Monday, May 7, 2012

Five Birding Outings and Four New Additions

On our way to VA from Texas, we made a few stops along the way and got a few new birds. The first place was a shut down rest area in Texas. We couldn't get into the parking lot since it was shut down and the road was blocked off but we parked in front of the road block and walked in! At first we didn't see or hear anything, but then we got farther away from the Interstate and started to hear some songbirds. There was a gate on the far side of this abandoned Texan rest area, so we decided to jump the gate and walk along the country dirt road. We were hearing lots of birds in the trees and were about to walk through the trees when we catch sight of the dreaded "No Trespassing" sign...dang it!! We kept walking on the road and then I noticed a raptor flying overhead and it turned out to be a Mississippi Kite! New bird for the year! The only other bird down that road was a few female Brown-headed Cowbird. We started down the other way and saw some Scissor-tailed Flycatchers, Northern Mockingbirds, Northern Cardinals, Eastern Bluebirds and a few Turkey Vultures. Nothing new but that kite. One bird at a time.

The next bird sighting was a Dickcissal. Simon snapped a few pictures of it at a truck stop in Arkansas.

Eastern Kingbird

The third spot was in Arkansas at a rest area that I've blogged about before, the one with the Purple Martin boxes. We were just gonna stop for a few moments and just watch the martins, but then Simon thought he should try and use the video on the camera so we took our dogs back to the truck and got the cameras. Good thing we did because we got a new bird there! Eastern Kingbird! We also saw some House Sparrows and of course the Purple Martins. It seems like we are getting in the habit of only getting one bird per trip.

Purple Martins

House Sparrow with nesting material

Then forth stop was the nice rest area in Tennessee. We've been to this one quiet a bit lately. I'll let the photos tell the story since we didn't see anything new just one new butterfly.

Indigo Bunting
Drab Female Indigo Bunting

 The colorful Male Indigo Bunting perched high on a snag. While the drab female had very little color.

Orchard Oriole

Next we caught sight of the adult male Orchard Oriole. They don't like to stay in one spot very long.

Hackberry Emperor

Then we came across this butterfly that kept insisting on landing on Simon's head. Then he landed on his hand and it looked like he was trying to get nectar off his hand; which there was not any. Strange butterfly!

Field Sparrow

The noisy Field Sparrow was singing and singing! Not the best picture though.

Then we saw a male Pipevine Swallowtail and saw a larva (or Caterpillar) also that hadn't became a butterfly yet.

The fifth spot and final of our trip to VA saw Warriors Path State Park. We started down the path way which was about half a mile. All we heard in this one park was Cicadas. They are very load and actually very pretty. We only saw a Downy Woodpecker on the trail. Whenever we hear Cicadas we never see birds. Not sure why but maybe the birds don't get along with them. After the trail we headed up by the pool to see if we could see anything. We did! Finally some bird activity, but once again all but one were new. We saw so many Cedar Waxwings flying from tree to tree.

Cedar Waxwings

Hoping for some warblers; no luck. We also saw some Baltimore Orioles, Blue Jays, and finally we saw the Brown Thrasher! New bird #259!

Brown Thrasher

Baltimore Oriole

 Happy Birding!!!

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