Monday, April 21, 2014

Texas Round Up

Final Texas post. We made it back to Philly last night after a long day of traveling. Here are a few final photos from the trip. Here are a few non-avian critters. This butterfly landed on the hood of the van while we were at the San Antonio Botanical Garden.

This one is a little more icky. A Diamondbacked Water Snake with half his lunch still hanging out of his mouth. It looks like lunch was a perch.

Diamondback Water Snake - with fish
I walked right past this iconic critter of the south - the Armadillo. Lori spotted it digging for ants just off the trail. This is a life critter for me and really cute.

Believe it or not, the trip included non-birding activities. The girls took a trail ride one day that I will let them tell you all about. I didn't go. Horses and me don't mix. I think I inherited that from my mother.

On the trail
Connie and I spent the hour and a half that they were riding in the antique shops in the local town. I thought they might want an ice cold beer after the ride. They appreciated every drop!

Ice Cold Beers!
We also went to Austin for a day so that Di and Barbara could visit a friend who moved there. The rest of us did some sight seeing. One of the sites not to be missed is the Congress Ave Bridge which crosses the river right in the middle of town. There is nothing unusual or spectacular about the bridge itself except at dusk when over a million Mexican Free-tailed Bats come pouring out of it. This is a nightly occurrence that is attended by hundreds of people. This video is just a snippet. It went on like this for 20 minutes.

After the bat cave - we made the long drive back to San Antonio but not before stopping at the famous "Buc-ees" rest stop. We had a rundown of Buc-ees attractions from the owner of Warbler Woods (don't ask). She told us all about the private bathroom stalls, and how you can order a sandwich from a computer, and get gas, and they have all kinds of snacks. It all sounded like a Wawa to us. We giggled until we actually saw the place. It is HUGE. They have over 120 gas pumps and the 3rd cleanest bathrooms in the country (now I want to see #1 and #2). Here is a shot of the gas pumps.

Buc-ees Gas Pumps
Here is a shot of about 1/4 of the stalls in the Lades Restroom. You really get an individual stall.

Buc-ees Bathroom
Oh, you must ask Barbara about her new Detroit Redwing friend and the written warning she got after leaving Buc-ees without turning on the headlights to the van.

Detroit Redwings fan (left), Flyers fan (right)
A few more bird photos round out the trip. The first is a Bewick's Wren that popped up to scold me when I was waiting for the girls to get mounted up on the horses.

Bewick's Wren
Here is an Eastern Phoebe waiting for us to move off of the deck at a local Nature Center so that she could feed the babies in the nest that she built above the door.

Eastern Phoebe
There are Crested Caracara all over Texas. This one hung out on a utility pole at Mitchell Lake.

Crested Caracara
Another encounter with one of our target birds on our last day and the best photo of them all.

Golden-cheeked Warbler
Final photo is female Scissor-tailed Flycatcher in flight - unmistakable!

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
We rounded out the trip with 162 species. No bad.


Anonymous said...

Glad you are home safe and sound. You really got some outstanding stuff. We are anxious to hear the stories that so with the photos. HH

ShearH2O said...

Outstanding photos, great list, very jealous.
The butterfly is actually a moth. A very cool looking one at that.
I even know the name of it but my brain won't let on about the secret