Birding With The New Girlfriend
The big news is I have a new girlfriend. Her name is Michelle, and she lives only a few minutes away in nearby Beaumont. We first met on the 21st of January, so we've known each other for less than two weeks, but in that short time we have been together a lot and become very close. On January 30th I took her to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge for her first birding trip.
Anahuac is a good place to see a lot of wetland birds at close range with minimal effort. Michelle seemed to really enjoy her first brush with birding, plus she has sharp eyes and was continually spotting things that I missed (like a Merlin perched alongside the road nibbling on a hapless songbird). Best bird of the day was an adult White-tailed Hawk (a bit unusual this far east, and the first time I've seen one this side of Houston). We also had excellent views of a pair of Crested Caracaras near the headquarters, and at one point watched one interacting with a Merlin (looked like the Merlin was in trouble!). Michelle's favorite bird was the Great Egret, but we saw several other species of wading birds, including ibises and Roseate Spoonbills.
Weather has turned cold and wet since then. Yesterday we had a long power outage at work. There was a loud thunder clap and everything went dark. When the power came back on some of our systems didn't, and I left the store last night with a number of equipment problems still unresolved. As I write this the rain is still falling...