My February trip to Texas was a success, and I am now enjoying some time at home. Here is my customary end-of-trip report:
Miles by car: 1799
Miles by foot: 20 (approx)
Total species seen: 169
New Big Year Birds added: 40 (I’m currently at 544 total since I started on June 12, 2012)
Total number of individual birds seen last week (according to my eBird summary): 3560 (approx)
Highlights: Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Audubon’s Oriole, Common Pauraque, Whooping Cranes, Flammulated Owl
Rarest bird: Bronzed Kingfisher (see photo below)
Nosiest Neighbor: The guy who kept peering over the fence the whole time I was at the Valley Nature Center
Scariest Thing I Saw: Chachalacas racing out of the forest at me, screaming “Chachalaca!”
Scariest Thing I Saw if I Were a Minnow: A flotilla of 80+ Horned Grebes swimming in close formation at the Texas City Dike
Most Ridiculous Sign: You decide. Here are some contenders:
Ok, I’m in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a narrow bridge with a concrete barrier to my left and traffic cones on my right. How precisely should I react if I see a pelican coming at me at 45 miles an hour?
I’ve never really contemplated the strength of a chorizo stain before…
I know enough to stay out of their way!
And that’s the news for now. I’ll be mostly around the Pacific Northwest for the next 6 weeks or so, until I begin my Spring of Absolute Craziness: a 10-week period in which I’m traveling to Florida (including the Everglades, Keys, and Dry Tortugas), back to Texas, back to Arizona, back to Texas again (Big Bend!), and wrapping up my Big Year the first week of June in Alaska. Stay tuned….