Welcome to my photo journal.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Spectacular Day

Here's our female Hummingbird at our feeder.
It was a nice day, sunny, no wind, temp around 65 so we went to Watkins to try and get some photos of the birds and maybe get lucky and see the warblers again. I did see the Black and White Warbler, the Yellow throat Vireo and White throated Sparrow but no pics of them.

The Paw Paws are blooming, we didn't notice them Sat.

We even found a couple of Jack in the Pulpits up.

After our visit to Watkins we drove over by the airport to see the Great Horn Owl baby.
At Watkins we saw a Barred Owl, but all the woods between us prevented getting a photo.

This Towhee was in Watkins and didn't seem to mind our presence.

Here is the female Oriole at our feeder this afternoon

It looks rainy the rest of the week so I'll get back to some cleaning or start a project.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday morning birding

Just slimming my way along into your homes!!
We had storms in the area last night so we had only storm coverage on the local stations and I didn't get to see Barbara sing last night, I was really looking forward to her TV concert.
We got up early to meet the Backyarder's at 7 am at Watkins Mill SP to go birding. I guess
birding is good after storms that is what our leader keeps saying.

In the parking lot we see these Cedar Waxwings, a Eastern Towhee and Orioles so we are off to a good start.

This is a Great Crested Flycatcher one of the few birds I got photos of, wish I could have gotten photos of the Indigo Buntings, Kentucky Warblers, Wood Thrush, Swainson's Thrush, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Yellow-throated Vireo and the Prothonotary Warbler. Many of these are new to us so we can add 8 new birds to our life list today.

This is a Eastern Kingbird.
We saw about 40 different birds today, we never see all these birds when we're out alone.
That is why it is good to go on these bird outings with knowledgeable birders, we learn, they hear and identify and we meet new people. Today we had two leaders from Backyard Birds, 4 couples and 2 singles in the group, just the right number, too many makes it hard to hear what the leaders see.

We have an Oriole and a Hummingbird at our feeders now, always fun to watch them out our back door.

We were reading the Sunday paper and saw the article about Excelsiors' two new cameras at a couple of stop lights. They were up two weeks and they caught 850 cars not stopping for the red light. I couldn't believe that, I knew there were cars not stopping but not that many. They only got warnings, Wed. tickets for $105 will be going out, so I better not run the lights anymore.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Enjoying Spring

Thursday we got up early, 6 am, to join the Backyard Bird group at Little Bean Marsh over north of Weston. It was raining on the way over but cleared up around 9 and turned out to be a beautiful day. We saw a few birds, Blue birds, Yellow-rump Warblers, coots, Blue-wing teal, Cormorants, Great Horned Owl, and a new one for our list a Lark Sparrow, always a good day birding if we can add a new bird to our list. We've been going to Isley Park here in EX Sprs. almost every day, it's a great place for spring flowers. We've been hoping to see the Yellow-rump Warblers but they haven't arrived there yet, lots of Goldfinches, Blue gray Gnatcatchers and Eastern Phoebe tho.
Isley's carpet of Spring beauty's.

Today, we went over to Watkins and walked a little, it's a grey day but the Red bud's are so pretty.

We did see our first Oriole of the season at Watkins today.
We will join the Backyard Birder's again early tomorrow morning at Watkins if it's not pouring down rain. One of these days I'll have to invest in a good rain jacket!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Here is Ken's photo of the nesting Red-shouldered Hawks.
What a gorgeous day!! It was 80 degrees and just a lite breeze, perfect for photographing flowers.

I started the day with breakfast at Waffle House with my friend Sandy, we had a nice visit.

Ken and I went to Watkins Mill after lunch to do a little birding, we saw several Titmice, Yellow-rump Warblers, Brown Thrush and Cedar Waxwings.

These pretty little flowers were at the Watkins garden.

These Dutchman Breeches were at Isley Park.

These little beauties, are our Dogwood tree blossoms.
Tuesday, I met Cheryl for lunch and we took the entire afternoon catching up. Ken took a photo class given by Linda Williams Tues. afternoon. Linda is the master naturalist we meet last year, some of her photos are in the Conservationist Calendar, birding magazines and a butterfly book.

Ken and I stopped at the Diary Bee this afternoon, our first this season, the perfect end for such a beautiful day a scoop of rainbow sherbert.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A little Spring

It has been a really nice couple of nice days, some of the trees are in bloom.
It is nice to be home to enjoy the spring flowers.....
and to begin our own hawk watch. The hawks have returned to their nest at Watkins Mill, they are on the eggs. I tried to get a pic when they switched sitting, Ken has a great photo of the pair for those of you near by he has given a photos to Backyard Bird Center and Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary and they will have the photo up somewhere. I have been watching the roadside for more nests and have spotted 3 with hawks on them.
Here's a new spring bloomer for me, Pussytoes, it was at the Sanctuary.

I started to do a little spring cleaning of the house, may not get to far with it though we like to be out watching the Spring growth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


We finally took the RV to Watkins to dump the black tank today and backed it in next to the house. I got busy and took out and washed the sheets, blankets and went through the cabinets and cleared out the stuff we collected. I am tired tonight from going up and down steps and in and out of the house. The RV is nice and clean now I wish the house was!
Sunday and Monday we had alittle rain and cold so we didn't do much. I did go through my pics and took some in to Walgreen to be processed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!!
We made it home last night around 8 pm, drove from the bottom of OK, so it was a long day.
We stopped there Thursday, stayed free at WinStar Casino, no hookups. We decided to stop because the wind gusts had gotten very strong.
This is the sun there at 4 pm, we learned that there were wild fires south of us in TX and north of us in OK and this is the smoke filled sky. In TX 100 homes were burned and there were wild fires in over 20 counties and in OK 5 counties. OK had the fires contained by Friday.
So they were hoping for rain which was in the forecast for Sun.

Ken got sick Friday so we stayed another day in the casino's parking lot. He felt better Sat. so we started home, the weather was perfect to drive home in.
We ran into smoke filled sky again but this time it was the Flinthills annual controlled burn. I had heard about it but never saw it before, blackened earth for miles.

It's a little cool for us here, drizzle and temps in the 50's. I have a few tulips blooming and the wild violets(above) are blooming. This morning I listened to the Robins and Cardinals sing instead of the Kisskadees and Seagulls. The trees are just starting to bud so it will be good birding, in fact on our drive home I spotted 3 hawk nests with a hawk each of them.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Painted Churchs

We stayed in Schulenburg to see the Church's, here are a few samples of the interiors of a couple.

We also visited Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, TX, you might recognize the name Texas' famous Shiner Bock beer. It has been brewing beer since 1909.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In the Hill Country

We finally are on the road home. It was too windy for Ken Monday, so we did some cleaning went into Harlingen for lunch had a last look at Ramsey Park then back to do a few more RV chores.
This morning we start the RV but the slides won't go in and the system beeping that we have no brakes. Ken calls a number for Fleetwood, they give us what might be wrong. Ken looks under dash and a connection is loose, that was all it was. So we get underway by 10, Boo has his usual sickness and Squeekie wants to be in my lap. We decide we had enough by 3:30 and stop in Schulenburg, Tx. We have been driving Hwy 77 though hill country and have been watching more and more Blue Bonnets in the fields and ditches. We find Schulenburg, has a German and Czeck heritage and all these old churches in the area that have been beautifully painted on the inside in the old world styles. We may take the time to see one or two tomorrow before we move north.
We took a drive out on a Farm to Market road by one of the churches, they were locking up but we did stop to take photos of the wildflowers and where there are wildflowers there will be butterflies, here is a pipevine swallowtail.
I have always wanted to see the Texas Blue Bonnets in the spring, and here we are!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Last few photos

Our last day here at Hummingbird Cove, it's windy if its like this tomorrow we may not leave as Ken doesn't like to drive the RV in high winds, but I don't think it is to be this windy.
Good Bye, Green Jay and the other birds that have visited our feeder this winter!

Good Bye, Texan Crescent and the other new butterflies and birds that we added to our life lists.

Good Bye, Ramsey Nature Park our favorite birding spot.

Good Bye, Arroyo Colorado!

We saw our picture in www.hummingbirdcoverv.com photo album under Christmas.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

International Migratory Bird Day

We went over to Santa Ana NWR to watch Mark Conway and Mary band birds. It was set up so the kids could learn about birds and migratory birds but only 6 kids were there. It was very interesting to see how they band and learn about the birds they banded.
This is Mary she had banded, weighed, measured, and checked age of this Green Kingfisher, she is going to take photos of it for her records before releasing it.

This a Yellow-breasted Chat just before being released, they caught and banded 3 Clay-colored Robins, 2 Golden fronted Woodpeckers, 1 Kissakadee, 2 Lincoln Sparrows, 1 Olive Sparrow, 3 Yellow-throat Warblers and 2 Chats.

We also went to the Hawk Watch for our last 2 hour watch. This is Joanne and Gene Wilhelm the leaders of the watch we learned a lot from them. Today we had a total of 465 birds, about 300 were Broadwing Hawks.
Next year we will have to plan our winter better since this is peak migratory season so we can stay longer and maybe move west to catch more birds.
One more day left!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Last Look

We went to Padre Island for a last look.

Visited Ramsey again, there were a couple of birders from Mn, one gent grew up in Jackson. They had gone to Mexico birding, didn't say what they saw, they were intent on getting a photo of the Buff bellied Hummingbird.
We caught a glimpse of the Black chin hummingbird there.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Expensive Day

Weds. we got up early to go to the Hawk Watch and we were greeting with a beautiful sunrise.
But, it clouded up and wasn't a good day for hawk numbers we counted only 80 birds the entire morning. We meet and visited with a couple from Canada who are just getting into birding , we ended up having lunch with them. We learned about the RV park they are staying at and the birding group there. They invited us to drive thru and we did. It is a big fancy park with all the activities, pool, tennis and golf and with it a big price of appx. $700 a month. We pay only $215
a month for our space plus elect. Our park is looking rather empty. The season is just about over!!!

We celebrated Troy's birthday today by going out to lunch at Logan's Roadhouse. There were 6 couples to help him celebrate.

After lunch we went looking for tires for our car, the back ones were getting bald and bulgy.

We ended up having to get 4 new tires and an alignment as one the front tires was worn down on the inside of the tire.

We will be feeling alot more comfortable now on our trip home knowing the car tires should be safe.

We will probably be heading home Monday, depending on the weather forecasts. Ken will try to leave on a less windy day. The weather hasn't looked good back in the states we will be traveling through the past few days.
It has been warm in the 90's and windy. The humidity changes as each front goes thru from 70% to 20%.