Saturday, May 21, 2016

Back in Colorado

We always like to get back to Colorado Springs for the Spring migration - around mid-May. This year we've not been disappointed.

A Bullock's Oriole was here to welcome us. He stayed around for a few days before moving on.

We always enjoy the Western Tanagers. This year we've had 5 or 6 flying around.

We've seen a couple of male Black-headed Grosbeaks and one female.

This is a younger Western Tanager with just a hint of red on the head.

We had an entire flock of Chipping Sparrows stop by one morning.

I love the Woodpeckers! This Downy stops by everyday for a snack.

We've also had quite a few Pine Siskins this year.

This picture shows the streak of yellow better. This is a first for the yard.

Another first - a Nuthatch.

It's hard for me to determine size when I look at my pictures. I assume this is a Downy and not his bigger cousin the Hairy.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

More Pictures from South Texas

The Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park is one of the few places in the US where you are almost guaranteed to see an Altamira Oriole.

This one was busy trying (with little success) to build his nest on the wire. There were several "starts" that looked like air plants along the wire. Hopefully, this one went better.

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are another South Texas specialty although I have seen them in Florida.

...and the ever-present Chachalacas.

On Saturday we took a guided walk with a Naturalist through some wonderful habitat. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of the place - I'll have to check with Cheryl.

Our guide took us to a portion closed to other visitors so we could see the nesting Green Parrots.

Too cute! Rabbits are just too photogenic!

Another treat - a Long-billed Thrasher. Apparently the Long-billed and Curved-billed Thrashers look extremely similar. I'll bet I mis-identified this on our last trip in 2013.

Cheryl spotted this Texas Lizard.

This is a Couch's Kingbird - or is it a Tropical Kingbird?

Doves! We saw lots of Doves. This is a small Inca Dove.

 Here the Inca Dove is next to a White-winged Dove so you can see the difference in size.

The whole time we were visiting, Cheryl tried to find us a Road-runner. Laura and Cheryl have seen them in their front yard (so they said) but try as they might, they were no where to be found! Bill and I took a ride one afternoon down around the border (and met lots of nice Border Patrol) and when we got back we proudly showed then the picture of the Road-runner we found!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Birding South Texas

 Bill and I took a "little" detour on our way from Florida to Colorado. We drove south to Mission Texas for a fabulous visit with daughter Laura and her wife Cheryl.  Cheryl shares our passion for birding and arranged several trips to area hot spots.

The Great Kiskadees were everywhere, Laura & Cheryl's backyard and at Sabal Palm Sanctuary on the Rio Grande River in Brownsville, Texas.

Another bird you'll only see in South Texas is the Green Jay. Absolutely gorgeous birds! This one was at Bentson Rio Grande Valley State Park in Mission.

And what trip to South Texas would be complete without seeing one (or 20) Plain Chachalacas! They are big chicken-like birds that make a racket!

We saw two types of hummingbirds: Buff-bellied by the dozen around the Hummingbird Bush in the backyard and this Broad-billed Hummingbird at Sabal Palm.

Cheryl spotted this Harris's Hawk sitting on a light pole - a lifer for Bill and me!

And then there are the parrots! Cheryl took us into town just before dusk. We parked in a shopping center lot and watched as dozens and dozens of Green Parakeets flew in from their day's activities to roost on the overhead wires. It was really something to see - and hear!!

We had a fabulous visit and can't wait to go back! The girls were wonderful hosts. Thank you so much!!