Welcome to my photo journal.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Some birds around SPI

We had a nice Thanksgiving meal with the park, the owners were down to visit with everyone.
It has been really windy the last few days, with cool fronts coming and going.
Sunday was a pretty nice day so we decided to see if we could find bittern and purple gallinule over at South Padre Island. We didn't find them but we saw alot of birds....here's a few.The Wood Stork we had found last week and a good thing we went then as we didn't see them on this visit, so we guess they went further south when we had that north wind Friday.
We haven't been doing much, pegs and jokers last night, feeding the birds and watering some plants at Ramsey.
I didn't pick up my paper with the Mexican saying, so maybe two next week.
With the Thanksgiving holiday over we have noticed more people moving in to our park, I hear it's full this winter.
Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Busy Birding Week

We had an exciting week, as we spotted this bobcat twice in Ramsey Nature park.Then we spotted this armadillo in Ramsey park.

Yes, we do spend alot of time at Ramsey, we visit there almost everyday.

Weds. we joined the bird walk at Estero in Weslaco.

Sat. we went on the Audubon field trip to Brownsville and learned about the Camp LuLu Sams Camp and it's owner Dr. Patrick Burchfield.
The Dr. is the director of the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, his wife works with the Ronald McDonald house. They live in the dining lodge of the camp now, they host special groups and kid camps teaching them to learn to look at nature through color and texture. That sounds like a really fun way to learn. The Dr. has rescued native plants from construction areas and replanted them on his property transforming it from the manicured camp to a natural preserve. If you google Camp LuLu Sams you will find it has some ghost stories which they say aren't true.
Today we drove down near Port Isabel to find the wood storks, and we did find them around 50 of them but the lighting was not good for pictures although I tried.
We finished up the week joining friends at a fish fry, we stopped at Walmart and picked up a cheesecake for the dessert.
It was another great week in the Rio Grande Valley.
The Mexican saying for this week:
"A lo que no importa, lengua corta"
Translation: To what is not your business, keep a short tongue.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival

We started the Festival week with a Warbler Talk given by author and expert Jon Dunn Tuesday evening, it was a benefit for the Frontera Audubon. Ken bought Jon's Warbler book for me and had Jon autograph it. It was a good start for the Festival.

Wed. morning we had our first field trip, Leps, Odes, and Herps or Butterflies, Dragonflies and Reptiles we were taken to Edinburg Wetland and Birding Center. We saw lots of dragonflies, butterflies and one very special Violet Banded Skipper which is a rarity to this region but only a couple of turtles for the Herps.

Thurs. morning was our earliest field trip starting out at 6 am to Brownsville to visit the Nature Conservancy Southmost Preserve and the Gulf on Boca Chica Road. On this trip we saw two new birds for us, a Gull-billed Tern in the fields next to Boca Chica Rd and a Magnificent Frigatebird which one of the leaders spotted way out in the gulf, we used a spotting scope to view it.
Friday morning our Secret Jewels field trip started out at 7 am where the leaders took us in vans to Los Ebanos Preserve and Casa and the Los Ebanos Lake two separate preserves with the same name. At the Casa, we all got to see a couple of Hook billed Kites which we learned from our very excited leaders is a rare bird in Cameron county.

Saturday's Easy Birding field trip was also a small group trip to Benito Trevino's Ranch north of Rio Grande City. Benito has feeders set up and he is a eco botanist so we learned much from him. The morning turned cold and wet on us and his sweet wife gave us jackets and blankets to keep warm and she had baked us cookies made with mesquite flour... mmmm. The birds must have been cold too as we didn't get to see as many as the leaders had on their scouting trip.

This morning, Ken had a 6 am Photo Safari with Ruth Hoyt, I believe he said there was 8 going to a private ranch north of Mission where photo blinds and waterholes are set up. So maybe Ken will come back with some great shots of animals and birds even though its cloudy. Ken had an intro class on Friday afternoon, I took that time and checked out all the booths at the Birders Bazaar. There were artists to visit with, jewelry makers, optic vender's, chamber of commerce reps for other bird festivals, birding tour operators, local bird centers and groups. One of the artists I learned grew up in a town next to where I grew up. What a small world!

Ken has a couple of his photos entered in the local Audubon photo contest. I'm not sure when the winners are to be announced. I met one of my favorite bloggers and learned that she used to live and teach in Excelsior.

We have enjoyed the festival and we like the smaller van trips better then the big bus trips as we got to know the leaders and other birders better. The leaders are brought in from across the US and they usually are contributor's to birding publications. The participants come from all over usually looking to add the Texas speciality birds to their life lists. The fun part is meeting all the people and learning a little of this and that from them. We find that Birders are the friendliest people.
This week's Mexican saying is:
Sarna con gusto no pica
translation: If you do something you like, the sacrifices don't matter.
It's a good one for festival week.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A quiet week

It's been a quiet week here in Hummingbird Cove. A few more friends have arrived.

We've had a few more birds at our feeder, even one hummingbird.

The road we take into town has been busy with big semi's taking sugar cane out of the fields to the factory.Ken is back feeding the birds at Ramsey park and making his peanut butter mixture.

He has been a little under the weather with sinus or ??, I came down with it yesterday. We seem to get it every time we come down, must be the dust in the wind.

We are looking forward to next week as we will be busy attending the Birding Festival . We are taking some tours, Ken is taking a photography class and we will be helping out Sat. at Ramsey park.

There has been a big shoot out between drug cartels and Mexican police in Matamoros, Mexico which is across the river from Brownsville. I hope it stays on the Mexican side.
Our Internet connection hasn't been working very well, sometimes you connect or are connected then you're not. I hope it gets better not worse when more people are here trying to use it.
I didn't pick a paper for the Mexican saying for this week.
Til next time.... take care and enjoy your week.