Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nice One, Michelle

My darling Michelle took this photo from inside the house one day while I was at work. She called to let me know a pair of crested birds with yellow bellies were fighting right outside our windows. Only after I got off the phone did I realize that from the description they must be Great Crested Flycatchers. Of course this never happens when I'm home with my camera handy. Then they always stay in the treetops.

Troy took me up in a small plane on Sunday - he needed to log some flight hours and I wanted to see Texas from the air. From an airfeld near Houston we flew northeast, over the Big Thicket. Saw a lot of trees. It's no pristine wilderness, but there are still large expanses of forest covering much of the region - enough so that as we approached Steinhagen Reservoir Troy commented that it would be hard to find a place to land if we had engine trouble. Even if the habitat is fragmented by development and logging it's good to see that so much still remains. Gives me a measure of hope for the future.

I was surprised to see more development and road access to the Neches River below Steinhagen Reservoir than is indicated on maps. Even so, it was there that I saw some of the most interesting and extensive habitat, with large tracts of swampy forest and numerous small islands and oxbow lakes. I'd love to get a closer look by canoe or kayak. Here are a couple of aerial photos.
While taking pictures I started to feel a little motion sickness, and we made a brief stop at an airfield near Silsbee for soda and crackers before flying back to Houston. Thanks for the ride, Troy!

I don't have much bird news now that we are getting into the summer doldrums. With the hot dry weather we've had lately most of the action has been at our birdbath.


At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great photo! When I worked away from home, I had a theory that all the really interesting birds waited until I drove away in the morning before visiting the feeders.

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Texas Travelers said...

I didn't realize your hubby had the same name as me. I also am a pilot. Small world. And frm Texas no less.

Have a nice weekend.

There's a party over here.
Come and visit for a while,

PS: nice bird photo

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Texas Travelers said...

Not hubby -- friend.
Blame it on the old age.



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