White-throated Sparrow were found at Eagle Mountain Park outside of Saginaw.  These photos were taken with the Panasonic “bridge” camera z80.  I demonstrated the zoom by focusing on the tail of the waxwing out and back.  All in all there were just 13 species in a couple of hours that I successfully identified. The bird of the day was the American Robin, yes, the robin. Why? Because I haven’t seen a robin in a couple of months and today, in the forest, there were over 30 of them.  The other birds that shared the walk with me were the Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Northern Flicker, Northern Cardinal, Northern Harrier, Spotted Towhee, Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and a few Yellow-rumped Warblers.  It was a sunny warm day for November, but quiet most of the time. I encourage everyone to take a walk in the forest in November. Bring your camera, you’re going to see some very beautiful things.